On Apr 7, 2009, at 5:10 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> 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
> The marker #NO goes directly to names beginning with O.
> For an English translation of Part I of the Summa Logicae, see
> 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)
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