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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ockham

To: "Richard H. McCullough" <rhm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2009 00:09:59 -0400
Message-id: <49DC2397.10504@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dick,    (01)

I did answer your questions:    (02)

JFS> 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.    (03)

That is the answer.    (04)

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.    (05)

The mapping, by humans, from a word to reality is impossible
to specify formally.  Don't do it.  Any attempt to pile up
a vague cloud of words is *not* a specification.  It is just
a totally useless, totally confusing pile of words.  It is
even worse than useless, because some people might get
confused into thinking that the pile of words is useful.    (06)

Ockham does say that, in effect, but you have to read what
he says, take it very seriously, and ponder it until you
get the point.    (07)

But the task of relating symbols to symbols can be done
very nicely.   That is what Ockham does in Part II,
where he addresses examples like 'Socrates is a man.'
That is what every version of model theory does,
and that is what Pat, Chris, and I were recommending
that you do.    (08)

John    (09)

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