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AW: facts of reality, context, possible worlds

From: wsng <wsng@gmx.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2002 13:23:25 +0100
To: "'RDF-Interest'" <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Cc: "'Richard H. McCullough'" <rhm@cdepot.net>
Message-ID: <001801c2a1d9$450d4d30$56574b82@ravel>

Richard H. McCullough wrote:
> I said:
> "tabula rasa" specifies the meaning of isa, has, person, sex, male
> (and existent, attribute, action, relation, proposition, haspart, do,
> You said:
> Your tabula doesn't seem to be entirely rasa then :)
> No, it's not entirely "rasa".  I added a few things (sex, male) to
enhance efficiency.
> But everything else in the list above is "rasa".  
> That is, those concepts are prerequisites for "talking about reality".

This sounds like a Kantian approach to knowledge acquisition;
Kant also put a special emphasis on time and space, which are,
in his opinion, 'built-in' into the human mind.

However, later philosophers showed that while you need
some prerequisites to turn perception into knowledge,
you don't need to select the Kantian set of prerequisites
(his 'a priori's).

A nice example is the current subatomic particle physics.
Suppose you measure the momentum of an electron. As
Heisenbergs uncertainty principle states, you can't at
the same time determine the electron's location. The
electron movement action somehow happens 'everywhere', 
just with different probabilities for each place.
If I understand it correctly, in KR you would have to write:
at space=world {electron do move with momentum=...}
which is not false, but also doesn't capture the way
particle physicists think about space. AFAIK there
are physics theories where time/space dimensions are
blurred even more, but 

Note that RDF also had to select some prerequisites to capture
knowledge, but they are related to a certain way of thinking 
(categorization, description by properties, deduction), 
not related to a certain way of looking at the 'real world' 
(time, space). Also, AFAIK this set of prerequisites wasn't chosen
because people think it is the best way to reason, but because
this way of thinking can be formalized and 'automated'.

Wolf Siberski
(siberski at learninglab de)
Received on Saturday, 14 December 2002 13:48:35 UTC

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