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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology based conversational interfaces

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 08 Jul 2015 17:21:17 -0400
Message-id: <559D944D.1080308@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Bruce and Rich,    (01)

> If I have to remember every word that creates confusion or arguments,
> Iím gonna be a basket case.    (02)

There is no need to remember anything.  I'm just drawing attention
to the fact that this thread has been getting tied up in knots
by vague words whose meanings shift with every note.    (03)

And my suggestion is very modest:  replace the vague words with
concrete words.  The criteria are simple:  If you can explain the
word to a bright 10-year-old child, it's a good concrete word.
If you can explain it to a 6-year-old child, it's even better.    (04)

But if you can't find two PhD philosophers who agree on the
definition, it's a very bad word.    (05)

> since you don't like the word "world", let's not put in any substitution
> at all for the main point: its "objective reality" we should put there:    (06)

No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!    (07)

That is the diametric *opposite* of what I'm recommending.    (08)

Peirce's pragmatism:  The meaning of any concept is grounded
in the "twin gates" of perception and purposive action.    (09)

Try explaining the terms 'objective' and 'reality' to
(a) a 10-year-old, (b) a 6-year-old, and (c) a philosopher.
See what happens.    (010)

> we have become more and more biased in our particularly chosen
> directions.    (011)

No.  If that's what you believe, you have totally misunderstood
Dan A's lecture.  He was trying to make the point that *all of us*
have the *same kind* of biases in how we interpret our experiences.    (012)

Those biases are hardwired in our brains (and the brains of all
our mammalian relatives) because they help us focus on aspects of
experience that are important for survival.  Unfortunately, those
biases can often divert attention from other aspects that might
be important for other reasons.  Go listen to Dan A's talk and
take notes (or to other talks by him on the same YouTube page).    (013)

To return to the earlier point:    (014)

> One of the few instances in which Dan A. says "the world" could be
> replaced by the phrase "planet earth" without changing the point:
> "Much of our experience of the world comes from inside our brains."    (015)

> I don't particularly like stipulating that "planet earth" captures
> the concept.    (016)

I certainly agree that the phrase 'planet earth' does not capture
what you mean by 'world'.  There is *no* precise term that can
exactly replace a hopelessly vague term.    (017)

But what I do claim is that when Dan A. said "the world", he
was talking about the physical environment that all human beings
are living in.  The replacement 'planet earth' is the simplest
phrase that comes close to that meaning.    (018)

John    (019)

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