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Re: [ontolog-forum] Truth

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "John F Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "Avril Styrman" <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2012 16:23:42 +0300
Message-id: <20120707162342.133851kuvsgvot3y.astyrman@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Lainaus "John F Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>:    (01)

> When van Inwagen says he doesn't understand constituent ontologies or
> the ideas entwined in them, I despair of teaching them to people who
> need to use ontology in computer systems.    (02)

Sure, if an application doesn't need a constituent ontology, then it  
doesn't. Of course, they should not be forced where they don't fit.    (03)

> DL with horses:
>> One and the same horseness recurs; it is multiply located; it is wholly
>> present in both horses, a shared common part whereby the two horses
>> overlap.  Being alike by sharing horsenesss is 'having something in
>> common' in an absolutely literal sense.
> A biologist would say that the two horses contain copies of the same
> kind of DNA.  But the DNA is a "concrete particular", not a universal.
> Each horse has its own DNA, and there is no overlap.  Van Inwagen said
> PvI
>> Such talk bewilders me to a degree I find it hard to covey.    (04)

Take an example of how a constituent ontology resolves the  
similarity-difference enigma with horseness, redness, etc. by using  
the dichotomy to determinates and determinables. Below, universal  
stands for a realized property.    (05)

"All genuine universals are determinates. There are such predicates as  
`coloured' or `red', but there is no property, being coloured or being  
red. To assert that a particular is red is to assert that the  
particular has some property, a property which is a member of a  
certain class of properties: the class of all the absolutely  
determinate shades of red. a is red if and only if: There is a monadic  
universal, P, such that a is P and P is a member of the class of the  
determinate shades of red. ... Suppose that redness is a property  
which all red particulars, whatever their shade of red, have in  
common. Since properties are universals, this entails that the  
particulars are identical in a certain respect: in respect of their  
redness. Now consider particulars of different shades of red. It is in  
this very respect of redness that they differ. Yet it is impossible  
that things be identical and different in the very same respect. It is  
undeniable that different shades of red are different properties. It  
follows that it redness is not a property common to all red things."  
D.M. Armstrong, Universals & Scientific Realism, 1978, II, p117.    (06)

So, different shades of red, horse DNAs, tastes etc. resemble one  
another, and it is the task of natural science to explain the  
resemblance. The resemblance is due to the structure of the resembling  
properties, and structure is all about the constituents of the  
properties and how these are interrelated.    (07)

"...one colour may resemble another more closely than it resembles a  
third. Redness is more like orangeness than it is like blueness.  
Different tastes may resemble each other in being cloying, different  
smells in being acrid, or different colours in being ``warm.'' ...   
Our task is to give an account of resemblances such as these." p101    (08)

"...the resemblance is a relation between the qualities, flowing from  
the nature of the qualities themselves." p114    (09)

"...resemblance is always identity in nature. This identity is partial  
in partial resemblance, and complete in complete resemblance. ... a  
particular a resembles a particular b if and only if: There exists a  
property, P, such that a has P, and that there exists a property, Q,  
such that b has Q, and either P=Q or P resembles Q. P's resembling Q  
will, of course, be a matter of the resemblance of universals, and so  
we cannot gain a full view of the resemblance of particulars until we  
understand the resemblance of universals." p95-96    (010)

"My suggestion has been that the Empiricist, at least, should answer  
that for the most part it is not up to the philosopher to answer the  
question. There is much that he can say about the nature of the  
question and the form that answers should take. This work, long as it  
is, has only begun to grapple with the problems involved. But the  
content of the answer must be determined, not by abstract reasoning,  
but by the natural sciences with their ultimate dependence upon  
observation and experiment." p167    (011)

If you don't explain the resemblance with the structure of the  
properties, you must appeal to some form of phenomenalism/idealism,  
where the resemblance is due to the perceiving agents. Sure, you don't  
want to get on that path.    (012)

Avril    (013)

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