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Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantics of Natural Languages

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <metasemantics@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 24 May 2015 10:50:22 -0700
Message-id: <087801d0964a$1c6ce7f0$5546b7d0$@com>

Please see notes and comments interspersed below,


Rich Cooper,

Rich Cooper,


-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F Sowa
Sent: Sunday, May 24, 2015 10:09 AM
To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Semantics of Natural Languages


Tom and Rich,


I certainly agree with that point:



> the internalist/externalist argument among cognitive scientists (the

> "brain in a vat" discussions) are orthogonal to the

> connectionist/representationalist argument.


But I don't believe that induction is a riddle:



> a level at which we can begin to understand how we could solve such

> representationalist issues as the riddle of induction.


RC:> Here is another relevant quote from PG:

However, it became apparent that the methodology of the positivists led to serious problems in relation to the problem of induction. The most famous ones are Hempel’s16 “paradox of confirmation” and Goodman’s17 “riddle of induction.” What I see as the root of the troublesome cases is that if we use logical relations alone to determine which inductions are valid, the fact that all predicates are treated on a par induces symmetries which are not preserved by our understanding of the inductions: “Raven” is treated on a par with “nonraven,” “green” with “grue” etc. What we need is a non-logical way of distinguishing those predicates that may be used in inductive inferences from those that may not.


So he sees something which he believes induction misses, in his view. 


But just taking the background of "Raven" as the complement of Raven is meaningless, IMHO.  It would be better to use the class of symbols that are known to distinguish an object (not a background) from other objects (not other backgrounds) called ~Raven, which could include all other objects in the domain which are, literally, not Raven objects. 


JFS:> The people who think that induction is a riddle are so enamored with deduction that they think that all reasoning should be algorithmic.

But deduction cannot generate anything new.  It can only work out the details of what we had already discovered by induction, assumed by abduction, tested by trial and error -- and repeat, and repeat...


For more about that cycle, skip to slides 41 to 46 of



    Why has AI failed?  And how can it succeed?


I posted micai.pdf earlier, but I recently added more slides at the end.  That cycle, which is based on Peirce's "logic of pragmatism", captures the essence of all reasoning -- from the so called "commonsense" to the most advanced science.


For the more advanced issues, see the talk I presented in April:



    Peirce, Polya, and Euclid:

    Integrating Logic, Heuristics, and Geometry


These slides show the relationship of induction, abduction, deduction, and analogy to perception.



> [Gärdenfors's] work (in Chapter 7 of Conceptual Spaces) makes it

> something more than a metaphor. But until its connection (pardon the

> pun) to the ANN paradigm is better articulated, it remains a

> mediational layer between representationalism and connectionism whose "connection"

> to connectionism remains unestablished.


My major complaint about that work is the implication that there are only three major paradigms.  There are *infinitely many* paradigms.

I like to quote the slogan of the psychologists:  "Beware of anybody who has a one-factor theory."


An article "The Amazing Teen Brain" in the June issue of _Scientific American_ summarizes the issues.  It's only 5 pages long, but it shows the complexity.  The three models that PG discusses each have a small grain of truth, a larger amount of falsity, and many more unknowns.



> I took [PG's definition of the symbolic approach] to mean

> mathematically modeled by Turing machines, but NOBODY except

> mathematicians and philosophers with lots of time on their hands

> actually programs TMs.


PG was using TMs as a generic representative of anything running on any digital computer.  In his examples, he cited Fodor and other advocates of symbolic methods in AI.  But that ignores the huge differences ranging from Roger Schank to Richard Montague.


In any case, there are many related issues in the fruit-fly thread.

I'll reply to them later.




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