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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 14:52:28 -0400
Message-id: <4E3C3BEC.2070904@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 8/5/2011 12:04 PM, Rich Cooper wrote:
> An engineering model is in no way even remotely
> similar to a possible world.    (01)

The difference between your two definitions is not only insignificant,
it's almost nonexistent:    (02)

  1. "A possible world is, for the most part, a fantasy of what
     might possibly happen, but can't be experienced in this
     world."    (03)

  2. "a model (for us engineers) is an abstraction of reality
     subject to validation."    (04)

The word 'fantasy' is a value judgment.  A more neutral term
is 'specification'.  The term 'abstraction of reality' is
another term for 'specification'.    (05)

The only question is whether there is any detectable difference
between the two qualifying phrases.    (06)

For the first, the term 'possible' means that the specification
is sufficiently similar to our real world that it could be
realized by some modification.  Before that modification has
been made, it couldn't be experienced.  But afterwards, it could.    (07)

For the second, the term 'subject to validation' means that one
could verify that the specification is consistent with the laws
of the world (i.e., sufficiently similar) that it could be
"validated" (i.e., realized by some modification).  Before that
modification has been made, the model couldn't be experienced.
But afterwards, it could.    (08)

Those two qualifying phrases were stated in different ways,
but their implications are either identical or sufficiently
similar that they have a very high overlap.    (09)

I'll admit that some modifications necessary for some possible
worlds could be difficult or impossible to achieve by modifying
our current world.  An example would be a trip back in time to
meet Beethoven, Julius Caesar, or Moses.  But it could be solved
by an engineering model of a time machine, which would be equally
difficult to validate.    (010)

So the only difference between the two is a matter of degree.
If we allow mental models and/or virtual reality as well as
ordinary engineering models, that difference vanishes.    (011)

> The world is much larger than FOL and ontology can
> possibly enfold.    (012)

I'll admit that the world may be more complex than we can
imagine.  But any specification that we can imagine and
put into words could be translated to FOL.    (013)

John    (014)

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