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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology, Information Models and the 'Real World'

To: "'Pat Hayes'" <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Chris Partridge" <mail@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2007 09:37:25 +0100
Message-id: <001b01c78002$75f26be0$6f00a8c0@Aegir>
Pat,    (01)

A few (small?) points below.    (02)

Chris    (03)

PS. WRT the debate on URI/URL it seems to me that a distinction needs to be
made between the information model that is a artefact produced during the
design process - which includes a model (representation) of the system to be
built - and URI/URLs that appear in the operational system.     (04)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@xxxxxxx]
> Sent: 16 April 2007 02:30
> To: Chris Partridge
> Cc: '[ontolog-forum] '
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology, Information Models and the 'Real
> World'
> >
> >So, the thrust of my argument goes like this. If
> >we are modelling the domain, we need to look at
> >the domain.
> >Is it true that every object in every domain has an identifier?
> No. (The assumption that every thing has a name
> amounts to the 'substitutional interpretation' of
> the quantifiers, which has been thoroughly
> trashed and isn't viable. It doesn't even work
> for OWL.)
> >I think not, so we need to accommodate objects without identifiers.
> Well, we have to simply agree that such things
> can exist. It doesn't take much more than that to
> 'accommodate' them. Some consequences might bite
> you, though, eg closed-world assumptions cannot
> be relied upon in general.
> >Do identifiers exist in the domain? I think so.
> Why not? They seem, like pretty simple things.
> But we have to allow people who aren't interested
> in them to ignore them.
> >If they do, do we know what they are?
> They are names, which are a subset of character
> strings.     (05)

I think this needs a little more analysis.
If I address you now - "Pat" - I would say that those three characters are a
character string and they name you.
If I address you again - "Pat" - I would again say that those three
characters are a character string and they name you. 
These two are tokens of the character string type 'Pat' - However the type
does not name you.
So see this, I address now address a colleague - "Pat" - I would again say
that those three characters are a character string and they name my
colleague, not you.
For more detail you either look at Chapters 12 & 13 of my book - or at any
other utterance theory of names.    (06)

So, I would refine your description to : They are names, which are the
subset of character strings, which 1) name the relevant object and 2) have
the same characters in the right order in the string.     (07)

I have found that 2) is not as easy to specify as it seems, as one needs to
take into account a number of factors when determining the equivalence
relation - e.g. whether the 'name' is case sensitive. These distinctions
seem to matter a lot in systems.    (08)

(In fact, I'd suggest, Unicode character
> strings, which allows a very wide-ranging kind of
> vocabulary, including things like Braille,
> LabaNotation and linear B).
> >I think it is not clear that we do.
> See above. Mind you, Im not saying that I know
> how to distinguish character strings which in
> some sense 'really are' names from other, merely
> accidental, character strings. But I don't think
> I need to, to allow them into the domain.    (09)

Not sure why you see a problem here - surely it is whether they are used
(intentionally) as names. As you do below.    (010)

> Our IKRIS project made a small start on this. In
> IKL, all character strings are in the domain and
> they are all 'potential' names. A string gets to
> be a name when it is used as one in the language,
> ie when it is used in a formula. For those, we
> have a special rule that relates the name's
> meaning to the name OF the name. Its very simple:
> if you give a character sting as an argument to
> the special function tnb (thing named by), its
> value is required to be whatever that character
> string would denote if you were to use it as a
> name. Formally,
> (= (tnb 'name') name)
>     (011)

It is not clear to me here whether the character string in your system is
intended to be a token character string or a representative of a type
character string.    (012)

> This is a very simple, elementary, basic rule,
> but it allows quite a lot to be done. For
> example, in IKL you can say that a list L of
> names is a 'closed world' for a predicate P by an
> axiom which quantifies over character strings:
> (forall ((s charstring))(iff (P (tnb s))(ListMember s L)))
> The fun part s that this kind of claim is usually
> assumed to require the use of a nonmonotonic
> logic, but the naming rule allows one to step
> around that kind of complication.
> Pat
> >
> >I suspect this is enough to get our discussion going.
> >
> >Regards,
> >Chris
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
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