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

To: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 15 Feb 2007 13:23:55 -0600
Message-id: <p0623090fc1fa60f20fc7@[]>
>When I say context, I like to use the wordnet definition:
>"discourse that surrounds a language unit and helps to determine its
>interpretation"    (01)

OK, that helps. That is one of the major branches 
of the context-type classification tree, the 
other being the sense in which a context is a set 
of actual circumstances in the world in which a 
token of a language unit is used. So you are 
talking about discourse contexts, which are 
linguistic in nature, like the 'common ground' of 
a conversation, and apply to meanings of 
linguistic units.    (02)

>Yes - a "river" is always a "river" hence its name.  A more accurate
>depiction of what I meant to say is that a certain instance might be a
>"river" in one context and not in another as you suggest.
>See below:
>>>   A glass of water sitting on a
>>>  desk in front of you will not be elevated in your own tuple stores yet a
>>>  glass of water approaching your windshield at 60MPH will based on your
>>>  perception that it is a threat to your 
>>>safety.  They are the same object but
>>>  in different contexts have different meaning.
>>  Hmm, context as relative speed: I think that is
>>  the first time I have come across that particular
>>  usage.
>(DUANE):  I suspect that the geo-spatial-temporal relationship is one
>context modifier but there would be others.  Temperature or granularity
>might be another.    (03)

OK, Im puzzled already. Here you seem to be on 
the other branch of the tree. These are aspects 
of the physical circumstances, not discourse, and 
the effect of them is not on a language unit but 
rather on how a piece of the actual world is 
perceived. On the face of it, this seems like a 
completely different topic. It has often been 
remarked that linguistic contexts are completely 
distinct from situational contexts: which do you 
mean to focus on?    (04)

>  For example - what is "solid"?  To you and I, a sidewalk
>is solid.  To a neutrino, it is not.  Not to worry as I don't know of many
>neutrinos who are actively writing ontologies for a human audience but it
>does illustrate the importance of the context being somehow present in an
>ontology.    (05)

It would if we were concerned with ontologies to 
be used by neutrinos, but I do not think this is 
likely; and even if it were, they would be 
different ontologies. So? I fail to see your 
point.    (06)

>I would presume that the example above is based on an intersection of
>multiple contexts.    (07)

I really do suggest that you read some of the 
literature on contextual reasoning before 
suggesting ideas like this. It is hard enough to 
figure out what people mean by "context", let 
alone what an intersection of them is supposed to 
be.    (08)

>  Thinking about how you think is one of the hardest
>activities anyone can do (or so I think).
>>>  Even the basic examples that used to come 
>>>with Protégé were flawed IMO.  The
>>>  wine example was screaming for the aspect of context to be included in the
>>>  ontology given the concept of "best wine" is contextually dependent upon
>>>  your definition and criteria for "best".
>>  It is dependent on your concept of "best", yes.
>>  Put another way, it uses the term in a very
>>  under-determined way. Why do you say this is
>>  "contextual", though? What has this situation got
>>  to do with contexts, and in what sense of
>>  "context"?
>(DUANE):  I think the way I interpreted it, it *could* be a contextual
>argument but also might not.  Since it is not defined in the example, I
>found the example next to useless.    (09)

OWL is not a contextual language, so it would be 
a safe presumption that it was not intended to be 
contextual.    (010)

Pat    (011)

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