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Re: [ontolog-forum] Truth

To: Avril Styrman <Avril.Styrman@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 07 Jul 2012 10:49:07 -0400
Message-id: <4FF84C63.2060505@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Avril,    (01)

I agree that a deeper analysis of similarities among relations
and properties is essential.    (02)

> 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.    (03)

I agree completely.  Any version of logic that can represent those
aspects must also be able to represent and analyze the underlying
structures.  But please note my discussion of and quotations from
John Bacon's article:  http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/tropes/    (04)

> Bacon gives some history of the ideas and terminology.  He also gives a
> precise definition of the version he prefers -- the idea that tropes are
> instances of relations or instances of properties (monadic relations).
> He calls them _relatons_ and _qualitons_.
> In logic, a relaton or qualiton would just be a ground-level clause:
> a single relation with all its argument places filled with elements
> of the domain.    (05)

Note Bacon's conclusion:    (06)

> The thing-property view, the property-cluster theory, the relaton-cluster
> theory, and even perhaps model-theoretic particularism are apparently
> all capable of modeling each other (Bacon 1988).    (07)

As I said, this confirms my claim that the terminology for describing
the logic (and its model theory) is all that you need to describe and
define *every* distinction in any ontology specified in that logic.    (08)

I won't quarrel with any of Armstrong's discussion about properties
and their structure and/or interrelationships.  But my claim is that
*all* of his discussion and analysis can be stated more precisely and
clearly if you adopt the following definitions:    (09)

   1. A universal is a relation (in any version of logic you prefer).    (010)

   2. A property is a monadic relation.    (011)

   3. A trope is a ground-level clause.    (012)

If you adopt Common Logic (or some variation thereof) together with the
IKL extensions to CL (or some variation thereof), you can analyze and
represent all of Armstrong's points.  And you can dispense with all
the confusing verbiage about universals and tropes (except in the
historical references).    (013)

As an example, following is one of your quotations from Armstrong:    (014)

> "...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 
> 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    (015)

There are many thorny issues about resemblance and identity.  I don't
claim that translating Armstrong's terminology by the definitions above
will automagically solve all the problems.    (016)

But I do claim that the word 'universal' has a couple of millennia
of confused, confusing, misleading, and ambiguous baggage.  The
overwhelming majority of discussions about universals and tropes
are so vague that they are "not even false."  The first step in
clarifying the issues is to get rid of the confusing terminology.    (017)

John    (018)

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