Dear Sami,
(first time that I have an exchange with you, so: *greetings!)*
I am a bit negative towards ontology, because it postulates an 'existence'
to describe and such is hard to identify. A second difficulty arises in a
descriptive view of a dynamic (constantly changing) world, most likely a
"snapshot" of one stage in the change.

whether X exists? my answer is a "yes", because in your mind (and now in
mine as well) it does.
Be it virtual, physical(?), mental, or whatever.
While still active in my job, I always asked a co-worker to check my texts I
wrote (in this 5th language of mine). He pointed to some words maybe
formulated by my linguistic freedom - and asked:* Does such a word
exist?*My response was: did it make sense to you what it may mean?
if yes, it *does* now, be it in your dictionary of yesterday, or not.
We face an unlimited (dynamic) complexity of a world and I do not condone
'human' restrictons towards its content did we know about it yesterday, or
not. Open semiotics. I consider 'everything' as the unlimited relations
(relational changes?) among unlimited content in an unlimited complexity -
known only in part by the so far enriched cognitive inventory for us -
result of our epistemic additions starting with the first conscious
'molecule' (or even just with a hint) IOW of the evolution (that is the
historical dynamics of the world's complexity). I try to speak about it in
non-temporal terms.

You wrote: "*In the subject of this group"*  a sometime hard-to-define term.
Thanks to Wei Dai, the group condones a wide variety of topics - domains
what makes it interesting and educational.

Thanks for your views what I see facing a certain direction. I try to expand
it more.

John M


On 8/31/10, Sami Perttu <sami.per...@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> I've been suspecting that some problems of ontology can be solved
> nicely if we practise a little therapeutic philosophy first.
>
> I'm claiming that when we talk about existence, for instance "X
> exists", then we should always qualify it with base set Y as in "X
> exists in Y". And that unqualified use, as done in metaphysics (and in
> the subject of this group), is an ontological fallacy - existence "in
> the general sense" is meaningless.
>
> This reduces the nebulous question "does X exist?" to the problem of
> finding a suitable base set Y. Thus a seemingly fundamental question
> is resolved to a logical/linguistic misstep.
>
> People often seem to think that to exist, X has to have the quality of
> existing, but we can get rid of that in this way, simplify our
> thinking and gain some peace of mind.
>
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