[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Response to the two questions

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 11:57:03 -0400
Message-id: <49CE48CF.3020405@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Frank,    (01)

I don't want to get into the business of answering any or all
questions about life.  But I'll give a few very brief answers
to your questions:    (02)

> 1. Why should a human being understand every text or dialogue?
 > Why should such an aim be targeted?    (03)

No human being can understand *any* text without a great deal of
background knowledge.  Since nobody is omniscient, nobody can
understand every text.  I would not aim at such a goal.    (04)

> 2. People (and animal) have the ability to learn and to extend their
 > understanding. Understanding what? What is understanding?
 > Please, give me a definition.    (05)

Understanding is like jazz.  If you have to ask, you'll never know.
For a brief comment, see the first slide of the talk:    (06)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/pursue.pdf    (07)

> 3. "Understanding is the ability to learn and use a language in social
 > interactions."  It is not just in social interactions and not just
 > language that you are able to learn.    (08)

Language is grounded in social activity.  Those rare "wild children",
who were isolated from language in their early years were never able
to acquire more than a rudimentary ability to use a few words.    (09)

> 4. I believe that prelinguistic learning is not just through perception,
 > action and social interaction. You have also got instincts, intuition
 > and will, emotion and intellect already working to be used to that
 > end.  But the main point is that prelinguistic knowledge is rightly
 > called thinking, which takes place so fast that we cannot identify
 > its components, only later, when we have words to identify some
 > operations, such as propositions, etc.    (010)

All learning comes from perception and action.  The other things
are built in.  In any case, all those issues are open research
problems about which any definition is just somebody's best guess.    (011)

> 5. I am not sure that life is best thought of as moves in a social game,
 > it is more dramatic than that. In fact, any living creature shares
 > the same alternatives on an encounter...    (012)

That's not a bad guess.    (013)

> 6. "Language is so intimately tied to thought"  What is thought?
 > Please, give me a definition.    (014)

Thought is a sign.  Go read Peirce.    (015)

> 7. "A computer cannot understand language without simulating human thinking"
 > What is thinking?    (016)

A sign.  Read Peirce.    (017)

 > How come that none of the ontologies model thinking or see that
 > we are in spacetime, and not in a cloud of tags?    (018)

Because they don't start with an adequate theory of signs.    (019)

John    (020)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (021)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>