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[ontolog-forum] Are you still worried about reality?

To: "'Godfrey Rust'" <godfrey.rust@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Thomas DiGennaro" <thomasdigennaro@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 17:45:35 -0600
Message-id: <877BC27EEA3D43BAA00FBA3094BB406C@White>

Dear Pre-post-moderns,

We can indeed agree that an ontology that approximates reality (in a certain set of contexts) is VERY useful.  And that’s all we need right now.


We’ll leave perfection to God (or an approximation thereof) and to the software engineers inclined in that direction.


So let’s move to post-post-modern and realize that the context-dependence of our discourse is important and of great value – and cannot stop us from solving problems like making money or keeping a job.

(By the way, there’s a new novel by Nabokov soon...  Maybe we’ll have to change our ideas about everything?)



From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Godfrey Rust
Sent: Friday, 30 October, 2009 2:30 PM
To: Bill Andersen; [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?




I agree with your conclusion on agreement. What I was objecting to, really, was what I perceived to be another straw man argument, because I hardly think there is anyone on this forum who argues against the possibility of ontology - plenty of argument about the nature and usefulness (and otherwise) of it.


I note Chris Menzel's latest contribution to this thread, and Sean Barker's separate discussion to Matthew West on reality, and they seem to me to be about much same thing. Most of us believe there are "real" things, and we make assumptions about them, about which we agree or disagree. Ontology is both about "reality" and our way of talking about it. There may be a few diehard postmoderns (from whom Chris Menzel disassociates himself, and I would guess everyone else in this particular set of exchanges?) who believe there is no external reality but only our views of it, but in using their ontologies they will still find themselves engaged in negotiating agreement or disagreement over whether they share a common view of unreality with anyone else, so it seems to amount to the same thing in practice.



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