Hi All (and subsets), (01)
Just some rambling after morning coffee (nothing serious here, just devil's
> John B, Rob, and Rich,
> First, let me start with an easy question:
> JB> And, can we really separate the logic from the ontology?
> Yes. They are different subjects.
Hmmm. But isn't the point that ontology is a subject which we can use logic
for reasoning about (i.e., it's a particular model,...)?
> JB> Sentences in conversation occur in order for good reasons,
> > to indicate sequence or time.
> Yes. As I said before, if the sentences occur in a narrative,
> you would connect them by "and then" instead of just "and".
> But in any case, "p and then q" implies "p and q".
I agree, but only (I think) if p is still true at time q
(otherwise one's whole life becomes one giant conjunction)
If I hold something in my left hand (p), and then another thing in my left
p is no longer true (other than an historical fact).
Getting back to the observations and inferences distinction
(I forget who started the thread)
Would it be an observation to note in one's mind that p had occurred
previous to q (i.e., maybe one's mind can 'observe' a conjunction?,
one would have to infer that p occurred before q, and how could that
[enquiring minds want to know! :-)]
> JB> Aristotle points out that we all come into logic with
> > pre-existent knowledge (PeK).
> Yes. But that knowledge is not the logic. If we're talking
> about logic, we're talking about logic. But if we want to
> discuss all the issues that come to bear on NL understanding,
> we have to be prepared for an enormous number of issues.
> RA> Consider:
> > Paul goes to the bathroom.
> > Wanda goes to the bathroom. (03)
> Why do you ask? The relevant background knowledge is
> different, and it has different implications. But there
> is no difference in the relevant logic. (04)
Actually I was trying to be humorous!
My point was (sorry for not being explicit about it)
is that NL expressions of this sort are not definitive in the sense that
Paul and Wanda might not have gone to the same bathroom,
nor do we know anything about the timing (who went first, or
What I was trying to get at (for myself, as in thinking out loud)
is how incredibly contextual even the simplest of statements can be,
without which even human are likely to completely misunderstand the
So to conclude: I submit Paul and Wanda "going to the store" might mean
store, or (as in the colloquism of "going to the bathroom") might not.
> RC> ... almost as an aside, you tossed out:
> > But I would add an important qualification: Many theories,
> > especially in physics, have been established on the basis
> > of so many observations, that it is practically impossible
> > to recreate all their conclusions by using multiple analogies.
> I wanted to clarify a different point, but it seems to have
> triggered more digressions:
> RC> But it clearly wasn't "practically impossible" to use multiple
> > analogies, which existed in the conversations of the scientists
> > of that time.
> Yes. Physicists use analogies all the time. The only point
> I was trying to make with that sentence is that a good theory
> can reduce the number of analogies that would have been necessary
> if that theory did not exist. (05)
A total aside: I have come to appreciate (much more) the value of analogies
aiding thinking. For me, a prime value is simply that the analogy becomes a
'seed crystal' for aggregating memories (and inferences), versus (say) being
model from which to infer more about the real phenomena being analogized. (06)
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