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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
reasoning.


> 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:

    http://www.polymathix.com/papers/socs-upper.html

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:

    http://www.semioticsofcomplexsystems.org/

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