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Re: [ontolog-forum] Constructs, primitives, terms

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: William Frank <williamf.frank@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2012 16:11:22 -0500
Message-id: <CALuUwtCbi8FL5F6qLct+P877ZHa_TLhxrJ_MaALc5_A3P_TqrQ@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I have one big question about this, for the group as a whole, I wonder how widely held is the "reasoning" and opinions expressed by Rich below in this group. I am surprised to see views on these matters aired on what I thought was a scientific forum, views very far off what I thought was the subject. I am sorry for using your time further on such a matter, but it ***really** confuses me so to find this stuff here; I would like to understand better what s going on.

On Sat, Mar 10, 2012 at 2:19 PM, Rich Cooper <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Dear Hans,

Thanks for your reply. Please see my responses embedded into your email below,



Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

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

From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Hans Polzer
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 12:40 PM

To: '[ontolog-forum] '
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Constructs, primitives, terms


I think it would be better not to use terms like “semantic baggage”, which suggest some lack of objectivity on the part of whoever defined C.

I can’t take credit for that term; David was the first to use it, but I heartily agree with the term because I firmly believe that the originator(s) of any ontology necessarily exercised their subjective cache of beliefs to create the ontology. That is really my point in this discussion.

Many perhaps most reflectively people would agree that it is impossible to completely eliminate subjectivity, just as it is impossible to be completely sure what is true, or what is right. But from this, none of the rest of what you say follows.

People are always subjective, even when pretending toward the objective view.

If this is true, then is not your stating this view above entirely a matter of your ***own*** subjective view, and is therefore something noone else should care about, since they either have their own subjective views, equally as good as yours, or are perhaps to be persuaded that uttering the same statements as you will maybe be in their personal interest, as the group that shares your views might be able to exert power of them, if they disagree?

Doesn't the word "pretending" means that you know what you are doing is not real, and you are making no attempt to conform to what is real. Is everyone who tries to get closer to the truth just 'pretending' they are?

Does it follow that when people try to get closer to objectivity, they are only "pretending", rather than honestly trying to be *more* objective, be *closer* to the truth? does it follow when people try to find the truth, they are doing no more than saying whatever will most benefit them? Does this mean that a newspaper might as well make up whatever it wants, that Pravda was *just* as objective as the Times, because both were influence by the glasses they wore? Don't the matters of degree make any difference?  (Of course, there are no degrees, if we accepted your view. Every view is as correct as any other) Does this mean that scientists are wrongly chastised for making up thier data? If so, why should we bother to converse? Or maybe if it meets their ends, they are right to make up data? Is it even possible for their to be a difference between made up data and other data, if it is all just pretending at being objective?

We see our world through the glasses of a subjective experience from birth to now. Objectivity is what we call it when people don’t disagree much on a concept.

So, the only judge is what others say. So, when they believed that the world was flat, because others agreed, that was objective truth? When the Concil of Constance said it was right to burn Huss as a heretic without listening to what he had to say, because who should listen to a heretic, that was reason, because it was accepted by the group? Then, the only reason others might disagree with this is because the belong to some group that does so? If so, why bother? Because you are pursuing your own interests? If so, does this mean you can murder whomever you like, as long as your group, however you define it, agrees. Can there be groups of one?

That is why people can agree on very simple ontologies such as Dublin Core, but not on more complex ontologies.

Well, what happens if I disagree with the Dublin Core? I am simply excommunicated from the group? Does this mean the core cannot change? Unless somebody with more power comes along to make it change, or unless the majority happens to changes its view like lemmings running over a cliff? If the majority is always right, which majority? Or is every majority right? From your account of why to say things, I can only think that I should agree with the dublin core because it wil help me get a job, or stay in this august group, etc, becuase that is the only kind of being right there is.

It follows to me from what you say above, that the Dublin core must be only a sociological metric, that records whatever its current members happen to say. But, if when I read what the core says, if I find it to be a disertation on the quality of Bulgarian poliphonic music, I have made no possible mistake.

On the contrary, have found that people instead are able to understand that they way they use words is part of a viewpoint, that not all others might not share, but that some must, and when they are asked to consider these other viewpoints, are able to see value in them, and see how their own viewpoint might fit in as a part of a bigger whole,  that such people now know something important to know, that is *true*, and that science represents advances in truth, (at least until I started to see things like this). But if is all the same, we are just pretending when we believe these things, then why are you bothering? In all sincerity, I ask what your motivations could be.

Me, I would guess you really and truly BELIEVE what you are saying  The problem is, that fact in itself is ***inconsistent** with what you are saying: If what you are saying is true, there is no truth, so what you say can't be true.  And, since believing something is thinking it to be true, then beliving there is no truth except what you believe is circular.   So whatever you said is as "true" as anything else you might say.  Then, why should you be passionate, as you seem to be, about a belief grounded in nothing but your own personal impressions? Whatever you believe is true IS true, so what are you doing caring whether others believe it too. The only other choice I can imagine is that all talk is just for personal benefit: talk to keep an easy job, talk to get the satisfaction of winning in a low-pain sport, talk to keep people's attention on one, talk to make sure that as many others are in your camp as possible, to avoid threats.

Or perhaps, you believe also it makes no difference whether what you say is consistent, because consistency and reasoning is also just "pretending" to be objective. Then, why do you bother to use a word like "why", which to most of us, means providing a sound reason. Any reason or no reason would be is as good as any other.  Because you think giving a reason will persuade all the foolish people who think that good reasons are relevant?

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