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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontological Assumptions of FOL

To: "Chris Partridge" <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 19 Mar 2007 13:37:34 -0500
Message-id: <p0623090bc22487becb79@[]>
>>CP>I am not sure where you see the disadvantages of the DavidL position I
>>described are. He is saying that if the instances are spatio-temporal,
>>there some sense in which the set of them are as well.
>PH>Well, I can see a lot of problems with this. If
>you believe, for example, that all spatiotemporal
>entities are in some sense physical, you will get
>into trouble.
>By physical do you mean something more than material? Not sure what problems
>ensue - could you elaborate.    (01)

You might for example get the conclusion that since all physical 
things are made of some kind of stuff (Cyc has such an axiom), that 
therefore numbers are made of some kind of stuff. Then there could be 
questions about the density, say, of 17-stuff.    (02)

>PH>Or if someone else believes this
>and bases *their* ontology on it, and then you
>try to work with them. Many high-level frameworks
>make the spatiotemporal/abstract distinction very
>high up, so get into difficulties when it is
>denied. And DavidL's position as I understand it
>is that this is so when the members are
>spatiotemporally close: but what of highly
>scattered examples, such as the set of all the
>hydrogen atoms?
>Ah, I think we are talking about different things here.
>If you are saying that a lot of existing ontologies have X therefore we need
>to have something that can work with X - I can see the argument.    (03)

That was my main point, yes.    (04)

>My point is rather that if 'abstract' is a bit difficult to get a clear cut
>picture of - then people using it will end up with different classifications
>- making things difficult to reconcile. My tactic would be to just take
>abstract out of the hierarchy - not sure what kind of problems this would
>cause.    (05)

I agree that just tossing a tricky distinction is often a good 
strategy under these circumstances. But I tend to think that most 
folk agree fairly well on the abstract/spatiotemporal division, in 
fact, and that DavidL is rather an outlier. He has a number of rather 
odd realist views, of course, including possible worlds.    (06)

Pat    (07)

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