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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Richard Vines" <plessons@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 05:30:33 +1000
Message-id: <003001cc5b81$cd77c8b0$68675a10$@netspace.net.au>

Hi Rich,


You have asked: Is there a way we can make progress on a self interest ontology? …. It seems to me that a much more basic understanding of self interest is needed. 


It is interesting to observe how things emerge.


From my perspective at the start of this conversation the focus was not on self-interest but on how to think about dealing with incommensurability. I have copied in below the bits of where I engaged in the first place. I was interested in your views (subjective construction) and John’s differing perspectives (analysis and rationality). I have also copied below your follow up comments calling for “a full account of self interest”.


But having said that, what has emerged in the conversation now have inter-connected threads. I think notions of self interest and incommensurability are integrally tied to each other. An account of self-interest cannot be developed if it does not deal with the challenges of incommensurability and visa versa.


You also said: I subscribe to the libertarian view that government only concentrates power in those who seek it, for whatever reason, and that the wisdom of the crowd is much more potent and effective than the wisdom of some “representative” government.  You may remember many posts back, that I was suggesting the use of a wider participation in choosing how money is spent, and how regulations are drawn, by enlisting the internet as a method for providing government direction instead of a very small elite elected group. 


Whilst I agree with this mostly, I am not sure always that the wisdom of the crowd is necessarily more potent and effective. Crowds themselves can become deluded and lost – there are plenty examples from history about this.


So, in order to progress, I think that the mediation of self interest requires a focus on mediating incommensurability (or perhaps a softer way of saying this is “semantic evolution”). Ontologies cannot be hard wired and imposed, there has to be an ability to interpret and modify these – thus I think they have to be designed explicitly to take into account the ability to apply human interpretative intelligence at multiple levels of context.


As you are suggesting, and I agree with this, that participatory democracy requires the creation of pathways of engagement at the local levels (the edges). But equally commitments to support evolutionary processes to enable the margins to influence the hierarchy. Managing for and mediating emergence is what I think is an interesting challenge.


One way of thinking about this challenge is to re think the very nature of regulation itself. Reflexive regulatory systems are embodied in all living systems (your case study tells a story about such things, because Strepta used a form of self interest regulation in the form of a chemical message).


I do not see regulation as an infringement of self-interest. It is an infringement of selfish interest and so it should be.







From RV – 8/8/2011

RC: …….., I doubt if I can contribute much more, since I have a very strong conviction that subjective construction is the missing ingredient in ontology. 


JS: There are three important issues that are worth discussing, but they should be kept distinct when we're trying to analyze them: (1.)  The technical question about how modal logic is related to possible worlds and/or possible models of the world.  (2). The philosophy of science about the nature of physical laws, and the criteria for accepting a hypothesis as a law. (3) The psychological and sociological issues about how scientists and engineers do their work and reach their conclusions.


In this discussion crossing over ontology and epistemic logic (and modalities), I am not sure why there is no reference to the nature of “evolutionary possibility”. For me, there is a need to explicitly take into account a temporal component to this analysis …. that different types of knowledge emerge through time.


I have puzzled over these matters for some time and made a first attempt to link them in section 1.3 of first part of this paper (the overarching topic being about regulatory systems not epistemology or ontology).


From RC – 8/8/2011

I think what is missing is a full and adequate accounting of self interest.  Specifically, every American (Australian, Syrian, Brit, Frenchman, …) has a unique evaluation of the process.  Jefferson anticipated compromise and balance, and did not anticipate the conglomeration of self-interests into a few major threads. 


We need to look at multiple value structures, not just logic, in how knowledge is represented, formulated, selected, interpreted and conveyed into social structures. 


-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rich Cooper
Sent: Tuesday, 16 August 2011 2:36 AM
To: doug@xxxxxxxxxx; '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology going offline


Dear John, Doug and Richard, et al,


It is clear to me (and probably to all of you as

well) that none of us is going to change his position on these issues, but we have demonstrated that we each perceive our self interest, and the facts and rules we use to maintain those perceptions, in ways unique to each of us. 


Is there a way we can make progress on a self interest ontology without solving these greater political problems?  It seems to me that a much more basic understanding of self interest is needed.  Have we reached any kind of a consensus on the bacterial film, on Use Case 1, or on other ways to advance the ontology beyond airing our individualities? 


Does anyone have a suggestion on how to proceed in light of our differences? 


Comments, suggestions, constructive ontolog fragments will be appreciated. 





Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2



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