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Re: [ontolog-forum] Why most classifications are fuzzy

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 08 Jul 2011 14:18:23 -0400
Message-id: <4E1749EF.5040705@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ali,    (01)

I agree that those are very important issues.  What I described in my
earlier note was just the starting point.  There is much, much more.    (02)

And thanks for the reference to the article by Garret Wilson.  It makes
some good points.  Unfortunately, his philosophical background is not
as thorough as it should be.  His diagram of philosophical influences
is very incomplete.   The jurist Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. was not only
influenced by C. S. Peirce, he was a member of the metaphysical society
that CSP founded along with William James.  In fact, they were family
friends.  OWH Sr. wrote a poem as a eulogy for CSP's father Benjamin.
(see below).    (03)

> Yet in legal scenarios, one might not necessarily have a direct
> token let alone mark, getting to a type is often result of multiple
> inference steps. This is particularly true in common law jurisdictions,
> where no actual contract may exist...    (04)

Yes, indeed.  Peirce even extended his signs to dogs, parrots, and bees.
You don't need paper for a contract.  In fact, you don't even need a
human language.  If you feed a stray animal on a regular basis until it
is tamed and comes to depend on your assistance, you have established
a de facto contract and have assumed responsibility for its welfare.    (05)

Saint-Exupery made that point in his book _The Little Prince_:
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed."    (06)

AH quoting G. Wilson:
> There Levi describes the process of precedence as being divided into
> three phases: First, a legal concept is built up as cases are compared.
> Later the concept becomes fixed, although individual instances may be
> classified within or without that concept.    (07)

Yes.  That would apply to forming an unspoken contract with one's pet.    (08)

In that very brief summary of Peirce's semiotics, I emphasized the
oepn-ended metalevels of signs about signs.  See p. 8 for an example:    (09)

    http://jfsowa.com/pubs/rolelog.pdf    (010)

Figure 3 on p. 8 is just the beginning.  Aristotle alludes to that use
of signs about signs and the medieval Scholastics developed it further.
But Peirce systematized it.  Although he didn't draw the triangles
explicitly, he emphasized that any node of any triangle could be a
node that coincided with up to 3 other triangles.    (011)

________________________________________________________________    (012)

Eulogy written by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. for Benjamin Peirce,
the father of Charles Sanders Peirce.    (013)


FOR him the Architect of all
Unroofed our planet's starlit hall;
Through voids unknown to worlds unseen
His clearer vision rose serene.    (015)

With us on earth he walked by day,
His midnight path how far away!
We knew him not so well who knew
The patient eyes his soul looked through;    (016)

For who his untrod realm could share
Of us that breathe this mortal air,
Or camp in that celestial tent
Whose fringes gild our firmament?    (017)

How vast the workroom where he brought
The viewless implements of thought!
The wit how subtle, how profound,
That Nature's tangled webs unwound;    (018)

That through the clouded matrix saw
The crystal planes of shaping law,
Through these the sovereign skill that planned,--
The Father's care, the Master's hand!    (019)

To him the wandering stars revealed
The secrets in their cradle sealed
The far-off, frozen sphere that swings
Through ether, zoned with lucid rings;    (020)

The orb that rolls in dim eclipse
Wide wheeling round its long ellipse,--
His name Urania writes with these
And stamps it on her Pleiades.    (021)

We knew him not? Ah, well we knew
The manly soul, so brave, so true,
The cheerful heart that conquered age,
The childlike silver-bearded sage.    (022)

No more his tireless thought explores
The azure sea with golden shores;
Rest, wearied frame I the stars shall keep
A loving watch where thou shalt sleep.    (023)

Farewell! the spirit needs must rise,
So long a tenant of the skies,--
Rise to that home all worlds above
Whose sun is God, whose light is love.    (024)

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