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Re: Evidence

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Mon, 18 Jun 2007 17:18:24 +0000
Message-Id: <p06230907c29c6cae1e1a@[]>
To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Cc: public-semweb-lifesci@w3.org

>On Jun 12, 2007, at 3:53 PM, samwald@gmx.at wrote:
>>Hi Waclaw,
>>>Matthias, if you look carefully at BFO, you'll see that roles are
>>>entities.  This means that evidences, as roles, are entities.
>>Of course. I just wanted to differentiate that an experiment is not 
>>an instance of any class called 'evidence' (in other words, an 
>>experiment 'is not' evidence). Instead, it should be associated 
>>with an 'evidence-role'.
>The only problem with this is that roles inhere in continuants 
>rather than in occurrents. One way around this is not to say that 
>evidence is an experiment, but rather the results of an experiment.

If I may interject, the fact that you need to find a way 'around' 
this illustrates what I have long found to be the case, that the 
continuant/occurrent distinction, and the resulting artificial 
restrictions that it places upon what one is allowed to say, is more 
harm than it is worth. One can take any ontology (such as BFO) that 
is based up on it and simply erase the distinction (and all its 
consequent distinctions) and nothing is thereby lost, only a 
simplification achieved and the need for artificial work-arounds 
diminished. It is in any case based on very debatable (and indeed 
debated) philosophical assumptions, arising chiefly from 
ordinary-language philosophy (and Brentano's theology) than from 
anything scientific. It carves nature at language's joints rather 
than nature's joints.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Monday, 18 June 2007 19:25:23 UTC

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