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[ontolog-forum] Language and logic

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: FERENC KOVACS <f.kovacs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2009 08:08:52 +0000 (GMT)
Message-id: <785395.80938.qm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat wrote:
It should be clear that an infinite number of objects or
terms can be represented by combinations of a small finite number of
primitive concepts (objects, relations, functions).  Whether or not human
language can be mapped to a set of fixed concepts based on such a finite set
of primitives is still an empirical question.  The continuity of reality
does not preclude finding primitives that can specify the boundary points
for useful concepts lexicalized in human languages.
end of quote
Reality (falsification) checks by humans depend not just on (formal) logic as we know that today, but empirical evidence that are difficult to gather at nano and cosmo level becasue of the distances and scales and speed of change. But as far as we can tell changes taking place at unimaginable speed such as fusion and explosion do take place due to forces not perceived per se, but materialising in consequences and inferenced through theories. Visible changes suggest that are a couple of objects taking part in the assembly of larger objects, as evidenced in nuclear physics, genetic engineering, etc.
Theories such as Frege's claim that semantic parsing should result in terminal symbols such as synsets, morphemes, etc. that have "meaning" do not necessary hold true for cebnturies, nor wouzld Greek philosopy be considered untouchable. To see what standard contemporary linguists have to say on the subject check out semenatics as seen by David Crystal. But do not read anything from Steve Pinker who is deemed to be the number one linguist today (he was a psychologist originally) unless you want to have a good laugh. Especially I refer to his The stuff of thought, which is a long story made up in metafors without ONE definition in the whole "product" that makes sense. 
David Crystal: Making Sense of Grammar, Pearson Education Longman, 2004 , London 400 p. ISBN 978-0-582-84863-4


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