Re: Why do you want to do that?

At 7:44 PM -0700 8/11/08, Richard H. McCullough wrote:
>See below.
>Dick McCullough
>Ayn Rand do speak od mKR done;
>mKE do enhance od Real Intelligence done;
>knowledge := man do identify od existent done;
>knowledge haspart proposition list;
>----- Original Message -----
>From: <>Pat Hayes
>To: <>Richard H. McCullough
>Cc: <>Semantic Web at W3C ; 
><>KR-language ; 
><>Adam Pease
>Sent: Monday, August 11, 2008 12:26 PM
>Subject: Re: Why do you want to do that?
>At 9:53 AM -0700 8/11/08, Richard H. McCullough wrote:
>>Let me clarify several things.
>1. mKR can handle an X which is both an Individual & a Class
>in the same context.
>2. Since I consider (1) to be wrong, epistemologically,
>You have said this repeatedly, but you have never given any reason 
>for it or tried to persuade anyone else of it. Since there have been 
>several examples already suggested which seem to contradict it quite 
>clearly, I would be far more interested in hearing arguments, than 
>simply a repetition of your opinion. This is actually an ontological 
>issue rather than an epistemological one, so epistemology is 
>somewhat irrelevant.
>By the way, you have still not explained what you mean by 
>'individual'. You restricted yourself to physical individuals, which 
>is clearly far too restrictive and in any case begs the question at 
>issue. Do you have a more general account of what you mean?
>Dick responds:
>The theory applies equally to physical individuals and abstract individuals.
>But it's harder to define an abstract individual; I don't have a 
>good definition on the tip of my tongue.
>I'm still going to avoid that question for now, because I don't want 
>to invest the time to come up with a
>good definition.
>As for the clearer case of physical individuals, you are not really 
>"hearing" my arguments,
>because you have already accepted a different conclusion. 

Im not hearing them because you havn't given any. That's not a 
logical fallacy on my part. BTW, its insulting to accuse someone of 
being this incompetent at logic.

>I forget the name of that particular logical fallacy.
>But the bottom line is: you have assumed your conclusion is true without proof

My conclusion, as you put it, is that something can be both a class 
and an individual: or, to put the same point in a different way, a 
class can be an individual. Now, I am not assuming this without 
proof: on the contrary, I have written quite detailed expositions of 
tightly defined logical formalisms in which classes can be 
individuals, in the usual sense of 'individual'. In any case, the 
argument is quite simple: to be an individual is simply to be an 
entity which is in the universe of discourse; classes (sets) can be 
in the universe of discourse: ergo, classes can be individuals. You 
apparently are using a different sense of "individual", but you have 
not told us what your sense is nor why this conclusion (that an 
RMc-individual cannot be a class) follows.

>, and asserted that my conclusion is
>false because your conclusion is true.

I asserted that your conclusion is false because it is provably 
false, given the usual understanding of "individual". I am interested 
to discover what your sense of the word is, in order to see what your 
argument is like.

>I'll give you my "physical individual" argument again.

Thanks, though you have not previously given this argument in this thread.

>An Individual is an "external" thing directly perceived by a human.

A physical thing is external, yes, though it (obviously) does not 
have to be perceivable by a human. Humans cannot see sodium atoms, 
for example, but they are physical all the same. Im not sure what 
'directly' perceivable means.

>A Class is an "internal" thing -- an abstract mental group of Individuals.

No, it isn't. There is nothing particularly 'mental' about a class. 
Classes are simply collections of entities. They are abstract, if you 
like, but that does not make them "mental". In fact, I don't really 
know what you mean by a "mental group".

>A group of Individuals is mutually exclusive from an Individual.

If what you said above were correct, this would indeed follow, but it 
isn't. Consider for example a flock of sheep. This is just a 
'physical' as an individual sheep: in fact, you might well be able to 
see the flock if it is suitably gathered together. But it is a 
collection, a class, all the same. Or, in the other direction, 
consider a mental individual such as a particular act of remembering 
someone's name. That is an individual, but it is just as 'mental' and 
'internal' as any class can be. So in both of these cases your 
argument fails immediately.

>Even if you allow a group to have only 1 member,
>the most you can say is that the group is equivalent to the member
>in some sense.

I'd rather not say that, but keep the group and its member distinct.

>  You can't say that the member is a group, or that
>the group is a member.

Well, in fact you can, though I agree its not very intuitive. (Check 
out 'non-well-founded set theories' in the Stanford Encylopedia of 
Philosophy.) But in any case, even if I concede this point, its not 
the point we were arguing about. To say that a group is not the same 
as its member is not the same as saying that the group cannot be an 


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Received on Tuesday, 12 August 2008 05:37:15 UTC