Re: Contexts and quantifiers in KIFsowa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 1993 11:29:16 -0700
Comment: List name: SRKB-LIST (do not use email address as name)
Version: 5.5 -- Copyright (c) 1991/92, Anastasios Kotsikonas
From: sowa <email@example.com>
To: Multiple recipients of list <srkb-list@ISI.EDU>
Subject: Re: Contexts and quantifiers in KIF
I completely agree with your last note. A few comments:
> The interpretation I want to give to modal statements
> is suggested by the operator
> it is possible for there to be a world such that ...
> which is subtly different from
> there is a possible world such that ....
This makes me much happier than some of the previous discussions.
Statements of the form "there is a possible world such that..." are
totally repugnant to me -- primarily because no one has ever given
a plausible explanation for what it would mean to say that a possible
world "exists". I much prefer the form "It is possible for there to
be a world such that...." But the indefinite article in front of
"world" still bothers me. I would be much happier if you would change
that phrase to either of the following forms:
It is possible for there to be a model of the world such that...
It is possible for the world to be such that...
The term "a world" still suggests some use of either a metaphor or
a disguised metaphysical assumption. If by "a world", you mean
"a model of the world", then I wish you would say so.
> Furthermore, as you rightly notice, I do believe that there are sentences
> that are true today in this real world that are built from that operator
> (indeed, from several different flavors of that operator) in which the
> that-clause will never have been true.
I completely agree with this point. But you can get all the formal
power you need to make such statements true in a theory that does a
global change of "a world" to "a model of the world".