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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology and methodology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 07:29:37 -0500
Message-id: <45FE8231.9010308@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

I would say it's much more than "often necessary".  It's
absolutely essential to distinguish them:    (02)

CP> In business systems it is often necessary to distinguish
 > between the 'role' someone plays, whether more general,
 > such as employee, or more specific, such as FX Dealer
 > in order to carry out the business processes.    (03)

For example, a pet is an animal that plays a certain role
with respect to another animal, usually human.  (For example,
the gorilla Koko had a pet cat, which she named "All-Ball"
in her sign language.)    (04)

In the type hierarchy, I place all role types under the
supertype Role, which is further differentiated according
to a wide variety of different characteristics.    (05)

Pet, for example, is in the sublattice under Role, but
it is also under Animal, since every pet is an animal.
Then PetCat is a subtype of both Pet and Cat.  A cat
is a cat for its entire life, but it may become a pet
and later stray.    (06)

Employee is under Role, and depending on your business,
you might include it under Human, Animal, or even Animate.
(I use the category Animate as a supertype of Animal that
can also include such things as robots and angels.)    (07)

 > What is key here is that the role is the subject of
 > rights and responsibilities....  Also, these rights
 > and responsibilities track the employee (FX Dealer)
 > through time, but NOT the person.    (08)

I certainly agree.  In CLCE or any other dialect of
Common Logic, the type Employee would have additional
axioms beyond just the statement Employee < Person.    (09)

 > Hence, it does not make sense to think, as you seem to suggest
 > in your mail that, at a point in time, employees are a subtype
 > of person - without also giving some explanation about what
 > happens over time - and how an employee at a point in time can
 > act ex officio as a person and not an employee.    (010)

Of course.  How could you possibly imagine that I would ever
suggest anything else?  No email note is big enough to include
all possible qualifications.    (011)

All roles are temporary, even though some, such as Brother or
Mother, might last a lifetime.  The thematic roles, such as
Agent, Experiencer, Patient, Recipient, etc., have durations
that last only as long as the action or state specified by a verb,
which may be very short indeed.    (012)

John    (013)

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