|To:||"Ontology Summit 2007 Forum" <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|From:||"Obrst, Leo J." <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Sun, 28 Jan 2007 21:39:22 -0500|
You come down on the side of "logical theory" according to your description. It's not a bad place. I would say it's a necessary place. But it's not (necessarily) a sufficient place for high end (type N) ontology. ;)
I agree we need a bottom formal rung, but don't agree that that rung is the last step. As in science, a solid, perspicuous, consistent theory is a good thing. But it should ground itself well in reality, I think.
One of the issues is whether a logical universe of discourse (a logical and often linguistic notion) is really the same as an ontological universe. Personally, as I've argued (as do many), logic /== onto-logic.
A universe of discourse is not necessarily THE universe. I know, it's very difficult to judge that. Given that there may be infinitely many universes, how can we ever judge any given universe (our universe) to be the one we are in? Loglc would lay out, constitute the apparatus to allow us to formalize all those potential universes and their predicates and maybe their individuals, and compare universes and their predicates, maybe even describe the respective closeness of those universes. But logic won't tell us anything about the universe we are in. To me, that's what ontology and science does. Are you in the bandersnatch universe? I don't know. Sometimes I think I am.
A logical theory (if anything) should be consistent (if not necessarily provably so). But let's assume your bandersnatch theory is logically consistent. What does that tell you? To me, science (avoiding ontology for a few seconds here) can raise potentially an infinite number of logically consistent theories to describe reality ( you could say "explain", but "explanation" will get you into deep wheel-spinning): which is right? Logic can't tell you. Maybe philosophy of science will give you indications. But in all cases, I'd submit, that description/explanation will ground on some notion of ontology, the things that are and the ways that they are.
If you are not trying to be pedantic, you are probably arguing at the wrong forum. ;)
Dr. Leo Obrst The MITRE Corporation, Information Semantics
lobrst@xxxxxxxxx Center for Innovative Computing & Informatics
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