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Re: [ontolog-forum] Conjunction and Disjunction

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Rich Cooper <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 10 Jul 2009 11:45:10 -0500
Message-id: <B2A9FECD-5F1E-4A92-B058-638CBAB0767F@xxxxxxx>

On Jul 4, 2009, at 12:37 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:

Hi John, you wrote:
RC> I see it as two disjuncts:
 >      1.    Paul goes to the water fountain;
 >      2.    Wanda goes to the water fountain;
There is no AND and no OR in either sentence.  The two sentences are two separate observations made by a system S.  Lets call them
S0     1.    Paul goes to the water fountain;
S1     2.    Wanda goes to the water fountain;
I have not yet said whether they went together, separately, yesterday, accompanied or not.  The two factual sentences S0 and S1 each stand alone.  My sensors in S have detected Paul at the water fountain, and Wanda at the water fountain, but I have not other information as to when, where, other who, other what or why.  I have not yet made the two statements S0 and S1 a conjunct or a disjuncts.  As you describe later in your email, there is no other information about them. 
RC> I don't think that Paul and Wanda have anything else going...
In any case, none of these paraphrases used the word 'or'.
Yes, but all those paraphrases came from your subjective experience, imagination and interpretation of the two statements S0 and S1. 
Given two statements detected by the sensors, there is absolutely no reason to choose AND over OR as the interpretation. 

Wrong. The choice here is determined by the TRUTH CONDITIONS on the use of the words 'and' and 'or'. not by anything to do with the observations themselves. P AND Q means that both of P and Q are true. You say this yourself, above, when you say that ".. detected Paul at the water fountain, and Wanda at the water fountain.." Notice the 'and' in there. To repeat, this has nothing whatever to do with any kind of 'connection' between the P and the Q. They can be utterly unrelated to one another in any way at all: still, the truth conditions on (P and Q) are different from those for (P or Q)

Pat Hayes

So I can build an FOL algebra using the two statements as separately represented facts {S0, S1} without reaching any conclusions about them at all.  The very first thing I sense is the OR condition S0 happened, S1 happened, other than that I know nothing else. 

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