[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Universal Basic Semantic Structures

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 2012 17:03:53 -0400
Message-id: <50636DB9.8050308@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo and Avril,    (01)

> I think that the best theories can provide the best descriptions
> of reality. Theories: mathematical, scientific, ontological, etc.    (02)

On that point, we agree.    (03)

> I'm not ready to throw up my hands and say that anything goes.
> The best things go. The best theories. Until better theories
> come along. I'm not a relativist nor a subjectivist nor a nihilist.    (04)

We are in violent agreement.    (05)

> I'm reminded of the interview with Urs Schreiber in this month's Reasoner:
> This gets at the proverbial "unreasonable effectiveness
> of mathematics in the natural sciences"    (06)

I also agree with Urs S.  But another person I support very strongly is
Allan Bundy.  He emphasizes the fact that applied physics is a hodge
podge of inconsistent approximations.  Different applications of
physics require different revisions in the ontology to adapt the
theories to the constraints of observation, measurement, and
computation.    (07)

For example, you're never going to use the most general known theory
of physics -- quantum chromodynamics -- to predict the weather.
Fluid mechanics is filled with such examples:  laminar flow, turbulent
flow, supersonic flow, etc., all use inconsistent approximations.    (08)

> Rom Harré: Behind the mereological
> fallacy. Philosophy, 87(341):329–352, 2012.
> According to Harre p 351-2, mereology’'s lack of the ability to model
> contexts has led to mereological fallacies, where contexts are
> confusingly mixed:    (09)

> “the brain is not a part of a person in the way that a grain of sand
> is part of a beach. It is part of a person’s body and a person’s body
> is not a part of that person in the relevant sense.    (010)

Rom was a frequent visitor at Binghamton University in the program
on Philosophy and Computers and Cognitive Science (PACCS).  I was
also lecturing in that program, and we had some good conversations.    (011)

Unlike many Oxford philosophers, Rom has a well-balanced view of how
logic relates to reality.  For the record, two Oxfordians who have
misguided views about the way logic is related to reality are
Peter Strawson and Michael Dummet.    (012)

Following is an abstract of another talk by Rom H.    (013)

_____________________________________________________________________    (014)

Why Brains Can’t Think: Exposing the Mereological Fallacy
Rom Harré, Emeritus Fellow of Linacre College
Monday 16th July, 7pm: Rewley House    (015)

As the 21st Century opened, the discipline of 'academic psychology' 
seemed to be separating into two radically distinct and perhaps 
irreconcilable domains. Cultural/Discursive psychology focused on the 
discursive means for the management of meaning in a world of norms, 
while Neuropsychology focused on the investigation of brain processes 
loosely correlated with intuitively identified cognitive processes. 
These two domains can be reconciled in a hybrid science that brings them 
together into a synthesis more powerful than anything psychologists have 
achieved before.    (016)

The marriage of Neuroscience and Cultural/Discursive psychology is based 
on the insights of many critics of the causal framework for psychology, 
but the most insightful has been one philosopher in particular, Ludwig 
Wittgenstein. Hybrid psychology depends on the intuition that while 
brains can be assimilated into the world of persons, as among the 
instruments people use for carrying out many of their projects, people 
cannot be assimilated into the world of cell structures and molecular 
processes. To suppose that they can be has been called the 'mereological 
fallacy' – ascribing attributes of wholes to some of their parts. People 
think. Brains, parts of people’s bodies, do not.    (017)

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    (018)

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