I'm responding to Rich's and And's posts on this topic together here
because the 5/day limit will catch up with me otherwise.

Rick Morneau:
> Mark P. Line:
>> Finally, I have found that the best way to support reasoning
>> of the _conceptual_ kind is to define an ontology (or several,
>> as long as they work together). That's the approach in my
>> upcoming Waldzell Conlang: define an upper ontology (i.e. a
>> consistent set of definitions that form the "highest", most
>> abstract layer at the top of a potentially unlimited hierarchy
>> of lower ontologies) and map it directly onto the conlang.
>> Construction of lower ontologies then requires nothing more
>> than lexicalization.
>> Yes? No?
> I think it's a good idea - if it can be done (even though I don't
understand what you mean by "conceptual reasoning").

I said _conceptual_ reasoning because there is such a thing as
_nonconceptual_ reasoning. Ontologies are a typical left-brain mechanism
for describing typically left-brain reasoning. I do not believe that the
same mechanism would be very useful for describing typically right-brain

> I'm curious about
> what your uppermost ontologies will look like.  Can you give us
> something more specific?

There's a recent draft of the upper ontology I have in mind at:

The hierarchy of ontologies that this one is supposed to root is the
subject of a whole 'nother website which is just now being put together...
it *is* open for business, just not populated yet:

Follow the link to the forum index -- everything on the site will be
accessible from there.

> BTW, I thought you started Waldzell several years ago???

Yes, many years ago, in fact. But the upper ontology evolved as the lower
semiotic ontologies were developed (especially over the last 5 years), so
I'm now needing to get the Waldzell Conlang caught up with the ontology.
(That's why I'm no longer citing the old material on the Waldzell Conlang,
even though it's still there.)


And Rosta:
> While I
> would not rule out the existence of a form of alien
> intelligence operating with a logic mutually unintelligble
> with our human logic (and therefore essentially beyond
> our human ken), I would put my philosophical money
> on human logic not being unique to the species -- i.e. on
> it being transhuman. This is because it is so hard to
> conceive of any alternative to human logic: it is easy
> to believe that many human thoughts are transhuman, and
> very difficult to think of any radically different way
> in which such thoughts could be structured.[*]

My philosophical money is on "human logic" being (merely) the result of
the particular happenstance of the evolution of certain (esp.
left-hemisphere) parts of our brain. I don't even think that "human logic"
necessarily applies to the entire neurocognitive reasoning apparatus of a
single human, much less to members of (terrestrial or extraterrestrial)
non-human species.

I recommend the writings of Gregory Bateson on cetacean communication.
Speculative, I admit, but I'll take Bateson's speculation over some
people's empirical observations...

-- Mark

-- Mark