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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 19 Mar 2015 15:49:16 -0400
Message-id: <550B283C.608@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rich,    (01)

> there are much more elaborate software systems around which do
> things we couldn't do a century ago, such as Air Defense, radar
> displays, moon landings, lots of drone software, and on ...    (02)

Yes.  But I was responding to Matthew's point:    (03)

> I do think the philosophers are responsible for endurantism.
> They analysed the way we speak about the world, rather than
> how the world is, and formalised that.  I despair.    (04)

The structures of most commercial DB systems were designed
to support shared data among the business applications of the
1960s and '70s.  The implicit ontologies of those applications
were not affected by anything the philosophers had said.    (05)

In any case, I admit that I could have stated the issues more
clearly.  Following is a better response to Matthew's point:    (06)

  1. NLs are capable of talking about any model of the world
     that anybody has ever conceived.    (07)

  2. It's highly unlikely that any model known to modern science
     is a perfect match to the way the world is (although some
     models are known to be better than others).    (08)

  3. But any scientist who has conceived and represented any
     model of the world can talk about that model in a natural
     language, using ways of talking that preserve the structure
     of that model.    (09)

  4. Therefore, NLs are capable of expressing the world at least
     as accurately as any scientific theory about the world.    (010)

These same principles apply to any artificial system that
anyone has ever invented, imagined, or implemented in the past,
the present, or the future.    (011)

> Note that Fortran, Cobol and Lisp are all older languages without
> the oomph necessary to develop functional capabilities beyond
> our past experiences.    (012)

Those languages can represent any Turing machine.  Therefore, they
can represent anything that can be computed by any other language
that can run on any digital computer of the past, present, or future.    (013)

Newer languages might be more convenient or efficient, but none of them
can, by themselves, go beyond what can be done on a Turing machine.    (014)

John    (015)

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