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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology based conversational interfaces

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2015 01:40:49 -0400
Message-id: <55A34F61.6010400@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 7/12/2015 10:47 PM, Thomas Johnston wrote:
> But perhaps if I had said that Aristotle's work on formal logic
> was unprecedented, you'd have less reason to take me to task.    (01)

Yes.  His entire corpus was an unprecedented achievement.    (02)

One thing that I believe is important is the Athenian legal
practice.  Note that the word 'kategoria', before Aristotle,
meant "an accusation in a court of law."    (03)

The ancient Athenians were as litigious as modern Americans
-- but with a big difference:  both the plaintiff and the
defendant had to plead their own cases in court.  No lawyers
allowed.    (04)

So the Sophists made a good living by coaching people how
to organize their case and present it persuasively.    (05)

Plato disparaged the Sophists because "they made the weaker
side seem the stronger."    (06)

But any modern lawyer would say, "Well, duh!"    (07)

The net result is that Athenians had a strong interest in learning
methods of reasoning and presenting a case in as convincing a way
as possible.    (08)

Plato himself was a mathematician, and issues about reasoning
and proof were strong in his agenda -- as his dialogs show.    (09)

There is also the influence of medicine on Aristotle and the
importance of careful observation and record keeping. That is
not an issue that Plato considered important.    (010)

If you put all those influences together, it provides a context
for understanding A's achievement.  Euclid came along a few years
later, and he tried to apply Aristotle's systematic practice to
organizing mathematics.  But he had to go beyond syllogisms.    (011)

Re Euclid:  Following is a talk I presented on Peirce, Polya, & Euclid:
http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/ppe.pdf    (012)

John    (013)

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