[Top] [All Lists]

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

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2006 09:46:38 +0100
Message-id: <phismith$$.>
At 04:07 AM 1/14/2006, you wrote:
>For problem-oriented special cases, there are good reasons
>for using approximations that are known to be physically
>false.  But in a neutral core that is designed to support
>*all* possible applications, it would be a serious mistake
>to include any axiom that is known to be false.    (01)

Is this work designed to support *all* possible applications? (Pat?)
Is it designed to support the work of, say, rocket scientists?    (02)

>>The problem is that as soon as anyone puts forward
>>anything to rise to the top, or to be part of the
>>supremum, or whatever we call it, you will shoot it
>>down by pointing that it is not consistent with, say,
>>Quantum Mechnics.
>A good way to handle such issues is to adopt the proposal
>for "hubs", which are fairly large packages of theories
>that are tailored for various application domains.    (03)

The issue is, given your principles, whether anything could possibly 
be left in the central hub. It seems not.    (04)

>>I also submit that, given the need to acquire users of
>>whatever results from our work, most of whom will not be
>>specialists in ontology, the need to be consistent with
>>a four-dimensionalist ontology...
>Indeed.  Each hub should be designed to classify the subject
>matter according to the manner in which specialists in that
>field are trained to think and talk.    (05)

ONTAC-WG has, I think, no specialists in quantum mechanics, rocket 
science, magnetic resonance imaging (etc.) in its target audience. 
Let us therefore simply forget quantum mechanics, etc., and 
concentrate on those domains which (all of us, I take it) are 
specialists in -- domains comprising things like organisms, motion 
events, geopolitical area, listed at 
http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?CosmoWG/TopLevel.    (06)

>For example, we could have a hub for automotive engineering,
>which includes Newtonian mechanics and many other special
>cases, which are known to be false under extreme conditions,
>but which are also known to be accurate within the limits
>of experimental error for ordinary cars and their occupants.    (07)

Yes. Let's leave the automotive engineering community to build that. 
And then forget about it.    (08)

>Yet even for automobiles, there are components that require
>theories outside the hub:  electromagnetic theory for the
>radio; relativistic effects on the GPS navigational system;
>and quantum mechanics for designing new kinds of paint or
>for studying the molecular composition of the fuel and its
>combustion inside an engine.    (09)

Let's leave the relativity theorists, etc., to build those things, 
and then forget about them.    (010)

>Similar considerations hold for a medical hub:  a surgeon
>working with organs visible to the naked eye or with low-power
>magnification doesn't need relativity or quantum mechanics.
>But those considerations become crucial for molecular biology,
>pharmaceuticals, and MRI scanners.    (011)

Yes. There are always other things one can do in life. But normally 
one does not take this fact as an argument that one should do nothing at all.    (012)

>As these examples show, even mid-world things may have components
>that are crucially dependent on the most advanced physics.  If
>we divide the ontology into hubs for various purposes, we must
>recognize that many components in one hub will depend on theories
>that are handled in detail by other hubs.  In one hub, those
>components will behave like black boxes with warning labels that
>say "No user serviceable parts inside"; in the other hub, however,
>those black boxes will be transparent "white boxes", whose inner
>workings are central to the subject matter of that hub.    (013)

No one is allowed to talk about bones, or cities, until someone else 
has worked out the ontology of quantum mechanics! All the hubs must 
be built before any single one of them can be built!    (014)

>Preserving the mid-world phenomena and speech patterns while
>satisfying those constraints should not be difficult:    (015)

Good. So let's concentrate on those and forget the rest, initially, can't we?    (016)

>>... the need to be consistent with a four-dimensionalist ontology
>>according to which there are no dogs but only doggy processes,
>>is not a sensible constraint.
>Matthew's ontology handles 4 dimensions quite nicely while saving
>the phenomena and terminology of ordinary speech.    (017)

Did you look at it? For Matthew 'Fido is a dog' does not mean: Fido is a dog.
And there are many other strange things contained therein:
http://wings.buffalo.edu/philosophy/ontology/bfo/west.htm    (018)

>  Similarly, the
>Cyc ontology and Whitehead's ontology accommodate the view of dogs
>as processes without requiring anyone to modify speech patterns
>or feeding habits when playing with their pets.
I fail to see the relevance of this. The argument seems to be that, 
because four-dimensionalists can talk to the rest of us in 
understandable ways, it follows that we should all of us change our 
view of reality to be consistent with four-dimensionalism.    (019)

>Summary:  In order to accommodate *all* hubs, the core must not
>contain any axioms known to be physically false.    (020)

By the <<QM is not consistent with General Relativity>> argument, 
this means, a priori, that the core is empty.    (021)

>  But there can be
>as many hubs as necessary, each designed from the perspective of
>people who work in a particular specialty.  Since every industry,
>ranging from medicine, to automobiles, to aerospace requires
>multiple specialists, each hub may need components that are
>treated as "black boxes" in that hub, but as "white boxes" in
>some other hub.    (022)

Perhaps we should form AUTO-ONTAC-WG, AERO-ONTAC-WG, QM-ONTAC-WG, 
GRT-ONTAC-WG, etc., to do all of these things, separately, somewhere 
else. (Pat?)
BS     (023)

Message Archives: http://colab.cim3.net/forum/ontac-forum/
To Post: mailto:ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/SICoP/ontac/
Community Wiki: 
http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG    (024)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>