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Re: [ontolog-forum] Role of definitions (Remember the poor human)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 19:03:12 -0500
Message-id: <A68AE57B-F62A-4E0B-B9CA-EC9E144C6F82@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hi Kathy,

Well, you know that I, for one, have had discussions with you about this.  I don't believe it's a matter at all about "real" vs unreal axioms.  The fact of the matter is simple in my view.  An earlier note of yours mentioned "classification".  I suspect this is how you, being a machine learning person, view the role of "ontologies".

Some quick questions, then.  If "ontologies" are supposed to include sophisticated mechanisms for handling probability distributions and are supposed to support classification, then what would be the role of epistemology and phenomenology in such ontologies?  Do they all get rolled in?   Is it the case that you reject the traditional divides between ontology, epistemology, phenomenology, and semantics in natural languages?


On Feb 14, 2007, at 18:53 , Kathryn Blackmond Laskey wrote:

How would you suggest that probabilities be used in conjunction
with ontologies?

I think ontologies ought to be allowed to contain probabilistic 
statements. I think there is a need for ontology languages rich 
enough to express type hierarchies and relational statements and 
coherent probability distributions for attributes and relations among 

I know that's a minority view.  I know some people think 
probabilities are fine, but they don't belong in the ontology because 
probabilistic statement are somehow less fundamental than "real" 
ontological axioms.  I don't agree.



Bill Andersen (andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)

Chief Scientist

Ontology Works, Inc. (www.ontologyworks.com)

3600 O'Donnell Street, Suite 600

Baltimore, MD 21224

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