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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 03 Aug 2011 23:04:01 -0400
Message-id: <4E3A0C21.9010000@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Matthew,    (01)

> JFS: But any information about the future that "seems" to come from
> an extensional analysis of some 4D region is always derivable
> from the intensional specifications that determine or predict
> those possible worlds (or those spatio-temporal regions).    (02)

> MW: Yes, and any information about the future that "seems" to arise from
> intensional specifications is actually a possible world or some part of one.    (03)

I'm happy with the word "yes", and I'd like to stop at that point.    (04)

But using the word "actually" with possible worlds seems to suggest
that they're actual.  If you want to use them as a Gedanken experiment
or heuristic to stimulate the imagination, I can't complain.  But I
would claim that they can always be eliminated.    (05)

> MW: Well I spent 30 years working for Shell, an organization that lived and
> thrived by creating plans and then executing them. My usage is just how I
> found the word being used there.    (06)

I have some doubts about the last sentence.  People can work together
successfully for 30 years and have surprisingly different thoughts
about their subject when you start probing (along the lines we have
been doing in this thread).    (07)

I would really like to see a quotation from some report at Shell
that supports the claim "just how I found the word being used there".    (08)

> MW: I've spent enough of my working life doing planning that I know full
> well that you have not produced a plan that anyone will accept as such when
> you have done no more than state the boundary conditions. Only when you have
> produced a solution that satisfies those boundary conditions do you have
> something a budget holder would sign of as a plan.    (09)

I agree.  But the method of deriving the intermediate steps develops
a partially ordered set of subgoals.  A PERT chart, for example, shows
all the steps and subgoals.  When you get to the lowest level details,
there is almost no difference between an imperative command (action
type) and a precondition-postcondition declaration.  You can have
a one-to-one correspondence.    (010)

John    (011)

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