[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] The Relation Between Logic and Ontology in Metaphysi

To: "Chris Partridge" <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 16 Mar 2007 12:56:52 -0500
Message-id: <p0623090ec220870b43cc@[]>
>Hi Pat,
>You can put this back on-line, if you think anyone will be interested.    (01)

Whoops, I thought I had. Sorry.    (02)

>I suppose I am being a bit presumptuous to assume you are interested :-).    (03)

Not at all. (Presumptuous?? What do you think I 
have grown into?? Don't answer that.)    (04)

>I agree that you can make the logical manoeuvres that you are suggesting,
>but there is another question.
>How elegant is the solution?
>Is the proposal just a hack?
>And if it is, so what?    (05)

Well, Im all in favor of hacks if they work, both 
in coding and in writing ontologies. More 
seriously, terms like 'just a hack' convey 
nothing useful, seems to me. The case I was 
arguing was that any ontological content CAN be 
expressed in FOL. Responses along the lines of 
"OK, but I don't like that way of expressing it' 
(which is what 'just a hack' means) are not 
persuasive.    (06)

>I had an intuition that this was an important question, but could not really
>put my finger on a good argument until recently.
>Last year a colleague gave me a book on complexity theory that gave me the
>beginnings of an argument.
>The book is really badly written - but the argument is good. I can send you
>the relevant scanned pages if you want - be warned the pdf is enormous.    (07)

Book reference and page #s will do.    (08)

>Anyway, the nub of the argument is this.
>When the complexity (complexity theorists seem to call what IT people call
>functionality, complexity) of a tool is not up the task, you need to use a
>workaround. The greater the gap, the greater the number of workarounds.
>Now a lot of the work I do consists of trying to spot workarounds, and
>guessing what aspects of the tool (for tool read ontological foundations)
>need to be improved to make the tool sufficiently complex/functional. So
>this seems to make sense.
>I also chatted to a few complexity (software) people and they all said they
>could not understand traditional software architects all seemed to try to
>build complexity (i.e. functionality) OUT of the system. This struck a
>chord, as often the changes I was talking about (e.g. multiple rather than
>single inheritance) were condemned by programmers as too complicated
>(happened again last week). OK, I accept the foundation was a bit more
>sophisticated, but it made the rest of the system much MUCH simpler. We get
>order of magnitude reductions in code.    (09)

Sounds like what you were calling an improvement 
is what they would call a hack, no? Are you sure 
you are talking about the same thing here?    (010)

>It also struck a chord with the FD of the company I am working with now. He
>reckons that in most of the accounting departments he has worked with in the
>financial sector, on average, between 70 and 90% of the effort is going on
>workarounds. He want to re-engineer the accounting paradigm (I can send you
>my paper on this).    (011)

Yes, do.    (012)

>I accept that I cannot now easily define what a workaround is, but most
>people can sense where there is one. My question really is whether this is
>happening in some on the logical manoeuvres you are making. Not claiming to
>always know the answer - just raising the question.    (013)

Well, Im not sure what an ontology workaround 
would be like. The danger I can see is that 
anything at all complicated is condemned as a 
workaround or a hack, without saying what it is 
that one supposed to be working around exactly. 
Is making the distinction between a lake (same 
body of water from day to day even though every 
pint of water is replaced by river flow in about 
three days) and a particular 'piece' of water 
(which is dangerous to drink because 
contaminated, say) "just a hack", or is it a 
genuine ontological distinction? It sure *feels* 
like the latter.    (014)

Its true, often there are alternative ways of 
expressing something and no clear reason to pick 
one over the other. Maybe that is the sign of a 
"hack", ie its being arbitrary?    (015)

Pat    (016)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Pat Hayes
>Sent: 16 March 2007 16:47
>To: [ontolog-forum]
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] The Relation Between Logic and Ontology in
>>... one could adopt a description-logical style
>>of expression and distinguish between mere
>>logical predication (F a) and natural-kind as a
>>special relation of class membership (Kind a F),
>>perhaps with an axiom which relates natural kinds
>>to their weaker (merely extensional) associated
>>(forall (x y)(if (Kind x y)((propertyOf x) y) )
>Sorry, should be
>(forall (x y)(if (Kind x y)((propertyOf y) x) )
>IHMC           (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
>40 South Alcaniz St.   (850)202 4416   office
>Pensacola                      (850)202 4440   fax
>FL 32502                       (850)291 0667    cell
>phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes
>Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/ 
>Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/ 
>Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
>Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/
>To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
>    (017)

IHMC            (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
40 South Alcaniz St.    (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                       (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                        (850)291 0667    cell
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes    (018)

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (019)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>