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Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 11:08:39 -0400
Message-id: <E8CE0C53-74C3-4B89-B9E0-3E78937473C1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Bill

On Oct 30, 2009, at 09:09 , Burkett, William [USA] wrote:

Besides: who is any of us to say how things *are* in the world.  All we can realistically do is express our view of them.

Well, for starters we'd need to consider how certain one needs to be of some propositions to say things "are" that way (the propositions are true).  Or how certain we need to be to grant license to another to do so.  Assuming we can get past that, though...

Every day we give license to others to say how things "are" in the world.  Those include at one extreme mathematicians (leaving off what part of that is "in the world"), followed by physicists, engineers, biologists, etc.  In some cases we bet our lives on their being right about how things "are" - for example the last time you or I set foot on an airplane.

So, your version of Kantianism kind of doesn't hold up in practice, not to mention the fact that you seem quite sure of the reality (i.e. being "in the world") of language, yourself, etc in expressing those views.


Bill Andersen 
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