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Re: [ontolog-forum] Truth

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2012 18:07:07 -0400
Message-id: <50106E0B.1000505@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Pat, Chris, and Doug,    (01)

In the strictest sense of the words involved, I acknowledge that
Pat is correct about the following points:    (02)

  1. The 'that' operator in IKL relates a sentence to a proposition
     (niladic relation).  It enables assertions to be made about
     the proposition, but it is not a kind of quotation.    (03)

  2. Quotation enables assertions about an expression (which could
     be a sentence).  But assertions about a sentence are not the
     same as assertions about the proposition expressed by the
     sentence.    (04)

  3. The backquote in LISP, like the 'that' operator in IKL, allows
     variables in the nested sentence to be bound to the places
     outside the backquote or the 'that' operator where the scope
     of those variables is defined.  That is a syntactic similarity,
     but it is insufficient to explain the semantic similarity.    (05)

  4. Since LISP is not a logic, it is impossible to "implement"
     an IKL 'that' operator by any kind of translation to LISP.    (06)

  5. Talk about 'that' as a kind of quasi-quotation is wrong,
     because the literal meaning of 'quasi' is 'as if'.  But the
     proposition specified by 'that' cannot be used *as if* it
     were a quoted sentence.    (07)

Given all these qualifications, I agree that the loose analogies
used in the earlier notes are false.    (08)

But with a sufficient amount of caveats, they might be used to
get certain points across.  For example, if somebody knows LISP,
it can be helpful to explain that the scope of bound variables
in a 'that' clause has similarities to the scope of variables
in LISP expressions enclosed in backquote.    (09)

> Just because someone does something poorly ignoring prior art, doesn't
> mean that someone knowledgeable in prior art could not do better.    (010)

I agree.  It is common practice in all branches of science to take
common terms (possibly with modifying adjectives) and define them as
technical terms.  Nobody complains that the groups of group theory,
the sets of set theory, or the fields in electromagnetism are very
highly specialized uses of common words.    (011)

John    (012)

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