Personally, I think the value is not in the particular upper ontology one
chooses, but in the ontological analysis (even metaphysical analysis) that
leads you to propose a given upper ontology. We typically short-shrift-ify
(how's that for the nitters?) both semantic and metaphysical/ontological
analysis here, conflating them both with logical analysis. Just because you can
use logic to represent your analysis does not mean that logic per se has
anything to add to the conversation.
>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
>bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F Sowa
>Sent: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 2:03 PM
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] What is the role of an upper level ontology?
>On 5/15/2013 10:14 AM, doug foxvog wrote:
>> FWIW, the workshop web page is
>That's a copy of the page I cited.
>In any case, I started to browse through the other publications
>on Ingvar Johansson's web site, and I recommend them as a useful
>resource for various issues that we have been discussing:
>I find his publications congenial. My main qualification is that some
>of them would benefit from Peircean semiotics. For example, I enjoyed
>his analysis of the intransitive part relations:
>> The Solution: Intransitive parthood predicates are not binary predicates
>> ... Instead [they are] either a relative product of two binary relations
>> ‘φ’ and ‘<’ (so that it ought to be written ‘φ/< ’) or ... an
>> ternary relation (and so ought to be written ‘Rxyz’). In both cases,
>> although in different ways, there are at least three relata involved;
>> not just two, as in the parthood relation of mereology.
>I realize that Peirce's terminology is definitely off-putting for many
>people. But it is refreshing to find philosophers who do not shy away
>from triadic relations when they are necessary.
>As another example, Johansson wrote a paper that begins "Can there be
>I'm glad that the answer is yes. For Peirce, however, the answer
>yes is fundamental to every aspect of his philosophy. Among those
>relational universals are the laws of nature. Every physical object
>is a manifestation of those laws, and any ontology that considers
>objects more fundamental than laws is fundamentally flawed.
>Another example is the short book "Is Ought?" about values:
> From the introduction:
>> Regrettably, there is no special word for the genus of which norms and
>> values, as well as virtues, are species...
>> To be very brief, the essence of my answers are that, yes, Oughts exist,
>> and that sometimes a change of Is rationally implies a change of Ought.
>Peirce would agree. For him, the genus that includes laws as well as
>norms, values, virtues, functions, and intentionality is Thirdness.
>Not coincidentally, all of them require triadic relations.
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