Hi John, (01)
A couple of points. (02)
You mentioned that "ANW considered processes to be more fundamental than
objects." I was at a conference on Causal Powers in Ancient Medicine where
Geoffrey Lloyd made the point that Ancient Chinese thought in terms of
processes whereas some major figures in Ancient Greco-Roman philosophy (i.e.
not all) thought in terms of substances. In the 16th century when the
Jesuits made it to the Chinese Emperor's court and were trying to understand
Chinese philosophy, they tried to translate it's five phases (processes)
into the Ancient Greco-Roman four substances. Anyway, the point is that
thinking in terms of substance might be part of our Greco-Roman heritage,
rather than a feature of reality - supporting ANW's point. (03)
Secondly, while Barry might be flattered to be considered the author of the
dyadic approach to mereology - a better history is that this has been the
standard approach since the pre-Socratics - see
http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/mereology/. As noted there, in the 20th
century we can look to Leśniewski's Foundations of a General Theory of
Manifolds (1916, in Polish), Leonard and Goodman's The Calculus of
Individuals (1940) and Barry's colleague Peter Simons Parts. A Study in
Ontology (1987). It might be useful to point to formalisations of part-whole
using Peirce's triadic relations to counter-balance the weight of history. (04)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F Sowa
> Sent: 28 September 2012 06:51
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Universal Basic Semantic Structures
> Avril, Doug, William, and Pat,
> Before criticizing mereology, I want to say that I consider it a useful
> to set theory for many aspects of ontology.
> But there are fundamental limitations of mereology when you attempt to
> it to anything related to intentionality:
> 1. As Peirce observed, intentionality requires irreducible triadic
> relations. But I won't go into a tutorial on CSP in this note.
> For a summary, see http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/rolelog.pdf
> 2. But the part-whole relation is dyadic. It is impossible to
> represent anything related to intentionality with only dyadic
> relations. John Searle hadn't read much (any?) of Peirce's
> writings, but he independently rediscovered the need for triadic
> relations in his books on _Intentionality_ (1983) and
> _The Construction of Social Reality_ (1995).
> 3. Barry Smith attempted to represent social relations with
> just the dyadic part-whole relations of mereology. Following
> is a debate between Smith and Searle on that issue:
> 4. In my opinion, Searle won that debate. I summarized the issues
> in pages 7 and 8 of http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/worlds.pdf
> > in this paper
> > http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/articles/BittnerSmithDonnelly.pdf
> > they made a quite complex formalization of granularity with at least
> > four part-whole connectives and types and labels.
> That is an interesting extension of mereology, and it might be useful for
> purposes. But Barry Smith is still hoping that adding more hairy
formalism to a
> dyadic relation will magically give him the ability to represent
> Bittner, Smith, & Donnely, page 1.
> > The second is a theory of reference or intentionality (Theory B).
> Reference is dyadic. But intentionality is triadic. By using the word
> hoping that the reader will think 'intentionality'
> is a synonym for 'reference'.
> BSD, page 2.
> > Projection is thus close to what philosophers call 'intentionality'
> No. It's just another dyadic relation, and it's not close to triadic.
> Searle would *never* accept the BSD formalism as a representation of
> intentionality or social reality. Citing him in support of the idea is
> > I object to the idea that things in the world have classifiers. It is
> > sentient beings that generate the classifiers and attach them to
> > things whether they are in the world, or not.
> I agree.
> > But [Rom H] is claiming "a person's body is not a part of that person
> > in the relevant sense."
> > This depends upon what he means by "the relevant sense".
> The key phrase is "the relevant sense". Consider the sentences,
> 1. Bob thinks that the sky is blue.
> 2. Bob's body thinks that the sky is blue.
> 3. Bob's brain thinks that the sky is blue.
> The first sentence is normal, but the other two are "weird".
> Nobody, except somebody "in the grip of a theory", would ever say anything
> The point Rom was trying to make is that the word 'body' is not synonymous
> with 'person'. Those words are never used in ways that are
> > my question was Rhetorical. I imagined that people would relate it to
> > your Rom Harre quote, and realize: no, a body is not a ***part*** of
> > an animal. From one single perspective, it IS the WHOLE animal But
> > this is only one dimension, one facet, one viewpoint, perspective,
> > take your pick.
> I agree with your literal explanation of what you meant.
> Cautionary note: Since tone of voice is not transmitted via email, it's
> avoid irony and rhetorical questions (or mark them with a smiley face or
> > The world is not just made of lumps of stuff occupying space: it is
> > also comprised of energy fields, momentums, pressures, movements and
> > all the other dynamic processes which animate the stuff in the space.
> > Whether we call them "parts" or not, they certainly exist, and
> > certainly play a necessary role in how we conceptualize reality.
> I agree, and I believe that is similar to the point Rom H. was trying to
> > OK, now someone mention Whitehead.
> I'll take the bait. In his magnum opus, _Process and Reality_, ANW
> processes to be more fundamental than objects.
> He treated objects as slowly changing processes that could be recognized
> repeated occurrences.
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