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Re: [ontolog-forum] Interoperability - its natural basis

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2009 02:37:37 -0400
Message-id: <49BDF3B1.40207@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ronald,    (01)

I agree with your concerns.    (02)

RS> 'Listening in' to the ontolog discussions I sense a widespread
 > belief that logic and formal  methods will solve the problems
 > ontology development.  That makes me uneasy about the direction
 > of some of the technically oriented work.    (03)

I believe that logic is important, but I don't believe it is
a panacea.  I like to quote the poem by Henry Kautz (copy below).
Kautz also believed that logic was important, but he had enough
sense to recognize that it was a tool rather than a solution.    (04)

RS> I am all for formal precision once we are sure we have fully
 > grasped what we need to be formal and precise about.  I thought
 > that the age of logicism had closed by mid-20th century.    (05)

But I also agree with Chris M. that the word 'logicism' should
be avoided.  It has been used in so many vague ways that it
no longer has any clear meaning by itself.    (06)

RS> I have placed two papers on a very amateurish website:
 > www.rstamper.co.uk    (07)

That gave me the message "We can't find the page you requested."    (08)

_________________________________________________________________    (09)

         On Selecting a Thesis Topic    (010)

                By Henry Kautz    (011)

      If your thesis is utterly vacuous,
      Use first-order predicate calculus.
          With sufficient formality
          The sheerist banality
      Will be hailed by all as miraculous!    (012)

      If your thesis is quite indefensible,
      Reach for semantics intensional.
          Over Montague grammar
          Your committee will stammer
      Not admitting it's incomprehensible.    (013)

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