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Re: [ontac-forum] Theories, Models, Reasoning, Language, and Truth

To: Paul S Prueitt <psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Chris Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2005 15:01:28 -0600
Message-id: <20051215210128.GE57447@xxxxxxxx>
On Thu, Dec 15, 2005 at 07:59:56AM -0700, Paul S Prueitt wrote:
> why not provide the translation from the German?    (01)

Obviously, because I thereby display the awesome and intimidating depth
and breadth of my erudition! :-)      (02)

Sorry -- the aphorism in question is just so well known among
philosopher types, and I sorta forgot my audience.  (Check the
timestamp; I wasn't fully awake... |^)    (03)

> Chris, you are confusing the earily Wittgenstein from the later
> Wittgenstein.      (04)

Dude, I assure you I am not! ;-)    (05)

> He himself made it clear that the clear position in Tractatus was
> incorrect.    (06)

Uh, right.  Was it not clear that this was the topic of the entire
second paragraph of my post?  That would be the paragraph beginning: "It
is of course true, as you [Sowa] note, that W. roundly rejected the TLP
in the Philosophical Investigations...."    (07)

> The additional idea of a lattice of models ordered by deductive
> mechanisms was tarski (I believe) and others, not Wittgenstein.      (08)

Who said it was?  Oh, wait...maybe you are confusing my post with
John Sowa's?  I too chided him for suggesting that W. had something like
his lattice of theories in mind in the idea that there are multiple
"language games". [Later: No it appears you are addressing my reply...]    (09)

> I do not think that you will find him speaking anywhere about an
> infinite set of models.    (010)

Me neither.  (But note the idea in question was that of a lattice of
theories, not models -- not that W spoke about them either, which is
exactly what I said to John.)    (011)

> Language games was an "invention" of Wittgenstein's in his later years     (012)

Actually, this and related ideas were developed in what is usually
referred to as W's "middle period", beginning around 1929 upon his
return to Cambridge.    (013)

> in order that he could say, as is said in Topic Maps that there is a
> referent "out there" which cannot be put into a one to one
> correspondance to the token in language (his first statment in the
> Tractatus).    (014)

Sorry, having trouble parsing this...    (015)

> Now look, I do not have my library with me....  and I may be incorrect as to
> how I have organized my understanding of Wittgenstein.
> But the "language games" is late Wittgenstein and the one to one
> correspondance is the early.    (016)

Right, though "later Wittgenstein" would be a bit more accurate, and in
more in line with Wittgensteinian scholarship.  It's puzzling that you
are pointing this out, though, given that neither John nor I suggested
otherwise.    (017)

> The Topic Maps adopted the later Wittgenstein and the W3C adopted the
> early.    (018)

Well, there may be some rather airy senses in which that is true, but
given the difficulty of understanding W. generally, esp his later stuff,
all such claims are suggestive metaphors at best.    (019)

> Now someone who I respect once told me that he did not agree with the
> above characterization of the differences between Topic Maps and
> RDF...  I never understood why he disagreed, ...    (020)

Perhaps because the claim is vague almost to the point of incoherence?
Just a thought! ;-)    (021)

> I ask that all in the forum read the short paper by G Edelman:
> http://www.jbc.org/cgi/content/full/279/9/7361    (022)

I'll have a look; thanks for the pointer.    (023)

> In my mediations last night I realized that the discussion in this ONTAC
> working group eforum had come to the point where progress is generally
> stopped by some type of agreement not to flame each other over philosophical
> issues.    (024)

Do you mean progress is stopped *until* there is some such agreement?
Be that as it may, do you smell smoke somewhere? :-)  In case you see
something smoldering in my post, note that I carefully characterized my
comments up front as being nothing more than -- for ONTAC's purposes --
largely irrelevant (albeit historically interesting) Wittgensteinian
exegesis.  They were also gently critical of my old buddy John Sowa's
own exegetical broad strokes, which were clearly not really intended to
be serious Wittgenstein scholarship: his central point, an important
one, had to do with the division between the idea of a single
all-encompassing ontology and that of a (more realistic) lattice of
smaller theories.    (025)

> I hope that we can instead may a transformation of the discussion in the
> direction that John Sowa and I are setting up.    (026)

Sure thing!  Uh, what was that direction again? :-)    (027)

Chris Menzel    (028)

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