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[ontolog-forum] Ockham

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 7 Apr 2009 15:24:45 -0500
Message-id: <019A5EE5-E5D3-457A-955F-F10C6AEDDC78@xxxxxxxx>
On Apr 7, 2009, at 5:10 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> Dick,
> The following principle is not what we're complaining about:
> RHM> As I've been telling Pat, my symbols are mapped to reality
>> before I assemble them into sentences.  My context expresses
>> the meaning of my symbols.
> The mapping of symbols to reality is the foundation for all
> semantics of any kind of language, natural or artificial.
> The meaning of a sentence is derived from the meaning of
> its parts (words and phrases) according to the way those
> parts are assembled by the grammar rules.
> That principle was developed in detail by the logicians of
> the middle ages.  The theory of the proposition by William
> of Ockham (1323 AD) went into great detail with many, many
> examples of how that is done for natural language (Latin).
> Ockham stated those principles precisely enough that a good
> logician (such as C. S. Peirce) could apply them to logic
> and develop an early example of model theoretic semantics.
> Tarski did the same, but in more detail.
> Pat, Chris, and I agree with your principle as stated above.
> But we suggest that you specify *how* that mapping could be
> described in sufficient detail that a programmer could implement
> it in a computer program.  Ockham did a very thorough analysis
> for a considerable subset of propositions stated in Latin.
> For English translations of his Summa Logicae, see my online
> bibliography:
>    http://www.jfsowa.com/bib.htm#NO
> The marker #NO goes directly to names beginning with O.
> For an English translation of Part I of the Summa Logicae, see
>    http://pvspade.com/Logic/docs/ockham.pdf
> Part I analyzes terms -- words and phrases that are used in
> syllogisms.  That part illustrates Ockham's basic approach, but
> the most important material for the structure of propositions is
> in Part II, which is only available in paper.
> All we are asking for is a specification that reaches the
> standards set by Ockham in 1323.  If you do that, any decent
> logician can do the rest.    (01)

Alfred Freddoso and Michael Loux (both of Notre Dame's philosophy  
department) have translated and written terrific introductions to  
parts I and II of Ockham's Summa Logicae.  Part I is published as  
_Ockam's Theory of Terms_ (Loux) and Part II as _Ockhams's Theory of  
Propositions_ (Freddoso).  Both are scheduled to be reissued in  
paperback in May.    (02)

-chris    (03)

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