Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
725 Center Street
Mesa, CA 92627
Kowalsik put it
clearly on p.9 of his book “Logic for Problem Solving”:
that it is unnecessary to talk about meaning at all. All talk about
meaning can be reexpressed in terms of logical implication.’
To us this declared their retreat into either a world of pure symbol
manipulation or a rarefied Platonic reality accessible to some privileged
RC> Kowalski is a good
writer and logician, and his book is well worth reading, as I have several
times. But I can’t subscribe to the statement “it is
unnecessary to talk about meaning at all”.
I like your view of meaning as a relation among signs and objects.
English QA semantic systems have to “talk” and “listen”
using a circumscribed set of concepts. Those concepts, in my imagination
at least, could in principal be automated using interpretive software. So
execution of that software still has to be described in enough detail that we
can build the software.
Are you familiar with the LGP English grammar rules? The
average first grader has understood a lot of meaning by her first day in
school. Some of that came from English statements made by parents,
teachers, others. That leaves some small number of vocabulary entries
that can be modeled in deep detail. The few thousand word vocabulary of
simple first grader English ought to be of workable size if the project is well
concrete business activity and legal problems, we held the view that meanings
are relationships between signs (logical or other) and the physical things and
social constructs that business information and laws deal with. A tiny
fraction of our meaning relationships could be between signs (logical
expressions) and other signs but the great majority would be between signs and
many other things that exist in the real world, such as steel ingots or
culpable behaviour. Moreover those relationships cannot be dreamed up
anonymously by whoever reads the signs; but they are supplied by the producers
or interpreters of the signs / sentences / reports / evidence / etc. who will
be held responsible for their imputed meanings.
So: no semantics
RC> Yes, that appears to be the case.
and no semantics
without responsible agents.
RC> A very different topic. What makes an agent “responsible”?
Just that it shares some protocol for interacting with people? Or does it
have to actually take responsibility for some action or object in some other
Of course we
started with the usual objectivist view of reality. But that does not
work in a legal context, among other things, because it omits the responsible
Having done a lot of work in the legal technology area, I don’t
see that the law emphasizes responsibility; the law teaches the customs
and practices of a segmented society. We “punish” legal
offenders if we decide they caused bad situations to occur. We provide
incentives for people who follow the norms – e.g. intellectual property
law. But even in the law, it is very difficult to find someone who isn’t
at least a little innocent as well as a little guilty in practice. So its
not a clear cut logical distinction IMHO.
I shall not
attempt to explain the form of the actualist ontology we employ but you may
glean a little about it in the two papers on www.rstamper.co.uk.
For work on
semantics, do we not need a kind of logic that keeps the agents in the picture?
one that starts from responsibility and existence as primitives and then leads
to truth and falsity as derived concepts. I guess that it will
resemble FOL with a twist.
Yes, agents act purposefully while
nonagents are physical objects. So I agree that the agent concept and its
various applications, are needed to properly process English text.