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Re: [ontolog-forum] Watch out Watson: Here comes Amazon Machine Learning

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Thomas Johnston <tmj44p@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 28 Apr 2015 16:24:06 +0000 (UTC)
Message-id: <2078129852.7412446.1430238246845.JavaMail.yahoo@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
I just spent an hour trying to write a clear and informative response to Ed. I should have read John's reply first.

On Monday, April 27, 2015 6:09 PM, John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:


Those issues have been debated for centuries, and attempts to use
modern logic have left them as confused as ever.

> “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are
> dreamt of in your philosophy”, he is only saying that his
> personal UoD for reasoning about observed events includes things
> that Horatio’s colder realism does not.

Alonzo Church and Willard Van Orman Quine are two logician-
philosophers who were well versed in modern logic and science.

Quine was a strict nominalist who tried to get rid of abstract
entities.  Church was a "realist" (in the Scholastic sense) who
made a strong case for admitting them into the UoD, the scientific
realm, and everyday "common sense".

I cited Church's article about the ontological status of women
and abstract entities, which he presented at Harvard in order
to annoy Quine:  http://www.jfsowa.com/ontology/church.htm

The article is humorous, but deadly serious.  Excerpts:

> Quine and Goodman emphasize the economy of nominalism in supposing
> the existence of fewer entities. But the economy which has commonly
> been the concern of the logician, and of the mathematician dealing
> with foundations, has been simply economy of assumption...
> Surely there are other criteria by which to judge a theory.
> To return to Quine and Goodman, it is possible, even likely, that
> the failure of their program will demonstrate the untenability of
> their finitistic nominalism...

Following is an article in which I cite and discuss some of those
other criteria, which cannot even be stated in a Quinean framework:

For a summary of the criticisms (with over 3 dozen references),
see Section 2, "A Static, Lifeless, Purposeless World."

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