[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] FW: CfP 11/16/2015: Knowledge-Based AI Track at 2016

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 19 Sep 2015 02:54:54 -0400
Message-id: <55FD06BE.2090303@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 9/18/2015 11:30 AM, Thomas Johnston wrote:
> there is a tension between eclecticism and the development of theory.    (01)

Certainly.  I am strongly in favor of theories.  But there is a huge
difference between theory and dogma.  It's important to search for
commonalities among theories and generalize them.  But never expect
any theory (scientific or religious) to be the final answer.
Peirce's "first rule of reason" is    (02)

    Do not block the way of inquiry.    (03)

There are too many people who claim that their particular way is
the one true way.  That is the death of inquiry.    (04)

> It is when nuts with guts (Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Einstein, Bohr)
> face their opponents that scientific progress is made.    (05)

Excellent examples.  Each one made very important breakthroughs.
But their views had important gems of truth and a lot that had to
be revised or replaced.    (06)

> I suspect that you would not want to characterize any of these
> luminaries as "nuts with guts", but the issue here, for me at least,
> is that, given what you have said, why aren't they?    (07)

The point where brilliant innovators become nuts is when their
theories become a dogma.  Sometimes the original innovator may
become a nut with a gut, but more often it's a dedicated follower
who freezes one stage of the theory into a dogma.    (08)

Newton, for example, had many ideas that were dead ends.  Among them
was the view that it was impossible for any earthly mechanism to be
as precise a time keeper as the heavenly bodies.  That idea was wrong,
but he also had quite a few that were truly weird.    (09)

I would say that Einstein went down the slippery slope that led
him to a dead end with his search for a GUT.  There is nothing
wrong with the search -- provided that it does not violate the
first rule of reason.    (010)

In logic, I have the highest regard for Peirce, Whitehead, and
Wittgenstein.  They recognized the limitations of deductive logic.
I would consider Bertrand Russell to be a borderline nut.  He led
Wittgenstein astray, and LW had to spend the rest of his life
explaining where his mentors, Frege and Russell, went wrong.    (011)

> I also agree with Atticus Finch who said that you haven't understood
> another man until you have walked around in his shoes.    (012)

I agree.  But note Harper Lee's new book.  Atticus was still unable
to break out of his segregationist mindset.    (013)

John    (014)

PS Re Russell:  I'd delete the adjective 'borderline' in front of 'nut'.
See the biography by Ray Monk.    (015)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J    (016)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>