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

To: Kathryn Blackmond Laskey <klaskey@xxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 18:17:45 -0800
Message-id: <C1F902C9.8364%dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Correct.  My original point was that it depends on the context (the unique
aspect in which the preposition might be evaluated).    (01)

- if a tugboat captain is seeking a river as a navigate-able channel, it may
or may not be a river if it is frozen or has too low water volume.    (02)

- if a fish (or very drunk human) seeks a river to spawn in, it may not be a
river still has water yet no actual flow sufficient to meet reproduction
requirements.    (03)

- if someone uses salinity as the key criteria, near the mouth it might not
be a river when saline levels rise due to tides.    (04)

In short, it depends on how one defines "definition".  Even with definitions
such as those in formal ontologies, it is still difficult to make a
universally true statement at this level of granularity.    (05)

As such, isn't any such statement probabilistic?    (06)

<duck!>  ;-)    (07)

D     (08)

On 2/14/07 3:48 PM, "Kathryn Blackmond Laskey" <klaskey@xxxxxxx> wrote:    (09)

>> ...
>> As a matter of fact, a river IS always a river:
>> this is a necessary truth.
> Except when it's a stream, or a brook, or a rivulet.
> There is flowing water (well, today it may be frozen; last week, it
> was flowing) that passes under a bridge I drive over on the way from
> my home to GMU.  Whether that something is a river or a stream or a
> creek, is open to endless debate.  I agree that it is what it is, but
> is it always a river?  Always not a river?  I don't think that
> question has a definite answer.
> Kathy
>     (010)

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