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Re: [ontolog-forum] More by and about Turing

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 18 Jul 2015 21:45:04 -0400
Message-id: <55AB0120.5060203@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leo, Ravi, and John B.,    (01)

> Reality doesn't change; our descriptions/theories do...
> Metaphysics, from which philosophical ontology springs, is useful
> as a body of discriminating thought/reasoning, that helps you
> filter nonsense, provides guidance as you look at the world and
> the possible/probable things in it.    (02)

On those points, we completely agree.    (03)

> Does not metaphysics include assumptions to define reality
> expressively even though one may understand their own model
> of nature of physical universe?    (04)

But assumptions about what?  We have to distinguish form and
content.  Science is always fallible.  We can be fairly sure
that most of what we believe about the world is reliable as
far as it has been thoroughly tested and verified by repeated
checking by independent observers.  But we can't be certain.    (05)

> These heritages have early knowledge including discovery of zero,
> innumerability, infinity, and lot of early logic and arithmetic
> and decimal system.    (06)

Those are mathematical principles.  They are certain because the
assumptions (notations and axioms) are based on human conventions.
The conclusions are true because they follow from the assumptions
by a very rigid and precise logic.    (07)

But we can never be certain that any particular mathematical theory
is absolutely precise about any aspect of the world.  There is always
an experimental error.    (08)

And there are always surprises about areas that we hadn't tested
-- and even more surprises about things we couldn't even imagine.    (09)

General principles:    (010)

  1. There exists a reality that is independent of whatever we believe.    (011)

  2. Standards in science are *never* about content.  They're always
     about conventions.  For example, how do you measure anything,
     record the measurements, communicate them, and reuse them?    (012)

  3. All measurements are relative.  The only numbers that are
     absolutely precise are conventions:  One kilometer is exactly
     1000 meters.  One inch is exactly 2.54 cm.  One degree C is
     exactly 1.8 degrees F.    (013)

  4. Ontology can *never* be more certain than science.  Like science,
     the only certainties in ontology are conventions about form.
     No ontology can ever be more certain about any empirical content
     than the science that is devoted to studying that content.    (014)

John B.
> Interesting theory about interactions of particles, what does
> it say about gravity?    (015)

Nothing.  It's a recent discovery about the quantum mechanics of the
subatomic particles.  Nobody has yet integrated QM with gravity.    (016)

There are still many surprises left about issues as fundamental
as space, time, gravity, and the nature of matter and energy.
Any metaphysics that claims to be more certain about these issues
than physics is guaranteed to be *false*.    (017)

John    (018)

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