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Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: Breaking News: Google supports GoodRelations

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 18:30:26 -0600
Message-id: <4CDC8AA2.8020607@xxxxxxxx>
On 11/11/2010 09:19 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> Pavithra,
> I agree that it's a poor choice of example to start an explanation,
> and I wish that Peirce had used a different one.  But I was quoting
> his exact words.
> ...
> In some cases, such as the Donner party trying to cross the mountains
> in a snowstorm or people floating in a lifeboat after a shipwreck,
> it may be logical.  And I would not say that cannibals are illogical.
> In some cases they are very logical, but perhaps with some dubious
> starting assumptions.    (01)

I think this response muddies the waters, John.  To think that it is
relevant that the behavior that Peirce's example describes is in some
way irrational conflates *logical* issues with *psychological* or
*ethical* issues, and your pointing out that there are scenarios under
which the behavior might be justifiable encourages the confusion.  Other
things being equal, Peirce could just as well have chosen an example
involving a type of behavior so perverse that it is not even possible to
construct a scenario under which it is rational (torturing children for
personal pleasure, say) and, from a strictly logical point of view, it
wouldn't have made one bit of difference to his purpose, which was to
illustrate how to represent the *logical form* of a certain class of
sentences with CGs.  Of course, other things aren't equal -- people are
not purely rational beings and so it makes good sense for expository
purposes not to risk distracting or disgusting one's readers with a
gruesome example.  But that's a pragmatic matter only, not a logical
one.    (02)

-chris    (03)

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