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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ockham

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 08 Apr 2009 02:04:35 -0400
Message-id: <49DC3E73.2030008@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dick,    (01)

You're confusing apples and spaghetti.    (02)

RHM> How about a real mapping, instead of a formal mapping.
 > I'll stick to the example "John F. Sowa is a human."
 > I can go on the internet and Google "John F. Sowa".
 > I can find out where he lives, and see him with my own eyes.
 > I can tell whether he is human or not.    (03)

There are many good reasons for analyzing and talking about
real mappings:    (04)

  1. You are designing a robot that has to map symbols to
     input sensors in order to move around and do useful work.    (05)

  2. You are a psychologist who is studying the neural and
     linguistic mechanisms that connect human perception
     and action to language processing.    (06)

  3. You are a philosopher who is trying to develop a
     comprehensive framework for analyzing the relationships
     between language, thought, perception, and action.    (07)

All of those activities (and many more) are worthy pursuits.    (08)

If you are designing a system such as mKE and mKR, it is
good to study the work of those people in order to understand
how your piece of the puzzle fits with theirs.  That is
a worthy endeavor, and I would encourage you to continue.    (09)

But it is also important to recognize that for the purpose
of giving a precise definition of mKR so that programmers
can implement it and connect it to their systems, you have
to focus on the specific details of the symbols and how they
are related to one another.    (010)

Chris Menzel, for example, is a professor of philosophy
at Texas A & M, and he has studied, published, and taught
many of the philosophical issues about contexts from many
different points of view.    (011)

But Chris has also collaborated with Pat, and me, and many
other people in designing logics like CL and IKL.  When we're
doing that, we focus on the issues that are relevant to giving
a precise definition of the language.    (012)

But we also use CL and related languages for a broader range
of purposes.  When we do that, we might use CL to address
issues such as #1, #2, or #3 above.  But then we admit that
we have switched from growing apples to cooking spaghetti.
We don't confuse the two kinds of activities.    (013)

John    (014)

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