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Re: [ontolog-forum] Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping

To: mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: David Leal <david.leal@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 18 Feb 2010 18:12:51 +0000
Message-id: <>
Dear Chris,    (01)

The book sounds interesting, but "without numbers" is not necessarily
"without mathematics".    (02)

Best regards,
David    (03)

At 16:18 18/02/2010 -0000, you wrote:
>> I would almost be interested to see your model of the real world without
>> mathematics.
>If you are raising concerns about how this could be done, then Pat might
>like to point you to Hartry Field's book - Science Without Numbers - for an
>example, but this may not be what you are looking for.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
>> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rob Freeman
>> Sent: 18 February 2010 07:55
>> To: cmenzel@xxxxxxxx; [ontolog-forum]
>> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping
>> Chris, Pat, Azamat,
>> On Thu, Feb 18, 2010 at 9:30 AM, Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
>> wrote:
>> > On Wed, 2010-02-17 at 11:32 +1300, Rob Freeman wrote:
>> > ...
>> >> I'm happy you agree the axiomatic set theories of mathematics are
>> >> such incompatible theories.
>> >
>> > I agree with no such thing
>> You don't agree the axiomatic set theories of mathematics are
>> >> Your other arguments are with the authors of my references. As I
>> >> understand it you dispute the first author's use of the word
>> >> "theories" instead of the word "logics".
>> >
>> > There isn't really anything to dispute, as if there are two sides to
>> > the issue.  "logic" is simply the wrong word.
>> >
>> >> And you dispute second authors their proud claim of precedence for
>> >> Thoralf Skolem.
>> >
>> > They never claimed precedence for anything.  And again there is
>> > nothing to dispute.  The authors simply gave an incorrect informal
>> > characterization of the L-S theorem.
>> So you dispute my use of the words "dispute" and "precedence", as well as
>> first author's use of the word "theories" instead of "logics", and the
>> authors' "characterization of the L-S theorem."
>> Additionally in this thread I think Azamat Abdoullaev is calling me
>> because I am asking for information about Thoralf Skolem.
>> More interesting is the argument you are developing Pat, in this and the
>> threads. I'll try and enlarge on this a bit.
>> Pat, you seem to be proposing a vast breach between mathematics and the
>> world, so that you can separate yourself from the demonstrable
>impossibility of
>> a complete theory of mathematics, and keep your preconceptions about
>> universal meaning alive in some non-mathematical realm of the "real
>> defined mostly by its non-mathematicality.
>> It's an ambitious effort. You deserve more credit than Chris, because you
>> absorbing arguments and responding to them creatively. Chris just disputes
>> interpretations. Honestly, I respect ambitious and creative efforts.
>> I can understand why you want to take such a radical step in a way.
>> Intuitively the real world does ground our intuitions. It is something
>objective. It
>> makes sense you should be able to relate meanings based on it. If
>> refuses to match this expectation, the temptation to abandon mathematics
>> must be strong, despite the enormous utility of mathematics in every
>> constructive interpretation of the real world since... Stonehenge?
>> I would almost be interested to see your model of the real world without
>> mathematics.
>> It is a lot to abandon just so that you can keep your preconceptions about
>> universal meaning though.
>> Anyway, thanks for asking for more detail on my own ideas:
>> Pat C: 'Perhaps you could provide more detail for your alternative method
>> achieving general accurate semantic interoperability?  The sentence above
>> conjures up nothing concrete in my imagination.  How does one "implement
>> interoperability based on overlaps between sets [of observations]"???'
>> Actually, what I am proposing is not so very far from your "real world
>> mathematics". It is just that this universal arbiter won't be a
>> theory about the real world. It won't be a theory at all, not a single
>one. What I
>> think can be the objective arbiter are *observations* about the real
>world. The
>> only trick is we must accept these same observations can lead to
>> contradictory, theories.
>> We can keep mathematics. Mathematics just becomes another (ultimately
>> contradictory) interpretation of real-world observations.
>> On one level, to provide something concrete to relate the discussion to,
>you can
>> think of what I am proposing as case-based reasoning.
>> There are differences with the way case-based reasoning is usually
>> today. We would not assume a finite, non-contradictory solution set for a
>> But as an initial intuition for how such a model would work, case-based
>> reasoning gives you some idea.
>> But I'll step back and let you attack that before I say more.
>> It may be moot anyway, because John's "catch-all" project may be
>> broad to resolve most of the disputes of interest to Ontolog members.
>> If the entire list is willing to get behind a project which takes as its
>> principle that there is no single complete theory, that may be the best we
>> hope for at this stage, and I would like to encourage that.
>> On the topic. I recall Doug F. mentioned some weeks back that
>> were largely dropped from Cyc:
>> Doug F, Feb. 2:
>> 'This separation is something that Cyc worked on for years through its
>> "microtheory" (context) system, but then (for reasons of philosophical
>> purity) to a great extent discarded.'
>> I didn't want to be distracted by this at the time, but can you clarify
>Doug? What
>> were the "reasons of philosophical purity" which caused Cyc to discard
>> microtheories? Did they work, but get discarded because of the expectation
>> there should be a single theory, or did they not work? If they didn't
>work, why
>> didn't they work?
>> -Rob    (04)

David Leal
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