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Re: [ontolog-forum] Run, put, and set

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 11 Jun 2011 12:31:05 -0700
Message-id: <20110611193106.F0301138C98@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>



Wittgenstein may have named “language games”, but that name is NOT an explanation of the games.  From what I read, he never got around to bothering with defining language games, just by categorizing them as something to explain what he didn’t know, sort of like ether in the 19th century.  I could name it “language puzzles” or “communication models” or “collaborative assertions” which would be just as informative.  So Wittgenstein doesn’t answer the question – he just pushes it off.  I think you may need to question your position on this one.  


The Freudians have a well reviewed theoretical basis for their construal which is consistent with what we know of evolution, both for human and animal.  They have experimental evidence which they are also able to construe as supporting the Freudian tenets of sexual reproduction, evolution, and all the economic interactions among mother, father, offspring, relatives and non relatives.  


Further, the evidence from tribal societies is that sexual processes guide the behavior of primitive peoples – not ALL of it, but much of the behavior is sexually motivated whether consciously or unconsciously.  Tribes in the Amazon which have seldom if ever seen a civilized visitor are known to use tribal warfare to kill males and enslave females – clearly that is done for sexual reasons, and leads to offspring of the conquering men and the enslaved women, residing with the conquerors out of fear and force.  


But sexual selection is only one explanatory theoretical framework.  There are many others, all motivated by evolutionary frameworks, such as kinship, charity to less fortunate (but genetically similar) people, even lying and cheating which have their own detection mechanisms in the human brain. 


So to dodge the question by blaming it on Wittgenstein doesn’t provide ANY answer to the question.  It just names the unknown and refuses to go deeper into the issues necessary to understand language at some level of practical automation.  


You wrote:

All word senses develop from the situations in which they are used. 

That's the point of Wittgenstein's later philosophy about language games.


Word interpretations are made by the INDIVIDUAL who is IN THE SITUATION, not by the SITUATION, which is an abstraction of a much more detailed and specific reality.  The words are necessarily interpreted subjectively; that is the only way an individual CAN interpret utterances, writings, signs, symbols or actions – through his own direct experience throughout his lifetime development.  


In my opinion, there is no abstract language; there is only what you have designated in a previous email as “rhetoric”.  ALL language is messaging from one person to at least one other person, perhaps even the same person reasoning with himself over past experience and current issues.  


When “logic” is defined to be orthogonal from “rhetoric” based on that single predicate, I find the definition to be unsatisfactory.  Rhetoric is always at play in language, and never goes away to leave some abstraction called logic.  The purposes of language include informing, convincing, explaining, deduction, induction, and “proof by emphatic assertion.”  Rhetoric is embedded in every scientific paper, in every theorem and proof, in every explanation that passes as science.  


Please give more thought to your position on this.  I think it is important for the future of automating linguistic competence.  Our software should discuss our needs and then find a way to fill or ameliorate them.  To do so requires, IMHO, logic embedded into rhetoric. 






Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Friday, June 10, 2011 10:36 PM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Run, put, and set



Those comments you quoted are reasonable, but the point remains that those words have a very large number of senses.

> With this kind of evidence from dedicated practitioners, mustn't we
> conclude that Run, Put and Set are also interpreted subjectively, and
> situationally, rather than lexically?

All word senses develop from the situations in which they are used.

That's the point of Wittgenstein's later philosophy about language games.

The meaning of a word or the multiple meanings arise from the multiple ways of using the word in different situations for different purposes.


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