> Correct. All I was objecting to was the usual
move I perceived (the other) Bill of making,
>which is to toss out some kind of Kantian argument
against the possibility of ontology.
Am I the other Bill? I said that? No, I didn’t.
You’re running with an interpretation of my statement that wasn’t
intended. You Kant do that to me! ;-)
When I said: “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.”
I wasn’t questioning the value of either ontology or
science. While science is “an _expression_ of our view of the world”,
the whole practice of science has made it very valuable _expression_ of how
things “are” – so much so that we can get on a plane with a
high degree of comfort, confidence, and security. Yes, we have granted “license”,
as you say, to scientists and engineers to interpret how things “are”
in the world – and success of science/engineering gives us the confidence
to do so. But it’s all just a model that has worked objectively and
repeatable-ly within our realm of experience.
My point is that there is an unavoidable and inherent
subjectivity to all expressions of how things “are” in the world (to
a greater or lesser extent depending on how the _expression_ was created) and it’s
a misguided to think that one can unequivocally assert how things “are”.
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bill
Sent: Friday, October 30, 2009 1:08 PM
To: Godfrey Rust; [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?
On Oct 30, 2009, at 13:52 , Godfrey Rust wrote:
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.
Correct. All I was objecting to was the usual move I
perceived (the other) Bill of making, which is to toss out some kind of Kantian
argument against the possibility of ontology. This seems
counterproductive. And I definitely am not confusing agreement in some
community on the use of terms with truth. What I said, albeit not as
explicitly as I might have, was that in certain domains (such as science) this
is the kind of "reality" we get pretty reliable access to. You
called it "agreement". I call it regularity in the world.
I'd suspect most scientists would agree it's not simply a matter of
agreement on the use of terms.
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