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Re: [ontolog-forum] Endurantism and Perdurantism - Re: Some Comments on

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: William Frank <williamf.frank@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 11:23:57 -0400
Message-id: <CALuUwtCGL61sFos66O17cpyH7NPtgag-tDiVf-ZUe0Zu1Cug8A@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On Wed, Mar 18, 2015 at 11:35 PM, Chris Mungall <cjmungall@xxxxxxx> wrote:

On 18 Mar 2015, at 19:08, William Frank wrote:

> Chris,
> *I do not think the issue is that there is no difference between
> things
> that happen and things that stay around for a long time.   The issue
> is, as
> you say, people have to **decide** how most effectively to CAST the
> concept, from among some useful set of categories, given what they are
> trying to do.    Only the decision is a human one, not one forced by
> nature.  *

no problem with that

> *I am so **perplexed** by how what is easy in any rich logical
> representation with an expressive power even slightly close to that of
> a > natural language, becomes a 'problem' that seems to plague
> ontologists.
> The problems are a result of starting by choosing an unexpressive
> language.
> *


> *Tells this story, to me, completely naturally.   Not a contortion,
> but an
> 'unpacking' of the complex, dense way in which people talk. *

ok, not sure where this is going. I'm reasonably familiar with how to
translate natural language statements to FOL.

Ah, but that is part of the problem, FOL is exactly an unatural constraint.  In common logic, or most any HOL, you *can't* reify a relation or an attributed. 

Sometimes, we want color to only be an attribute, say,
> talking
> about bears, sometimes, we want colors to be things, say, talking
> about the
> effects of colors on moods.  *
> *So, the only 'problems' I see are that people 'code first, think
> later'.
> Let's start by creating a Procrustean bed ,an ontological straight
> jacket,
> in which, for example, you are not allowed to speak of times, maybe no
> states that things can be in during a time period, (such as a bannana
> that
> will be ripe for a given period of time, then rotten, then completely
> gone
> as it was consumed by microorganisms), where we are not allowed to
> treat
> the process of ripening as much of a first class citizen as the
> bannana,

OK, now I'm not follow. What does "first class citizen" mean here?

It means, as Aristotle said, something that can be the subject or the object of a sentence, something we can talk about as an indepedent thing.  For example, the color brown is a first class thing, but in the _expression_ 'the bear's color' we can get at color or via the bear.   

All I'm saying is that we treat 'banana' and 'banana ripening' as
distinct classes. I wasn't proscribing any kind of talk of the two at
the same time.

Sure, bananas and ripening as surely distinct conceptual categories. I am saying exactly that people who make rules about what *can't* be 'allowed' as a conceptual category, that people using various languages DO allow, are creating problems where none exist outside the rules they made.   And, if they SAY you can't do this, the burden of proof would be on them.  I think any such 'proofs' require that you put on some straightjacket first. Then it is hard to reach up in the tree for that banana.

Those straightjackets include UML and Owl, as the worst offenders, given some special status to descriptors that take one argument, and calling the 'classes', not allowing and even FOL, that only extends this so as to allow descriptors to take any number of arguments.    None of these allow things that are happening in time, and none gives you ways to transform one to the other, so that **being married** is the necessary result of **getting** married, and we can easily transform from one view (that sees a  world of static 'facts') to the other (the world of happenings). 

To quote Pat Hayes:

"But let me suggest that the real constraint here is that when something is considered to be an object or a process, then each way of thinking of it has to come with a particular way of formalizing it. This is completely unnecessary, and if this purely syntactic constraint is lifted, then the philosophical disagreements become just that, purely philosophical matters, irrelevant to the actual practice of ontology building"

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