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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is the role of an upper level ontology?

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Matthew West" <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2013 09:41:21 +0100
Message-id: <519f27b6.675fb40a.562c.ffffcb66@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear John,
I am not trying to say that there are no abstract objects, just no abstract
individuals, i.e. objects that have a temporal extent but no spatial extent.    (01)

> I agree with the point that Hans is trying to make, but I would
> it by asking the following two questions:
>   1. Physical laws:  Do you believe that the laws of physics exist?
>      In other words, are the laws of physics really real in the same
>      sense that the things you see and touch are real?   (I don't mean
>      any particular statement, such as F=ma or E=mc^2, but the laws
>      that govern the universe, of which any human statement is an
>      approximation.)    (02)

MW: I don't know what you mean by this. What is the difference between
"existence" and "real existence"? What laws that govern the universe? How is
F=ma not one of them?    (03)

MW: I would generally consider rules to be classes of activity, and
therefore abstract. The question is what do they apply to. If they are
universal then they apply to all spatio-temporal extents in this universe
and at least all possible worlds that branch from this universe. There may
be other disconnected possible worlds where other rules apply.
>   2. Social laws, norms, or habits:  Do you believe that social
>      or cultural laws, norms, or habits exist?  For example,  people
>      in the US drive on the right side of the road, and people in
>      the UK drive on the left.  That convention began as a habit that
>      became a social norm long before it became a traffic law.  It is
>      so real that a failure to observe it can lead to death.  Does that
>      law, norm, or habit have a real existence?    (04)

MW: This is about social construction. The rules are still classes of
activity, but there is a social agreement about what they apply to.    (05)

Regards    (06)

Matthew West                            
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