Dear Bill (A)
We're all prepared to agree on a lot of common
working assumptions about reality with certain other people, and to trust those
to a greater or lesser degree. Many of those assumptions are, in
practice, more or less universally
held. But I didn't read any argument
with that in what Bill (B) was saying about what is *real* - I took that to
be a statement about our inability to lay certain claim to objective truth
(and excuse me if I misread). Agreement doesn't make something true
- it just means its agreed. Even
Einstein said everything is an approximation, though the maths may still
get a NASA spaceship accurately to Mars. Betting our life on something
is faith, not absolute knowledge, even if its a really good bet; and not every
airplane lands safely.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 3:08
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is
an Ontology, Anyway?
On Oct 30, 2009, at 09:09 , Burkett, William [USA] wrote:
who is any of us to say how things *are* in the world. All we
can realistically do is express our view of
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.
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