Saturday, August 17, 2013

Not all ontological entities are created equal

Knowledge is of an approximate character.  Our formalisms abstract and simplify.  Each formalism is an idealization, often times approximating in its own different ways, each formalism offering somewhat different coverage of the domain of interest. Having multiple overlaping theories of a knowledge domain is then better than having just one theory. (see my blog of 17 Aug. 2012 and , philosopher, changing what science is, also, the laws of nature are not unique)

Our various theories and the entities they contain are not all equally good approximations to the domain of interest.  Some entities in our ontology will be more approximate than others.  "Particles" or "objects", for example, may be not as sound a concept as "quantum fields." (see Not Particles, Not Quite Fields, by Tracy Lupher and The fate of  'particles' in quantum field theories with interactions, by Doreen Fraser)

As Asa H evolves categories it also estimates utilities for them. (see my blogs of 10 and 19 Feb. 2011)

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