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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 18 Jul 2011 13:26:26 -0700
Message-id: <DD67F256-6D89-4CD3-833B-0CFB90BF842C@xxxxxxxx>
On Jul 12, 2011, at 2:46 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
> ...
> But one of the most dangerous philosophical diseases is to adopt
> an approach that works well for one kind of problem and try
> to apply it to everything -- the "only tool" syndrome.
> For example, purely extensional representations are useful for
> talking about physical objects and processes, but they cannot
> deal with anything that involves intentionality.  They cannot
> answer any question that begins with the word 'why'.  They
> can't represent a goal, a promise, or a contract.    (01)

Not that I'm a big fan of such approaches, but by quantifying over possible 
worlds a great deal involving intentionality can be dealt with extensionally  
cf., notably, the work of David Lewis. Of course, there is great controversy 
surrounding the adequacy of such approaches, but it is at the least misleading 
simply to assert that extensional representations "cannot deal with anything 
that involves intentionality" as if this were established fact.    (02)

-chris    (03)

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