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Re: [ontolog-forum] [ontology-summit] Estimating number of all known fac

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From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 06:23:58 -0400
Message-id: <4FBE0C3E.8090104@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Mstthew and Alex,    (01)

I agree with Matthew's point about the difference between
a fact and a statement that expresses the fact.    (02)

> Indeed, any “taking” would be making a statement, but there is
> some fact (state of affairs in the world) that the statement
> is made about. Facts do not exist in the information space
> (except that the existence of certain statements are facts).    (03)

> Not sure I understand you correctly - why do you think that
> facts don't exist in the information space? (and what do you
> mean by an information space?)    (04)

The distinction between facts and true statements is often blurred
in ordinary discussions.  But philosophers have generally said that
facts are aspects of the physical world.  They also say that what
makes a statement true is the existence of some fact makes it true.    (05)

As Matthew adds in parentheses, the act of stating a fact is also
a fact in the real world.  It's possible to make statements about
that fact.  They would be metalevel statements.    (06)

For example, following are the first two sentences of Wittgenstein's
_Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus_:    (07)

> 1 The world is everything that is the case.
> 1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.    (08)

When LW says "totality of facts", he means the totality
of all the patterns of whatever exists the world.    (09)

When he says that the world is not the totality of things, he
means that the world is much more complex than a simple set
of things.  A fact is a structured pattern.  Things occur in
that pattern, but it also contains relationships among the things.    (010)

In the Tractatus, LW did not discuss continuous stuff, but patterns
of continuous stuff are also facts.  But that is why it's impossible
to count all the facts in the world:  there are uncountably many
continuous patterns.    (011)

In any case, LW eventually went far beyond the Tractatus in his
later philosophy.  But the distinction between a fact and a statement
about a fact is still important.  I quote the Tractatus in slide 62
of the following talk and go on to discuss LW's later philosophy:    (012)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal.pdf    (013)

John    (014)

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