[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Some Comments on Descriptive vs. Prescriptive Ontolo

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 16 Mar 2015 01:16:29 -0400
Message-id: <5506672D.5060006@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Robert, Ravi, and Rich,    (01)

> However, one does not necessarily have to chose either the
> process-ontology approach or endurantism. One can think outside
> of the box and combine qualities of each.    (02)

I agree.  Descartes did a huge disservice to science, philosophy,
and engineering by preaching that absolute certainty is possible,
desirable, or useful.    (03)

 From the outside, physics looks like a march toward a GUT
(Grand Unified Theory).  But it's not:    (04)

  1. Every attempt to unify all the multiple LUTs (Little Unified
     Theories) in a GUT has failed.  Einstein made brilliant
     contributions with his LUTs (one of which earned him a Nobel
     Prize).  But he spent the last half of his career in a futile
     search for a GUT.    (05)

  2. The best tested unified theory is Quantum Electrodynamics (QED).
     But it's not a GUT.  And nobody has any promising ideas for
     extending QED into a GUT.    (06)

  3. But almost nobody uses QED for any practical application --
     because (a) the mathematics is far too complex for engineering
     purposes, and (b) for any practical application, there are
     useful LUTs with much simpler mathematics that generate answers
     whose discrepancies with QED are less than the known errors
     in measurement.    (07)

  4. Conclusion:  Applied physics and engineering use a hodge-podge
     of different and mutually incompatible approximations for any
     large project -- ranging from a car to an airplane and beyond.    (08)

> The paper cited when I looked up endurantism namely:
>http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/endurantism.pdf    (09)

That's an interesting, but irrelevant paper.  It uses philosophical
arguments to decide questions about physics.  No conclusion that it
might reach would have any relevance to any problem in physics or
engineering or useful computational ontologies.    (010)

There have been many debates in Ontolog Forum about 4D ontologies
vs 3+1 D ontologies.  General conclusion:  Use whichever ontology
is appropriate for your problem and your methods of measurement
and computation.  That's what physicists and engineers do.    (011)

> It seems to me that combining the two - object properties and
> process properties - would be more realistic than separating them.    (012)

Yes.  Applied ontology is a branch of engineering.  It's a serious
blunder to think that it is science or philosophy -- but science
and philosophy can make useful contributions to AO.    (013)

Large systems like Cyc use microtheories to support such a
hodge-podge.  And that's also the way the human brain works.
I use the term 'knowledge soup' for the mess in the human head.
See http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/micai.pdf    (014)

Re processes:  See the following summary of 2304 possible theories
about processes:  http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/process.htm    (015)

Any or all of those theories might be appropriate for any
particular application.  But the best anyone can hope is that
the theory you choose is a good approximation for your task.    (016)

The following article adds causality to the mix:
http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/causal.htm    (017)

John    (018)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J    (019)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>