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Re: [ontolog-forum] Offline note

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 May 2009 10:40:04 -0400
Message-id: <4A1FF3C4.8090507@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Mike and Frank,    (01)

MB> As an engineer, I'd say the test is whether or not you end up
 > with something that works.    (02)

That is the engineering test.  The goal of pure science is to
discover what is true.  The goal of engineering is to use science
to solve problems within the limits of budgets and deadlines.    (03)

FK> Re: Judgmentalism:  that translate to e that you do not like
 > them, which is fine with me.    (04)

Actually, many of the people who believe those -isms are fine as
people, but the primary test for their beliefs to be scientific
is testability by observation and experiment.  The problem with
those three -isms is that they don't or can't test their claims.    (05)

FK> Citing Aristotle, Plato and the rest of the people as you did
 > the other day as pre-runners of ontology sounds to me a very
 > Marxist move who started their similar list with Proudon,
 > La Salle, The Luddites, Feuerbach, Hegel, etc. to support
 > their point    (06)

The method of citing historical precedents is very appropriate
as an aid to understanding the development of any field.  But
it's not a method for proving that the assumptions are true.    (07)

The purpose of my brief history of ontology was not to show
that it is scientific, but to show the contrary:  unlike
physics, which has progressed very far beyond Aristotle,
ontology has made much less progress -- in fact, Aristotle's
original version is better than many of the things you can
download today from the WWW.    (08)

FK> Early medical researcher were grave robbers...    (09)

So what?  They needed cadavers to study anatomy.  The victims
never felt any pain.    (010)

FK> "chemists" were alchemists,    (011)

Yes, indeed.  And the alchemists developed many useful results,
good equipment, and experimental techniques that the chemists
extended with more precise theories and practices.    (012)

FK> Medicine is not science, ask the practitioners...    (013)

That's true.  It's a branch of engineering for which some of
the science (e.g. anatomy) is fairly well developed (thanks
to the good supply of cadavers).  But a great deal of the
necessary science is still under development.    (014)

FK> they are even licensed to kill a fetus    (015)

That is not a scientific issue.  The only thing that science can
say is that a fertilized egg develops into a newborn child by
a continuous process.  The question of whether and when it is
permissible to stop that process is a matter of ethics, religion,
and law.    (016)

John    (017)

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