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Re: [ontolog-forum] language vs logic - ambiguity andstartingwithdefinit

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 10:39:32 -0400
Message-id: <4C94CF24.2070801@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ferenc and Alex,    (01)

The URL pointed to the entire philosophy department at SFU.    (02)

AS> is it possible to get a source of your citations?    (03)

See http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/swartz/definitions.htm    (04)

NS> When we use the name of a term in accordance with the
 > just-reported convention we are said to be mentioning the term.    (05)

FK> My comment: (The distinction between use and mention is not
 > clear to me. To mention means to use it in speech or in writing)    (06)

Norman Swartz's article has examples to clarify that distinction:    (07)

1. Science begins with curiosity.
2. Science begins with the nineteenth letter of the English alphabet.
3. 'Science' begins with the nineteenth letter of the English alphabet.    (08)

Sentence #1 uses the word 'science' to make a statement about the
field of study and research, which many people would agree with.    (09)

Sentence #2, as Swartz said, is literally nonsense, because it seems
to say that the field of science begins with a letter of the alphabet.    (010)

Sentence #3, with the extra quotes, clarifies the point by showing
that the word 'science' is being *mentioned* as a word, but it is
not being *used* to refer to the field.    (011)

If you need more examples, see the Wikipedia:    (012)

    1. Cheese is derived from milk.
    2. Cheese is derived from a word in Old English.    (013)

Guess which sentence is using the word 'cheese' and which is
only mentioning it.  For further discussion, see    (014)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Use%E2%80%93mention_distinction    (015)

AS> But if you just need definition of definition why not use
 > definition 2.a from
 > http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/definition    (016)

That's a good question, which Swartz answers in Section 5.2,
which talks about 'lexical definitions', as found in a
typical dictionary:    (017)

    http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/swartz/definitions.htm#part5.2    (018)

The entire article covers important issues about methods of
definition that have been discussed on Ontolog Forum.  Swartz
also has other relevant articles and books.  See    (019)

    http://www.sfu.ca/philosophy/swartz/contents.htm    (020)

And by the way, Norman Swartz has been a professor emeritus
since 1998.  Universities don't keep such things on their
web sites forever.  You might download them now.    (021)

John    (022)

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