W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > December 2001

RE: Logic and proof tutorial resources

From: Smith, Ned <ned.smith@intel.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Dec 2001 18:21:12 -0800
Message-ID: <0DCC27458EB5D51181840002A507069E0C3174@orsmsx117.jf.intel.com>
To: "'Pat Hayes'" <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
See below.

Ned M. Smith
Intel Architecture Labs          Phone: 503.264.2692
2111 N.E. 25th Ave               Fax: 503.264.6225
Hillsoboro OR. 97124            mailto:ned.smith@intel.com

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ai.uwf.edu]
> Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:36 PM
> To: Smith, Ned
> Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
> Subject: Re: Logic and proof tutorial resources
> >I'd like to find good concise tutorial material for
> >logic & proof disciplines. I've found WikiPedia[1] at Ohio State to
> >be a good resource. It doesn't assume the reader is a logician.
> >However it lacks information on the mechanics of proofs.
> I'd like to find good concise tutorial material for quantum 
> electrodynamics, which is written in plain English and doesn't assume 
> that the reader has any math beyond linear algebra; but I don't 
> expect to find it. Some things just do require a certain minimal 
> level of technical savvy.
I assume you're being a little flip with your response (as we have never
met). In fact, there is such a source it is called Scientific American! ;-)
Its true, I'm not going to learn to be a nuclear physicist by reading
Sci-Am, but I might learn how advances in nuclear physics might impact my
life and pursuits. 

If my job were to implement security policies for my company and I were
asked to determine whether using logic would be better than what I'm using
now. I couldn't respond by saying I need to retrain to be a logician before
I could answer the question.
> >I expect for semantic web vision to be realized, proof 
> mechanics must be
> >accessible to the average developer/web professional.
> Proof mechanics?? I don't think so. We hope that the machines will 
> handle this kind of thing, surely. What is more likely to be useful 
> is a basic grasp of theories of meaning, and maybe a certain ability 
> to 'think logically', where that is hard to define exactly but can be 
> taught to non-mathematical undergraduates, and about half of them get 
> it eventually. I think the essential key to this 'thinking logically' 
> is to learn to mentally stand a little aloof from the words in an 
> argument, in order to *not* read the 'usual' meanings of the word 
> forms. You kind of have to put your everyday common sense on one 
> side, and pretend that you know nothing except what the words say, 
> exactly. It takes time and some native talent to develop this skill. 
> We don't expect that people can write Java or even HTML without doing 
> some hard work first. Why would you expect logic to be different?

I don't. I expect to be able to find tutorials and language specifications
that building on a foundation of theory and practice, systematically
decomposes the language into digestible parts and relates it to my
experience (e.g. C++, modula, etc...). I believe I have the mental capacity
to stand aloof from the words and to think logically. However, that isn't
going to help me grasp the theory and practice or help me understand a
reasonable system of decompostion etc... What references do you recommend?

> >HTML and the browser
> >made the Internet more accessible when commandline 
> processors to things like
> >gopher, ftp and smtp were the norm.
> >
> >Does the list recommend resources in addition to[1]?
> >
> >[1] http://www.wikipedia.com/wiki/Larrys_Text
> I really would not recommend this, to be honest. Not to criticize it, 
> but it is aimed at philosophy students. Almost everything in this is 
> irrelevant to the kind of competence that one needs, and much of it 
> is actively misleading (particularly the emphasis - common in intro. 
> philosophy courses - on 'natural language' arguments rather than 
> formal logics.) For example, machine inference systems have not used 
> rules like modus ponens since the early 1960s.

The use of the word ontology to refer to a technology implies there is a
connection, even if its superficial. The fact that I'm asking for additional
sources suggests that wikipedia isn't enough. What would you recommend?

> Pat Hayes
> -- 
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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> phayes@ai.uwf.edu 
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Received on Tuesday, 11 December 2001 21:21:21 UTC

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