Re: On the definition of "ontology"Don Dwiggins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Oct 1995 02:57:47 -0400
From: Don Dwiggins <email@example.com>
CC: Paul van der Vet <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com,
Subject: Re: On the definition of "ontology"
Reply-to: Don Dwiggins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This raises an interesting issue (which may be getting too philosphical for
skrb, but here goes anyway.) What one 'has in mind' is presumably expressed
there in some mental representation. Now, how do we know that this
mentalese representation in fact has unique models? All the lessons of
logic would suggest that it usually doesn't; that usually there will be
nonstandard models of our thoughts. (This will almost certainly be true,
for example, if theoremhood in our mentalese is RE and it is given a
semantics which reflects this accurately.)
It seems to me that you're making a great leap of faith here by assuming
that terms like formal models, theoremhood, and RE can be meaningfully
applied to a mental representation. Of course, since we have wonderful
tools like logic, it's tempting to apply them wherever we can, but one can
become like the man with a hammer.
Don Dwiggins "Things should be made as simple as possible,
email@example.com but no simpler"
-- Albert Einstein