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[ontac-forum] Re: The world may fundamentally be inexplicable

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, 'SUO WG' <standard-upper-ontology@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, CG <cg@xxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2006 23:36:39 -0500
Message-id: <43BCA257.1030005@xxxxxxxxxxx>
I received the following offline comment, and I gave
the same response I've been giving for the past
several years.    (01)

John Sowa    (02)

-------- Original Message --------    (03)

Nobody knows exactly how many theories will be needed:    (04)

> But I don't have any good idea **how many** logically
> different theories will in fact be required.  I do have
> a strong suspicion that it will not be as many as one
> would suppose after a casual glance at the different
> upper ontologies that people have proposed.    (05)

But there are certain things that are pretty safe bets:    (06)

  1. There will be categories called Time, Space, Object,
     Process, etc.    (07)

  2. There will be some assumptions common to all the
     axiomatizations:  time will have a before and
     after, and space will have 3 dimensions.    (08)

  3. But beyond that, all bets are off.  It would be
     a mistake to adopt situation calculus instead of
     pi calculus for reasoning about time; it would be
     a mistake to insist on either 3D or 4D treatments
     of space-time; it would be a mistake to insist
     that objects are "ontologically prior" to processes;
     it would be a mistake to say that a vase and the
     lump of clay from which it is made must be or must
     not be considered different entities.    (09)

That's why the only thing you can insist on is a very
sparse, very limited set of common axioms.  At that
level, you can't do much problem-oriented reasoning.    (010)

For more detailed reasoning in specific applications,
you need the problem-oriented modules or microtheories.    (011)

John    (012)

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