[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Truth

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 04:11:01 -0400
Message-id: <4FEEB495.5050706@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo, Ravi, Ron, William, and Chris,    (01)

> One issue with this approach is that you thereby reduce ontology to logic.
> I think there is reason (and value) to consider both of these subject
> areas distinct, if related.    (02)

I am most definitely *not* reducing ontology to logic.  The process
prior to formalization is where the fundamental issues arise.  Those
issues involve fine points of analyzing informal language before
the formalization.  But when you do the formalization, anything you
can't state in the chosen logic is gone.    (03)

Please look at my slides, which give some flavor of the approach I am
taking in my book.  They definitely explore the traditional issues:    (04)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/kdptut.pdf    (05)

However, the final result of the analysis, when expressed in any version
of logic says nothing more nor less than what is in the logic.  Please
note my response to Ravi.    (06)

> How do we formalize our understanding without narrow confinement
> to only mathematical logic...    (07)

Short answer:  You can't.    (08)

Every notation for ontology that we have debated in this forum for
all these years is equivalent to some version of mathematical logic.
That is also true of Aristotle's syllogisms.  Nothing expressed in
those statements can ever go beyond the limits of the logic.    (09)

In debates, I would not put any restriction on what terminology
anybody might prefer.  But any meaning that cannot be expressed
in the logic will be lost in the formal ontology.  if you teach
students to talk about ontology in words that cannot be translated
to logic, you're not helping them.  It just creates confusion.    (010)

Fundamental principle:  Any "aura" of deep philosophical meaning
is lost as soon as you map your informal statements to some version
of logic.  Any fine points of meaning in words like 'universal',
'particular', and 'trope' are gone.    (011)

The sooner we get rid of those words in the translation process,
the clearer, simpler, and *more honest* the process will be.    (012)

> you need more than definitions to understand how ideas are expressed.    (013)

Absolutely.  Formal definitions are the goal, and they can only be
stated after all the analysis has been done.    (014)

> It is almost inconceivable that one could create anything except the
> most trivial ontology without getting into areas of disagreement about
> what constitutes a "true statement" or definition.    (015)

The steps prior to writing definitions are critical:  lexicography and
conceptual analysis.  What lexicographers do is analyze the way people
use language and write definitions that characterize the way words are
commonly used.  You can criticize their definitions on the grounds that
they do not accurately reflect common usage.    (016)

Conceptual analysis is what philosophers and ontologists do when they
analyze some subject prior to writing down definitions.  When they
write down their definitions, they state that those definitions are
taken to be true for the scope of the theory they are using.    (017)

If you want to use their theory, you have to accept their definitions.
If you don't like their definitions, you can reject the theory.    (018)

>> 'p' is true if and only if I believe 'p' is true
> I did not write this John.
> I was responding to someone else who wrote it    (019)

I apologize.    (020)

> in that my words are in blue, and Ro's in black with a line.    (021)

That may be part of the confusion.  The more common convention
is that black is the color of the text by the author of the note,
and the quotations are in blue.    (022)

In any case, I'll check more carefully to distinguish the quotations.
But it's helpful to put the name or initials of the author immediately
before the quotation.    (023)

CM    (024)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J    (025)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>