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Re: [ontolog-forum] Estimating number of all known facts

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 24 May 2012 16:48:13 -0400
Message-id: <0859e05875a69a1720325abad38045a5.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, May 24, 2012 06:23, John F Sowa wrote:    (01)

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

> MW
>> 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).
> ...
> 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.    (03)

If facts are states of affairs or aspects of the physical world, then there
can be no facts about mathematics, including geometry, since those
sciences do not deal with the real world.  People can use mathematics
to model the real world, in which case mathematical truths (i'll not call
them facts) imply (real-world) facts.  It would not be a fact that a
triangle has 3 sides or 1+1=2, but it would be a fact that physical objects
shaped like triangles have 3 sides and that one apple + one apple =
two apples.    (04)

> ...    (05)

> For example, following are the first two sentences of Wittgenstein's
> _Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus_:
> LW
>> 1 The world is everything that is the case.
>> 1.1 The world is the totality of facts, not of things.    (06)

> When LW says "totality of facts", he means the totality
> of all the patterns of whatever exists the world.    (07)

> 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.    (08)

If a fact is an aspect or state of affairs of the world, it need not
be a structured pattern, imho.    (09)

Wouldn't it be the *statement* of a fact that is the structured
pattern?    (010)

> Things occur in
> that pattern, but it also contains relationships among the things.    (011)

> 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.    (012)

... assuming that space and time are not quantized.    (013)

-- doug foxvog    (014)

> 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:    (015)

>     http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal.pdf
> John    (016)

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