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

To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "Lichtblau, Dale" <Del@xxxxxxx>
From: "Lichtblau, Dale" <Del@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Dec 2005 10:43:15 -0500
Message-id: <DC92506CBE953D44A0EF52095965E8353610BD@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John Sowa:    (01)

Your TMRL&T paper is nicely done.    (02)

I'm not sure about your account of the Library of Babel, however.
Dennett has a very nice account in his Darwin's Dangerous Idea (but
claiming in a footnote that the Library is finite, while still
containing "all the grammatical sentences of English within its
walls...an infinte set."    (03)

Do you have anything that explicates your distinction between a "model"
and a "theory"? I've always thought of them as pretty much the same
thing. If they do denote two distinct concepts, what, if any, is the
nature of the relationship between them?    (04)

Interestingly enough, "abduction" does not appear in Sister Joseph's
Trivium [a book, I'm sure you would agree, should be recommended to the
entire forum] but "eduction" does (and the associated discussion of
"conversion" suggests that the converse of your statement about formal
logic and natural language has little to do with three-year olds).    (05)

I've always thought of "abduction" as "reasoning to the best
explanation," suggesting that abduction is another technique for
"predicting" (postdiction, retrodiction) what had to have occurred.    (06)

I've always thought of "induction" as "generalization (to all S are P)
from specific instances (this S is a P, that S is a P, etc.)" The
generalization is a "theory" (e.g., that all swans are white), from
whence the prediction, this pencil is non-white, therefore, it can't be
a swan.    (07)

Figure 7 might be improved by putting everything outside the current
world into the world, in someway. Or is the "world" of figure 7 intenced
to be just the physical (non-abstract) world?    (08)

Best regards,
Dale Lichtblau    (09)

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