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Re: [ontolog-forum] Levels

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 12 Feb 2007 14:01:08 -0600
Message-id: <BD011DFA-97ED-4E46-A615-AC7DBEB06E5D@xxxxxxxx>
On Feb 12, 2007, at 12:12 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> You're right that import statements should not be considered part of
>> an ontology.  I agree it's the imported axioms that are part of the
>> ontology.
> Wait. Of course the imports statements are part
> of the ontology. What are you guys talking about?    (01)

*If* ontologies are logical theories, then it seems to me that this  
confuses a mechanism for saying what (some of) the axioms of an  
ontology are with the ontology.  Suppose I'm writing my ontology for  
TAMU faculty and admin again, and you've got a nice higher-level  
ontology for universities over there at IHMC.  My statement "import  
(reiterate, endorse, whatever) Pat's university ontology" is not part  
of my ontology; it's a mechanism for saying what my axioms are that  
makes efficient use of an open network.    (02)

I'm not dogmatically wedded to the idea that formal ontologies are  
logical theories of some ilk, but if you're right, and my import  
statement is literally part of my ontology, then formal ontologies  
are not (in general) logical theories, and we'd better get clear  
about the connection between the former and the latter.  You seem to  
be favoring the idea that ontologies are rather more concrete than  
I'd been thinking.  Do you think it would be better to say that a  
logical theory is only one of several components of an ontology?    (03)

-chris    (04)

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