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Re: [ontolog-forum] mKR proof of correctness

To: rhm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, "Richard H. McCullough" <rhmccullough@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: William Thomas <wthomas@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, "Richard S. Latimer" <rslatimer@xxxxxxx>, KR-language <kr-language@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, David Kelley <dkelley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 2 Apr 2014 22:21:15 -0500
Message-id: <9B820A89-D4D0-4A56-9E3B-B15F078D74C4@xxxxxxx>

On Apr 2, 2014, at 5:10 PM, Richard H. McCullough <rhmccullough@xxxxxxxxx> 
wrote:    (01)

> John
> I don't want there to be any doubt about what I'm saying,
> so I'm devoting one extra email to this topic.
> The mKR language is proved semantically correct
> because the mKR run-time system guarantees
> that the Objectivist Axioms are satisfied.    (02)

I actually laughed out loud when I read this. First, I have no idea what you 
mean by proving a language to be semantically correct, but claiming anything 
semantic **because some axioms are present** misses the entire point of having 
semantics in the first place, which is to connect formal sentences with claims 
about the actual world. Then again there is your conflation of semantics with a 
'run-time system', which I take it means a system that performs inferences. But 
without an independent semantics, how does one know that these inferences are 
valid or complete? The general problem of proving that a program is correct is 
still open, of course, but any approach to even defining what this means 
requires that the language of the program has some kind of separate semantics. 
If the run-time system *Is* the semantics then 'correctness' is trivial to 
prove - the program does what the program does - but also trivially 
meaningless. But the final howler here is the idea that Ayn Rand's thoughts 
might have anything, even the shred of a remotest connection, to do with 
correctness, in any sense of that word.     (03)

IF your notation had a semantic theory that would enable an objective check to 
be made on its validity, and IF you could then show that those axioms were 
satisfied AND that your run-time system preserved truth (or whatever your 
semantics calls it), then you might reasonably claim that mKE had a property 
that one might call Randianicity: conformity to the thoughts of Ayn Rand. But 
to call this property "semantic correctness" is simply farcical.     (04)

Pat Hayes    (05)

>  Dick McCullough 
> Context Knowledge Systems 
> mKE and the mKR language 
> mKR/mKE tutorial    (06)

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