Reconciliation of perspectives
Holistic view on alternatives
We want to explore the possibility of an integrated perspective, that combines the basic point of view and point of contention regarding what is real. Each of these points of view is valid within the limits of its method and purpose.
- Physicalism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physicalism
- Realism, nominalism, conceptualism https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Problem_of_universals
Philosophers agree that human beings can talk and think about universals, but disagree on whether universals exist in reality beyond mere thought and speech.
Why does this matter? Mere thought and speech? Mere thought and speech exists. That's enough.
William James: From every point of view, the overwhelming and portentous character ascribed to universal conceptions is surprising. Why, from Plato and Aristotle, philosophers should have vied with each other in scorn of the knowledge of the particular and in adoration of that of the general, is hard to understand, seeing that the more adorable knowledge ought to be that of the more adorable things and that the things of worth are all concretes and singulars. The only value of universal characters is that they help us, by reasoning, to know new truths about individual things.
Yes, my thought exactly
Sowa on nominalism
In metaphysics, nominalism is a philosophical view which denies the existence of universals and abstract objects, but affirms the existence of general or abstract terms and predicates. There are at least two main versions of nominalism.
Dr. John Sowa is a leading semantic ontologist who has had significant influence on this project. Below is a brief quote from a recent email sent to the "Ontolog" mailing list, introducing some of these issues
John Sowa, Ontolog, Jan 26, 2021
I sympathize with both of you, and I'll add a bit more to explain some of the philosophical issues.
The most long-lasting and fundamental philosophical debate is among the realists and the nominalists. The term 'realist' in philosophy is applied to Plato and others who believe that the abstract mathematical forms are "really real" and the physical things are imperfect imitations of the forms.
Aristotle is also considered a realist, but he modified Plato's theory by claiming that mathematical forms and the physical things both exist, but that the forms primarily exist as possibilities, and they only exist as actualities when they are embodied in something physical.
The nominalists claim that only the physically observable things are real, and the mathematical forms exist only as descriptions of things that do or might exist. For the medieval scholastics, Duns Scotus was considered the most characteristic realist and his student, William of Ockham, was considered the most characteristic nominalist.
Today, mathematicians are often considered (and consider themselves as) realists because they believe that the theories that they discover represent something really real. But many other philosophers today are considered nominalists.
Some philosophers, such as Quine, considered themselves to be nominalists, but they recognized the importance of mathematics. They therefore modify their ontologies to include things like sets and sets of sets, which they can use to define the foundations of mathematics. That decision moves them somewhere to a mixture of nominalism with some realism.
There are also the laws of nature. Many scientists, who would like to consider physical actuality as fundamental, also believe that the laws of nature are really real. That pushes them over the border into the realist camp.
The version I summarize below is by C. S. Peirce, who was a logician, mathematician, scientist, engineer, and philosopher. The three universes of discourse (UoDs) are based on his writings. He considered himself to be a realist along the lines of Aristotle and Duns Scotus. However, it is possible to interpret his three universes as abstract descriptions without making a firm commitment to either side of the realist/nominalist debate.
Recommendation: For any theory of ontology that is adequate to support science and, engineering, mathematics is essential. It's also essential to have a firm belief that the well tested laws of science are good approximations to the real laws of nature (as far as they have been tested).
If you use the term "Universe of Discourse" rather than "Universe", it's possible to make good progress in ontology without getting bogged down in endless philosophical arguments about what is "really real".
And by the way, this is the core of my major disagreements about BFO. Barry has adopted an extreme nominalist interpretation that limits mathematics to just mereology. I admit that mereology is useful, but it is just an insignificant fraction of the total amount of mathematics that is required for modern science, engineering, and especially computer science and systems.
Any adequate ontology must include *all* mathematical theories as options for any branch of science, engineering, business... The math must be available as an integral part of the ontology (right at the top), not as some kind of "artifact".
Wed, Apr 14, 2021
Integral spectrum of perspectives
We want to explore the construction and synthesis of an "integrated spectrum of perspectives" that places into a single analytic context many alternatives or sectors or motivations that could and most properly should be conbined as alternative interpretations or facets within a single integral form.
- Methods of category formation -- major schools
- What is "reality" -- major points of view and motivations for each
This kind of scholarship should be pursued in systematic methodological detail, such that all major perspectives are brought into the common framework, documenting the entire discussion from leading voices and authors, perhaps both current and historical (philosophers and scientists of the past).
In semantic ontology there are good reasons for alternatives perspectives on "what is real". In category formation, there are good reasons for the various school and methods.
Each of these points of view involves foundational assumption and specific purposes and applications. This should be precisely catalogued.
Mon, May 10, 2021
What is God?
What is God? This is a huge subject. Wikipedia has a great and highly detailed collection of articles on the subject "God".
For now, we put this very broad theme into this category, since it is so inherently controversial and unresolved in any scientific way.
The Closed Loop project is emerging from a long history that has included not only studies in cognitive science, but also extensive experience in universal theology and comparative religion.
Based on this experience, we do have a thesis and answer to this question, "What is God?"
Our answer: "God is an interpretation of One" -- usually as seen from some local and culturally-influenced and individualized point of view, and to some degree "through a glass darkly".
God can be seen in many ways and in many forms, taking many shapes and given many names. The Wikipedia articles are good start on a detailed scholarly catalog of this subject. Take your time with them, and you will be on your way to a university-grade education in the subject.
In the context of the Closed Loop hypothesis, God is generally understood as an animated (alive) anthropocentric metaphor appearing in the eye of the mind because it is natural and organic for human beings to understand the higher levels of ontology in these terms -- and not somehow a flaw or error or naïve foolishness, or somehow inherently "unscientific" or irrational. This is how the eye of mind sees.
The Closed Loop might be a more powerful way and more scientific way to understand the concept than the traditional metaphors, but it is not somehow more authentic -- though because it is strictly rational, it might be less prone to misinterpretation or error or superstition.
God is One. God is the "ground of being" -- the container and platform and basis for all that is. God is The Whole, in its undivided perfection.
And we say that God is the "highest level of the Closed Loop" -- the highest level the mind of a particular human being can conceive or visualize. God conceived in this way retains all the classical authenticity that has emerged throughout history, validating the concept of God and some particular religion that understands God in some particular way, yet places the concept in the context of modern science and Conscious Evolution. These "varieties of God" generally have emerged throughout history in a way that is fitted to a particular culture at a particular moment in its history -- perhaps brought by some prophet or saint or visionary leader who is instinctively responding to the needs of some culture.
We pose this Closed Loop theology and interpretation in the context of our particular moment in global history, as the fruit of the profound evolutionary search and vast co-creative intersection of perspectives and cultures and points of view that is going on in the world today.
In this context, we could write a brief treatise on each of these points from the Wikipedia article, indicating how we understand these ideas from the point of view of scientific epistemology and ontology. Just a brief sketch.
The philosophy of religion recognizes the following as essential attributes of God:
- Omnipotence (limitless power)
- Omniscience (limitless knowledge)
- Eternity (God is not bound by time)
- Goodness (God is wholly benevolent)
- Unity (God cannot be divided)
- Simplicity (God is not composite)
- Incorporeality (God is not material)
- Immutability (God is not subject to change)
- Impassability (God is not affected)
Wed, Apr 14, 2021
This article is about the concept of a supreme "God" in the context of monotheism. For the general concept of a being superior to humans that is worshipped as "a god", see Deity and God (male deity). For God in specific religions, see Conceptions of God. For other uses of the term, see God (disambiguation).
Representation (for the purpose of art or worship) of God in (from upper left, clockwise) Christianity, Atenism, Zoroastrianism, and Balinese Hinduism.
Part of a series on
Types of faith
In particular religions
Practices Related topics vte
God, in monotheistic thought, is conceived of as the supreme being, creator, and principal object of faith. God is usually conceived of as being omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent and omnibenevolent as well as having an eternal and necessary existence. God is most often held to be incorporeal with its incorporeality or corporeality being related to conceptions of transcendence or immanence.
Some religions describe God without reference to gender, while others use terminology that is gender-specific and gender-biased. God has been conceived as either personal or impersonal. In theism, God is the creator and sustainer of the universe, while in deism, God is the creator, but not the sustainer, of the universe. In pantheism, God is the universe itself. Atheism is an absence of belief in God, while agnosticism deems the existence of God unknown or unknowable. God has also been conceived as the source of all moral obligation, and the "greatest conceivable existent". Many notable philosophers have developed arguments for and against the existence of God.
Each monotheistic religion refers to its god using different names, some referring to cultural ideas about the god's identity and attributes. In ancient Egyptian Atenism, possibly the earliest recorded monotheistic religion, this deity was called Aten and proclaimed to be the one "true" Supreme Being and creator of the universe.
In the Hebrew Bible and Judaism, the names of God include Elohim, Adonai, YHWH (Hebrew: ?????) and others. Yahweh and Jehovah, possible vocalizations of YHWH, are used in Christianity. In the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, one God coexists in three "persons" called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. In Islam, the name Allah is used, while Muslims also use a multitude of titles for God. In Hinduism, Brahman is often considered a monistic concept of God.
In Chinese religion, Shangdi is conceived as the progenitor (first ancestor) of the universe, intrinsic to it and constantly bringing order to it. Other names for God include Baha in the Bahá?í Faith,[Waheguru in Sikhism, Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrianism, and Sang Hyang Widhi Wasa in Balinese Hinduism.
Sowa on Peirce
The study of signs in general, their use in language and reasoning, and their relationships to the world, to the agents who use them, and to each other. It was developed independently by the logician Charles Sanders Peirce, who called it semeiotic, and by the linguist Ferdinand de Saussure, who called it sémiologie; other variants are the terms semiotics and semiology. Peirce developed semiotic into a rich, highly nuanced foundation for formal ontology, starting with three metalevel categories, which he called Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness. Specialized examples of these categories include Aristotle's triad of Inherence, Directedness, and Containment in Figure 1 and the triad of Independent, Relative, and Mediating in Figure 6. One of Peirce's most famous examples is the triad of Icon, Index, and Symbol.
Wed, Apr 14, 2021