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Re: [ontolog-forum] Lost conceptions in decomposition. Thirds, Triadic r

To: Steven Ericsson-Zenith <steven@xxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Barkmeyer, Edward J" <edward.barkmeyer@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 28 Mar 2013 11:56:06 -0400
Message-id: <63955B982BF1854C96302E6A5908234417DCB79526@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Steven,    (01)

I hope I didn't use the word "semantics", except as a reference to a field of 
study.  I try to avoid using the term.  I agree that the term "semantic" is 
seriously misused in many writings in "computer science".  Perhaps it is more 
accurately a Humpty-Dumpty word -- it means what the author says it means, 
assuming that s/he ever does.    (02)

I have some reservations about your definition of 'meaning'.  I am comfortable 
with your definition of 'meaning' as it applies to a sentence -- the behavior 
that is the conceivable consequence of apprehending the sign (although that 
certainly includes the pragmatics of the utterance as well).  I don't agree 
that that is the 'meaning' of a 'term'.  Terms are about "reference".  A term 
refers to either an individual thing, or to some category of 
things/actions/states that have certain common properties.  In conceptualizing 
the term, we devise some kind of mental paradigm for the properties.  Whether 
that paradigm includes 'behaviors' depends (I suppose) on whether the term 
'behavior' includes essentially static properties.  OTOH, I suppose context of 
use determines whether I think of  'nose' as a (static) facial feature or about 
its association with smell or breathing.    (03)

But this discussion takes us into a realm far removed from dyadic vs. triadic 
verb concepts.    (04)

-Ed    (05)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Steven Ericsson-Zenith [mailto:stevenzenith@xxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of
> Steven Ericsson-Zenith
> Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2013 6:42 PM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Cc: sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx; Barkmeyer, Edward J
> Subject: Lost conceptions in decomposition. Thirds, Triadic relations and
> Dyads. Peirce
> {ppy: I have changed the subject line - though I may be the wrong person to
> do this :-)}
> Dear Ed,
> Before you go ...
> What is your definition of the term "semantics?" The formal definition of the
> term (derived from Carnap) is the set of rules by which a language may be
> transformed.
> I find that there is a great deal of ambiguity in the usage of this term in
> computer and software engineering, both in academia and industry. It
> appears to often incorrectly associated with the equally ambiguous term
> "meaning."
> For completeness then, for me, the term "meaning" is the pragmatic one
> (due to Peirce). It is the behavior that is the conceivable consequence of
> apprehending the sign, it is the difference that a term/phrase/sentence may
> conceivably make in the world. Although, in fact, in my work I go further than
> Peirce by arguing that it is more exact to say that the meaning of a sign is 
> actual behavior that is the product of its apprehension.
> I just want to clarify that I have understood you correctly.
> Best regards,
> Steven
> --
> Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
> Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering http://iase.info
> On Mar 27, 2013, at 10:05 AM, "Barkmeyer, Edward J"
> <edward.barkmeyer@xxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > Steven,
> >
> > You wrote:
> >
> >> Dear John,
> >>
> >> As is often the case in dyadic thinking you and the others that have
> >> responded find the third in yourself (the apprehender) and not
> >> objectively in the syntax. In other words in a triadic statement
> >> decomposed to dyads something is lost.
> >>
> >> You knowing that lost thing, that lost conception, and you find it
> >> immediately when reviewing the dyadic statement but cannot see that
> >> it is lost (it's a mental act not, in fact, present in the
> >> syntax/representation). Another human - from a similar background -
> >> might also have the same experience (indeed, we rely upon it) but a
> computing machine will certainly not.
> >
> > On what evidence do you base this assertion?  A computing machine has
> no conception of anything.  A particular software product creates a machine
> with the concepts that are built into the software.  If the software
> 'understands' ternary relations, then it is not necessary that there be a 
> rewrite of the statement.  If the software accepts dyadic syntax and converts
> it internally to the ternary relation, then the unit triadic concept is
> maintained, not lost.  The software model, of course, is not the world it
> represents, but neither is the human conceptual model.  The human
> conceptual model is doubtless richer, but whether that richness is either 
> or relevant to the communication at hand is 'quite another thing entirely'.
> The software may also have some additional richness in the form of axioms
> and facts about the verb and the nouns involved.
> >
> >> This is
> >> what Peirce was talking about in my earlier quote when he says to
> >> Victoria Welby that Russell's dyadic logic relies upon the very thing that 
> omits.
> >
> > This may well be, but it is not clear to me that semanticists in the last 
> years generally agree with Peirce on the subject of the relationship between
> conceptual content and syntax, or on the idea that relationships beyond
> binary are necessarily unitary in concept.  I fully agree that there are 
> relations that are conceptually unitary, but there are also ternary (and
> quaternary, etc.) relations that have a meaningful factorization, or perhaps
> multiple meaningful factorizations.  I agree that "John gives the book to
> Mary" is conceptually a unit.
> >
> >> So, for example, in the case of the statement "A gives B to C," -
> >> that I claim Peirce shows is impossible to decompose as you have been
> >> suggesting (certainly "conventional means," I accept). However, to be
> >> exact Peirce says (CP 1.474): "Thus, A gives B to C becomes A makes
> >> the covenant D with C and the covenant D gives B to C."
> >
> > That may be what Peirce suggests, but Daniel Davidson suggested an
> alternative, to wit, that one describes a unitary 'event' -- a 'giving', and 
> describes roles that are played in that event.  The unitary concept is
> maintained as the event object -- what happens -- not some strange
> factorization (covenant D) that has no real meaning.  The nature of a giving
> event involves three roles, and those roles can be represented by three
> dyadic relationships that assign role players to those roles.  This is a 
> general model for the description of conceptual events, whether or not they
> can be described as instances of a single natural language verb.
> >
> > The problem with this approach is the need to support truly meaningful
> binary verbs with a different model, and the value decisions in factoring
> larger conceptual situations into interconnected subordinate situations.  "The
> airship industry declined because the Hindenburg disaster demonstrated the
> danger of using hydrogen for buoyancy, and the substitute -- helium -- was
> too expensive."  Humans must decompose that thought in order to
> conceptualize it, but we also impose viewpoint in determining how to
> organize the interrelations of the subordinate concepts.
> >
> >> It is necessary to introduce D in the decomposition to a necessary
> >> "triadic tetrad" - which none of the proposals made here so far have
> >> done - and so information was lost in the naive triadic syntax and
> >> dyadic forms you have both proposed.
> >
> > It not necessary, nor even semantically appropriate, to introduce the
> nonsense 'covenant D', as the Davidsonian model that John and I have
> described shows.  And when you describe the triadic relation as 'na´ve', I
> wonder on what basis you think the natural language syntax: A gives B to C is
> any less 'na´ve'.
> >
> >> In short you cannot take language naively as evidence but must be
> >> aware of the nature of apprehension and the semeiotic process
> >> (semeiosis) that is active across what Peirce called "the living
> >> mind." It is for this reason that Peirce and Ladd-Franklin objected
> >> to the "Russellization of logic" - which sanitized all 20th Century logic 
> such broader consideration.
> >
> >> The resulting formal logic is a pure mathematics that is not suitable
> >> to be mapped to natural language.
> >
> > That is probably a fair assessment of Russell's approach, yes.  But  I think
> the record will show that logic in the latter half of the 20th century, and 
> relationship to semantics, departed significantly from Russell.
> >
> >> I am confident that any modern logician must accept the inverse to be
> >> true. For modern practical needs it is more effective, and no doubt
> >> cheaper, for humans to simply adopt formal logic as natural language.
> >
> > I disagree completely.  The function of language is to communicate.  The
> language must be chosen with attention to the content being communicated
> and the nature of the audience.  Formal logics have their place in the
> spectrum of languages, along with English, classical Sanskrit, and road signs.
> >
> >> Peirce's view of logic, indeed much of logic before Russell, is logic
> >> as semeiotic theory - it deals with logic both as the natural science
> >> of conceivable consequences and as a pure mathematics (the science of
> >> necessary conclusions).
> >>
> >> If you wish to understand natural language and the behaviors of the
> >> individuals using it (i.e., complex biophysical structures) then it
> >> is this broader conception of logic that you must consider.
> >
> > I doubt you will find much disagreement with this in the ontology
> community.  We know that we are making models, and those models are
> necessarily inaccurate in whatever ways they (intentionally) fail to represent
> the whole of the domain they describe.  That is the nature of models.
> >
> >> I imagine some software smarty-pants will think this question can be
> >> resolved quickly by writing clever software and taxonomies. But they
> >> will be wasting their time because no matter how exhaustive you try
> >> to be in implementing what I have described above the problem is
> combinatorial.
> >
> > It is more than "combinatorial".  In general, models made from different
> perspectives may present conflicting assertions, precisely because they
> ignore aspects that are important differentiators in other perspectives.
> >
> >> Binary relations are not your friend when dealing with the real
> >> bindings across these complex conceptual manifolds the ghost of which
> >> is merely reflected by natural language.
> >
> > And yet, European languages have only unary (intransitive) and binary
> (transitive) verbs.  All of the rest of the conceptual environment is made up
> by what our Latin educational heritage calls "adverbial phrases" that are said
> to "modify" the verb, or to assert "general roles" of noun phrases (agent,
> patient, instrument, purpose, location, etc.).  The problem of conveying
> "complex conceptual manifolds" did not originate with logic languages.
> >
> >> You cannot compete in modern computing machines with the low power
> >> dynamics in biophysical structure that has no need to store results
> >> or move input data from its natural path.
> >
> > I have no idea what this means.
> >>
> >> There is an important distinction in what I have said before that has
> >> been missed by most responders. When I speak of "the third" I am
> >> referring to Peirce's "thirdness" and not to the syntax of triadic forms.
> >>
> >> As Peirce says in the following a third always deals with the
> >> general, and not an individual, the general was lost in the earlier
> >> example. It's difficult avoid quoting Peirce, so forgive me - I know
> >> that his 19th century language can seem cryptic at times - the
> >> following is taken from CP 1.475 - CP 1.480 on the subject of TRIADS:
> >>
> >> == Peirce quote ==
> >> "It may be said that it is a psychical fact. This is in so far true,
> >> that a psychical fact is involved; but there is no intent unless
> >> something be intended; and that which is intended cannot be covered
> >> by any facts; it goes beyond anything that can ever be done or have
> >> happened, because it extends over the whole breadth of a general
> >> condition; and a complete list of the possible cases is absurd. From
> >> its very nature, no matter how far specification has gone, it can be
> >> carried further; and the general condition covers all that incompletable
> possibility.
> >>
> >> There, then, we have an example of a genuine triad and of a triadic
> >> conception. But what is the general description of a genuine triad? I
> >> am satisfied that no triad which does not involve generality, that
> >> is, the assertion of which does not imply something concerning every
> >> possible object of some description can be a genuine triad. The mere
> >> addition of one to two makes a triad; and therein is contained an
> >> idea entirely indecomposable into the ideas of one and two. For
> >> addition implies two subjects added, and something else as the result
> >> of the addition. Hence, it is wrong to define two as the sum of one
> >> and one; for according to such a definition, two would involve the
> >> idea of three. The idea characteristic of two is other. The corresponding
> idea characteristic of three is third. ...
> >>
> >> The genuine triad contains no idea essentially different from those
> >> of object, other, third. But it involves the idea of a third not
> >> resoluble into a formless aggregation. In other words, it involves
> >> the idea of something more than all that can result from the successive
> addition of one to one. This "all that can"
> >> involves the idea of every possible.
> >>
> >> The world of fact contains only what is, and not everything that is
> >> possible of any description. Hence, the world of fact cannot contain
> >> a genuine triad. But though it cannot contain a genuine triad, it may
> >> be governed by genuine triads. So much for the division of triads
> >> into the monadic, dyadic, and triadic or genuine triads.
> >>
> >> Dyadic triads are obviously of two kinds, first, those which have two
> >> monadic subjects, as a high perfume and a burning taste are united in
> >> many essential oils, and secondly, those which have [for] all their 
> individuals.
> >>
> >> Genuine triads are of three kinds. For while a triad if genuine
> >> cannot be in the world of quality nor in that of fact, yet it may be
> >> a mere law, or regularity, of quality or of fact. But a thoroughly
> >> genuine triad is separated entirely from those worlds and exists in
> >> the universe of representations. Indeed, representation necessarily
> >> involves a genuine triad. For it involves a sign, or representamen,
> >> of some kind, outward or inward, mediating between an object and an
> >> interpreting thought. Now this is neither a matter of fact, since thought 
> general, nor is it a matter of law, since thought is living."
> >> == End Peirce quote ==
> >>
> >
> > I must here confess my ignorance.  I have no idea what the subject of the
> above excerpt is -- the "genuine triad" that seems to elude clear definition 
> description by Peirce, if the excerpt is any indication.  And I cannot imagine
> how it might relate to the development of ontologies.  So, Steven, you have
> convinced me to stop reading this thread.
> >
> > -Ed
> >
> >
> >
> >> Best regards,
> >> Steven
> >>
> >> --
> >> Dr. Steven Ericsson-Zenith
> >> Institute for Advanced Science & Engineering http://iase.info
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> On Mar 26, 2013, at 3:28 AM, sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
> >>
> >>> Steven,
> >>>
> >>>> I'm not sure that I Peirce would accept the functional notation as
> >>>> triadic, but - as you say - he would prefer a a diagram/graph...
> >>>
> >>> The basic arithmetic operators -- add, subtract, and multiply --
> >>> take two
> >> inputs and generate one output.  That is certainly triadic.
> >>>
> >>> You can reduce the triads to dyads by Currying, but those dyads only
> >> represent intermediate results.  You still get triadic connections in
> >> the complete diagrams.
> >>>
> >>> Divide taks two inputs (dividend and divisor) and generates two
> >>> outputs
> >> (quotient and remainder).  But it can be represented by two triads --
> >> one that takes the two inputs and generates the quotient, and the
> >> other that takes the same inputs and generates the remainder.
> >>>
> >>> If you use a purely relational notation (as Peirce did for his
> >>> algebra of 1885
> >> or his existential graphs of 1897), all those functions must be
> >> represented by triadic relations.
> >>>
> >>> As another example, look at Prolog.  It represents the basic
> >>> arithmetic
> >> operators by triadic relations.
> >>>
> >>> John
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >>
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