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Re: [ontolog-forum] Spatial Extent of Abstract Entities?

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 27 May 2013 08:58:54 -0400
Message-id: <51A3588E.3000703@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 5/27/2013 3:16 AM, doug foxvog wrote:
> A sentence as a Conceptual Work is a temporal aspatial entity.
> Its Abstract Information Structures are atemporal aspatial entities.
> Tokens of the sentence are temporal spatial entities, whether
> spoken, written, encoded in physical bits, or transmitted via
> photons or electrons.    (01)

I'm happy with everything except the first sentence.    (02)

The question of when the first token of a particular type appeared
on planet earth is a legitimate issue.  But it does not imply that
the type instantly popped into existence at the first utterance.    (03)

To take a more extreme case, consider the type _War and Peace_ or
the original _Voyna i Mir_, which was published in Russian in 1869.
A serialized version was published in a magazine from 1865 to 1867
under a different title.  But Lev Nikolayevich T. had a version
in his mind prior to writing it down, and modified versions of the
type were being created during the years that LNT was thinking,
writing, and editing each draft.    (04)

So we could say that there is an equivalence class of types of
similar tokens that were in LNT's mind and on paper during the
mid 19th century.  We can even talk about the equivalence class
of types that include the many translations of "Voyna i Mir"
into multiple languages.    (05)

I have no quarrel with the term 'conceptual work', but it would be
better to call it a type (outside space and time) or an equivalence
class of types of various tokens that appeared at various times.    (06)

I'll admit that you don't want to get into all this detail for
every book in every library.  But the use of semiotic terminology
gives you the option of using very simple, traditional language,
such as "Tolstoy published _War and Peace_ in 1869".  As stated,
that sentence is "good enough" for most purposes -- such as playing
the game of Jeopardy!  But whenever a literary critic starts to
drill down into the details, the semiotic terminology provides
a precise framework that can be elaborated indefinitely.    (07)

John    (08)

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