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Re: [ontolog-forum] Fwd: Re: Using controlled natural languages for onto

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 15 Mar 2011 15:24:18 -0500
Message-id: <4D7FCAF2.2020603@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

Thanks for the URL of that bibliography.  It's quite useful.    (02)

> "50 Years of Events: An Annotated Bibliography 1947 to 1997" 
>(http://goo.gl/kTxgM).    (03)

In any case, I certainly agree that events are semantic,
as I pointed out in my response to Rich.    (04)

But I am constantly frustrated that so many philosophers think that
"event semantics" began with Davidson in his "seminal paper" of 1967.    (05)

Davidson himself admitted that what convinced him to do graduate work
in philosophy was Whitehead's final course at Harvard, which D. took
in his senior year.  Unfortunately, it was a "bait & switch" trap,
because he got stuck with Quine as his thesis advisor.    (06)

Peirce explicitly quantified over events in the 19th century,
and Whitehead treated events as the primary entities in his
ontology.  But Q's Word and Object was a disaster for ontology.
It misled a generation of poor benighted philosophers to think
that only physical objects (and abstract sets) were worthy
of an existential quantifier.    (07)

Davidson had to wait until he had tenure before he had enough
courage to say what he should have said in his PhD dissertation.
Of course, he probably would have been destroyed by Quine if
he had said it earlier.    (08)

Earning a PhD with Q. as his adviser gave him enough credibility
that he could say the obvious.  As late as the 1990s, Strawson
wrote that event semantics was "a needless complication".    (09)

John    (010)

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