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Re: Proposal: new top level domain '.urn' alleviates all need for urn: URIs

From: John Cowan <cowan@mercury.ccil.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Jul 2003 23:29:09 -0400
To: Larry Masinter <LMM@acm.org>
Cc: "'Sandro Hawke'" <sandro@w3.org>, "'Michael Mealling'" <michael@neonym.net>, Patrick.Stickler@nokia.com, hardie@qualcomm.com, uri@w3.org
Message-ID: <20030722032909.GD31364@mercury.ccil.org>

Larry Masinter scripsit:

> I suggest that no one should be allowed to post on the
> subject of whether two different URIs denote the same
> resource until they can give a cogent explanation of
> whether the phrase 'the morning star' does or doesn't
> denote the same resource as 'the evening star'.

Of course they do.  Venus is Venus, necessarily, and "the evening
star" and "the morning star" both denote Venus.  That said, it was not
trivial to discover that.  There is no reason, just because something is
necessarily true, that it has to be knowable a priori.  IOW, it has to be
true that Venus is Venus, and when we discovered that "the morning star"
and "the evening star" (Hesperos and Phosphoros) had the same referent,
we learned a novel necessary truth.  But in a different universe, we could
have found out otherwise, that H and P were really different objects.
Luckily, we are not in that universe.

> Personally, I prefer the point of views that URIs by
> themselves do not 'denote'. They have enough work to do
> as identifiers, and can't lift the weight of denotation.

No identifiers without a criterion for identity, I'm afraid.
And no entity without identity, either.

> With this formulation, whether 'the morning star'
> denotes the same resource as 'the evening star'
> depends on the person(s) who utter the two phrases.

Nope.  Even if you don't know that the evening star and the morning
star are both Venus, they still are.  Metaphysics != epistemology.

John Cowan       http://www.ccil.org/~cowan        <jcowan@reutershealth.com>
        You tollerday donsk?  N.  You tolkatiff scowegian?  Nn.
        You spigotty anglease?  Nnn.  You phonio saxo?  Nnnn.
                Clear all so!  `Tis a Jute.... (Finnegans Wake 16.5)
Received on Monday, 21 July 2003 23:34:16 UTC

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