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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 15 Mar 2010 18:47:11 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <1dd913337f6d12ed8100ea98f9ada4eb.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Dear Matthew and Pat,

I'm traveling now, and I don't have time to say much on email.  Just some short clarifications.

PH>> The lattice of theories idea is solid, Of course. But I don't believe
>> that your intended application of it to solve the 3D/4D issue is fully
>> worked out, and I won't accept that until I see the proposed 'neutral/
>> minimal' theory that is supposed to be the lattice intersection of the
>> 3D and 4D ontologies. I will bet you a steak dinner that it can't be
>> done.

The neutral theory is one that has very few axioms.  It basically consists of predicates for recording instances of frogs, tadpoles, and eggs and checking a calendar and clock to record the date and time of the observations..

It can't support many inferences of any kind --.certainly nothing that would create a contradiction.with either a 3D or a 4D ontology.

MW:> I had not understood John to be proposing a solution to the 3D/4D
> issue,
> only a framework within which the problem could be managed and minimized.
> I
> think that could be both interesting and useful.

That point is closer to what I was trying to do, but even that is more than I was claiming.

My only claim was that if you have a language (logic + trivial ontology) that is used only to record observations at various times and dates, it can generate data that could be used by richer theories with either a 3D or a 4D ontology.

I also made a more general claim:

Richer theories might conflict with one another about their theoretical frameworks. But to the extent that they are both consistent with the way the world  works, any predictions either one makes that can be stated only in the trivial observation language cannot contradict with any predictions made by the other that are also limited to the observation language.

For example, the theoretical foundations of relativity and quantum mechanics are both inconsistent with Newtonian mechanics.  But for observation statements about humanly perceptible objects at ordinary speeds, all three theories make predictions that are consistent with one another within the limits of precision of the human senses. 

I believe that what I just said is obvious.  I don't claim that it solves any kind of theoretical conflict between any theories -- for the simple reason that it doesn't make any theoretical claims that could conflict with any of the theories we have been discussing (3D, 4D,  Newtonian, relativity or QM).


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