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Re: [ontolog-forum] Oooh, FOL is too hard to learn.

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010 08:31:15 -0400
Message-id: <4CBD8F93.6070901@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 10/19/2010 7:46 AM, FERENC KOVACS wrote:
> Or why John Sowa believes that semantics covers just what he likes it
> to be defined in formal logic? Why semiotics is forgotten about not to
> to mention many other ways of communication which all carry meaning?
> Like what abot spatial semantics, biosemiotics, etc?    (01)

This thread started with issues related to the Semantic Web and related
computational systems.  I made the point that many programmers avoid
learning logic because it is too hard.  Instead, they invent very
limited subsets of logic, which don't interoperate smoothly with
other subsets.  Then somebody extracted one part of one of my
comments and created a new thread.    (02)

Re semiotics:  I love to talk about semiotics and biosemiotics.
But that was not the topic from which this thread began.  As Peirce
said, formal logic is one part of a more general study about how
any system of signs expresses information about any subject of
any kind.  It is one part of the much more general theory of
semiotics.    (03)

As Saussure said, linguistics is also one part of the much
more general theory of signs.  And all communication in general
is one part of the much more general theory of signs.    (04)

And every living organism responds to signs from the environment,
including other organisms, and every aspect of its response creates
signs that can be interpreted by other organisms.  That includes
all animal signs (zoosemiotics) and plant signs (phytosemiotics).
It goes all the way down to bacterial colonies that communicate
by generating and interpreting signs.    (05)

In fact all larger organisms are highly organized colonies of
single cells that communicate via chemical, electrical, and
tactile signs.  The neural systems of animals are designed for
high-speed long-distance communication throughout the body,
especially to that huge colony of neurons called the brain.    (06)

But none of these topics were included in the original thread
from which this subthread was extracted.  That is why they
weren't mentioned in the previous discussion.    (07)

But if you are interested in how I would relate semiotics
to language and logic, following is a paper I wrote on that
topic:    (08)

    The Role of Logic and Ontology in Language and Reasoning    (09)

Note that it doesn't mention semiotics in the title, but the
heading for the second section is:    (010)

    2. A Semiotic Foundation for Ontology    (011)

In any case, I have to leave on a short trip, and I probably
won't have time to respond to further points during the next
few days.    (012)

John    (013)

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