JS> But too much worrying can cause depression and despair.
It seems to me you are complicating things. (And, I guess there are a number
of philosophers who would take the same tack.) (02)
Pat's questions are perfectly good ones, that help to characterise an
Doug's proposal on intangible (presumably unperceivable) objects raises all
sorts of questions about what these could be - and Pat, to my mind raised a
perfectly good question.
It would be interesting to know how we manage to know about these
unperceivable objects, and how they manage to have such an effect on our
lives - despite have no spatial (and no temporal?) dimensions.
If one wants intangible objects in one's ontology, then one should at least
have some idea about how one might answer this. (03)
There is a reasonably simple way of explaining all this. (04)
If we talk about promises which are probably closer to our everyday
experience, rather than contracts - as they have the same intentional
If Jane makes a promise to Sarah - this is the promise.
When we ask whether this promise exists at a point in time, what does this
However, If we ask whether this promise is being made at a point in time, it
makes perfect sense.
(All so long as we do not introduce these intangible, unperceivable things.) (06)
What is interesting about Pat's question is that if all records (including
memories) of the promise are destroyed, then, one can argue that because of
its intentional nature, it is impossible to keep the promise. Even if Jane
fortuitously does exactly what she promised Sarah she would do, this is not
keeping her promise as there is no intention to do so. (07)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: 08 July 2011 14:24
> To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Why most classifications are fuzzy
> Pat and Doug,
> Philosophers have discovered, created, and occasionally solved huge
> numbers of problems over the centuries. On the whole, I would say that
> their influence has been positive. We wouldn't have modern science and
> technology if the philosophers hadn't thoroughly analyzed the many thorny
> But philosophers often create problems that nobody but a philosopher
> would ever worry about. Some amount of worrying can guard against
> disaster. But too much worrying can cause depression and despair.
> I have recommended Peirce's philosophy for one very important
> reason: it can cure an enormous amount of philosophical disease.
> Peirce created a lot of terminology of his own, but in general he
> more useless terminology and worrying than he created.
> Furthermore, all his terms can be mapped directly to logic -- that's not
> of all philosophy.
> >> When do contracts exist?
> >> Pardon for the tangential post: There is one point in this
> >> discussion that I am curious about - do contracts (or other
> >> conceptual works) exist even if all tangible record of them
> >> (including the record in the creator's brain) disappear? This was
> >> mentioned in Doug F's post (below)
> > This is a few steps past what i referred to. It really becomes a
> > meta- physical issue: "if all evidence of a non-tangible ceases to
> > exist, does the non-tangible cease to exist as well?"
> This is a symptom of a philosophical disease. Please remember the basic
> triad of Mark, Token, and Type. Every contract is a type, which can be
> embodied in one or more tokens.
> Every type is of the same nature as any mathematical structure. An
> is the mathematical definition of a dodecahedron. That defines a type.
> Every physical object that looks like a dodecahedron is a more or less
> token of that type. Asking whether a mathematical entity exists if there
> no embodiments or no mathematicians who learned or remember the
> definition is a symptom that somebody needs an aspirin to avoid an
> incipient philosophical headache.
> > How would one ever know that an identical conceptual work was created
> > if all knowledge and records of the previous work ceased to exist?
> That question could cause a migraine.
> > I try to make my classes as unfuzzy as possible.
> > This is useful for most purposes. Cyc generally does the same.
> > But it does find fuzzy classes useful for NLP stages.
> This is another issue that Peirce addressed. He used the word 'vague'
> instead of 'fuzzy', but the issues are the same.
> Peirce insisted that vagueness is *not* a degenerate stage from some
> original Platonic realm where everything is precise. Instead, he noted
> continuity is all pervasive. No discrete set of words, types, or classes
> precisely describe the physical world.
> For mathematical analysis, we often need precision in order to prove
> theorems. Just think of a dodecahedron. We couldn't prove theorems
> about them if we had to worry about the rough edges.
> But we have to remember that every physical token will be an imperfect
> embodiment for which many of those theorems will be approximations.
> Sometimes they'll be completely false.
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