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[ontac-forum] John Sowa

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 05:38:33 +0200
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John Sowa:
And what on earth do you mean "led by ontology"?  Aristotle
explicitly put metaphysics *after* physics because it's
impossible to do any decent work in ontology without first
having a great deal of empirical evidence.  Without empirical
data, the only subjects you can work on are pure uninterpreted
logic and mathematics.  They're useful tools, but certainly
not capable of "leading" science.

Aristotle never used the term 'metaphysics' (which was almost certainly introduced by the librarians of Alexandria, for those treatises which came after the treatises in physics on their library shelves). Rather, Aristotle used the term 'first philosophy', which rather suggests that he was on Azamat's side.

How, I wonder, would John have responded to Newton, had he been around when he published his Principia Mathematics? "Oh, Isaac, we don't disagree about the goals.  My only point is that we still have a long way to go before we reach them.  Perhaps  we might get there in a few more centuries, or perhaps it may take billions of years.  Nobody knows. ...'


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