Thank you, John. (01)
I am currently on page 9 of Part I,
and have seen the hints of disconnecting
written & spoken words from their mental meaning. (02)
I don't buy it.
But I will continue reading. (03)
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Richard H. McCullough" <rhm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 11:54 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] [STI-community] FINAL CALL: charting the
futureof semantics - STI 3rd Roadmapping Workshop (04)
> That's the point we have been trying to get across: Some parts
> of the problem are impossible to specify, and other parts are
> very easy. What we recommend is that you should ignore the
> impossible parts, and do the easy parts.
> RHM> You can get me started in the right direction by explaining
> > how a computer programmer can map "John F. Sowa" to reality.
> > Next, how a computer programmer can map "human" to reality.
> > Next, how a computer programmer can map "John F. Sowa is a human."
> > to reality.
> We originally suggested that you take Tarski as an example, but he
> doesn't even say anything specific about natural languages. However,
> William of Ockham goes into great detail. And that is why I recommend
> that you start with Ockham.
> In my previous note, I suggested that you focus on Part II of Ockham's
> book, which addresses the structure of propositions. But I now see
> that you should begin with Part I, because that is where he addresses
> your questions:
> If you start at the beginning of Chapter I (page 4), you can read
> Ockham's summary and commentary on Aristotle's theory about how
> words are related to the world.
> On page 5 line 10, Ockham summarizes Aristotle's distinction between
> written terms, spoken terms, and mental terms. (Aristotle's actual
> word was 'logos', which has a very broad meaning.)
> In the next couple of pages, Ockham (following Aristotle and
> Augustine) notes that you can't say much about the unobservable
> mental terms. Therefore, the analysis and definitions must
> relate to signs that can be seen and heard.
> In short, stop wasting your time in talking about things
> nobody has a clue about. Neither Aristotle nor Ockham nor
> Tarski nor you nor anybody else on earth today has a clue
> about how those mental terms are processed in the brain
> or the soul. We know that there's something going on inside
> the head, but whatever it is, we can't say anything useful
> about it. So don't even pretend to say anything about it.
> Instead, Aristotle, Augustine, Ockham, and all modern logicians
> and linguists talk about words and other signs that we can see,
> hear, analyze, and relate.
> If you continue reading Ockham, he'll answer your question --
> but his examples are 'Socrates' and 'man' (or 'Sortes' and 'homo'
> in Latin). In Part II, he'll also show how to analyze the
> interrelationships of words in various kinds of sentences and
> how those relationships contribute to the truth or falsity of
> the sentence. (That is essentially Tarski's model theory
> written in Latin about Latin.)
> You can go to your favorite online bookstore to order Part II of
> Ockham's book. While you're waiting, you can read Paul Spade's
> translation of Part I.
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