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Re: [ontolog-forum] 3D+1 (was presentism...was blah blah blah)

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: FERENC KOVACS <f.kovacs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2011 03:31:35 +0000 (GMT)
Message-id: <461017.76164.qm@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

May I add:


John: The problem is that there are no clear criteria for distinguishing objects and events.  It all depends on point of view, purpose, and time scale.


Ferenc: Not only that: while objects are existing in spacetime, and they have boundaires and they are considered to be one and a whole (an entity) events are abstractions, and their boundaries are vague, subject to the the verb that expresses or describes them. It is usal to classify verbs to denote actions, happenings, states and events, but when you ook at the defintion of event you find “something that happens, a phenomenon located, a special set of circumstances or a fundamental observatioal entity, etc.” In other words the subject is not defined either, because a verb without which you cannot define an event a) does not make sense without details, b) can be in either of the two forms to indicate a state or a completion of an action, in other words “becoming” in the Whiteheadean sense. The most generic verb is change, in par with object and property, and it expresses relation and operation as I have recently posted in this thread. The typology of verbs to thematic roles does not help much, because while it is true that most verbs show an outcome or result, and other words just suggest a state or condition to prevail, they are still not very suitbale for a similar dscription to an objejct in spacetime, as it is idifficult to see the boundaries of an event, which is then a concept, therefore should be treated in terms of intension and extension.


Here are John’s examples of the points above:

John: People talk about a storm as an event, but the Great Red Spot on Jupiter is a storm that has been visible for several hundred years, and nobody knows how long it existed before earth-bound telescopes were powerful enough to observe it.
Every animal body is a very complex process, and any pause in that process for just a few minutes will kill the animal.

Ferenc: This example shows that an event is not a point of a sequence of operations, triggered by one input, but by several. To have fire buriniong you need oxygene, inlamablematerial and heat in the environment, or there is no fire to start. Death comes to a peson when he does not get enough oxygene in his brain for certain amount of time – all the other ciurcusmtances are just leading to this final set up, a pac in a Petri net to fire.

John: Even the lump of platinum that represents the standard kilogram in
Paris is slowly losing atoms, and the difference is measurable.


Ferenc: which suggests that objects and abstarctions like realtions and properties also have their life cycles to be known.

John: As a fundamental metaphysics, I very much prefer Whitehead's process ontology (as presented in his book _Process and Reality_).


Ferenc: So do I.

John: In Whitehead's ontology, 'physical object' is just a relative term characterized by a "permanence amidst the flux" that enables a slowly changing process to be recognized at repeated occurrences -- at least within a suitable time scale. In short, the terms 'physical object' and 'event' are context-dependent terms that can be useful for some applications, but they're not fundamental.


Ferenc:which is a little exageration on Whitehead”s behalf. But certianly it is a basic feature of our thinking to isolate an object from the rest of the objects in order to be able to analyze it either physically or mentally. So the ensuing results of properties and relations will all be abstractions that do not exist on their own, but in association opf the physical objects selected.




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