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

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Obrst, Leo J." <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 19:19:54 +0000
Message-id: <DM2PR09MB0431B7388FCCCD1445EB2EF5DDF10@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
One issue is that we can predicate (nearly) anything. Does that make it a 
property or just a way of talking about/representing prospective properties? 
Logic is good for talking about stuff, but is not necessarily sufficient for 
telling us what that stuff is, whether it really exists in the world, etc. [1]  
Once you have notions about that stuff, then you can express it relatively 
unambiguously in logic.  But reality (whatever it is) precedes the formalism 
for describing/representing it, no?    (01)

This is a point of disagreement, I think, between logicians and ontologists 
(qua metaphysicians). The former think that expressing/representing something 
is equivalent to it being so, and that the "being so" doesn't matter that much. 
The latter think not.    (02)

For ontological engineers, of course, it could be moot, since we have 
application fish to fry. But to be better ontological engineers, I think it is 
not moot. Especially if the best engineering ontologies approximate (or intend 
to) the best scientific theories.     (03)

Leo    (04)

[1] It's a good question to raise about what is or does provide that, but of 
course that's not a question of logic. It's a question of something else. Some 
would say: metaphysics.    (05)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
>bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Matthew West
>Sent: Friday, April 03, 2015 12:55 PM
>To: '[ontolog-forum] '
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Endurantism and Perdurantism - Re: Some
>Comments on Descriptive vs. Prescriptive Ontologies
>Dear John,
>Yes of course, and I agree a logic that allows us to say things like this is
>a good thing, but...
>On 4/2/2015 3:40 PM, Matthew West wrote:
>> So how do you refer to a car without saying it is a car?
>Just say in English (or its translation to FOL):
>    There is an x.
>[MW>] Just saying this means I have no idea at all what it is. It could be a
>pork pie.
>If you want to say more, add
>    x has four wheels; x has a cabin that can hold from 1 to 8
>    people; one of them is a driver; the driver can control
>    the way x moves.
>[MW>] This hardly helps either. Instead of one type, I now count four (or
>more depending on exactly what you think type includes). Hardly progress.
>You can also, if you wish, say the following, but without assuming any fixed
>definition for the term 'car':
>   x is car.
>The critical distinction is in the restrictions implied by the system of
>logic and ontology.
>[MW>] Right. Now this is closer to what I was expecting. That you retain the
>name, but drop the axioms when you translate between different ontologies.
>If you have a very tightly restricted logic, it's impossible to say
>"driverless car".
>[MW>] Again right, and this points to the problem of this approach, which is
>how you identify what you mean so that it still has the same membership (in
>the real world) across ontologies with different foundations.
>With a less restricted logic, you can say anything you like.
>If it causes a contradiction, you just delete one or more axioms
>-- in this case, the axiom that a moving car shall have a driver.
>[MW>] Sure. But there is also a problem that sometimes definitions just are
>inconsistent. So in the UK 3 wheeled cars were (at one time at least)
>classified as motorcycles with sidecars. I doubt many other countries
>defined car to exclude 3 wheelers.
>Matthew West
>+44 750 338 5279
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>    (06)

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