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Re: [ontolog-forum] what is a proposition?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ingvar Johansson <ingvar.johansson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 26 May 2007 11:59:57 +0200
Message-id: <4658051D.9000702@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Kathryn Blackmond Laskey schrieb:
> [KBL] An ontology has been defined as a "specification of a 
> conceptualization."  When we create an ontology (the noun, the 
> artifact, as distinct from the philosophical discipline) we are 
> creating a/ representation/ of that which exists. A representation is 
> different from that which is represented.  Any representation is 
> fallible -- it may contain errors and inaccuracies.
> Therefore, we cannot avoid the link with epistemology.   To study the 
> relationship between an ontology artifact and that which it represents 
> is to study epistemology.    (01)

As I have said in earlier mails, I am a "fallibilist - but not a 
nihilist! - with respect to communication". You seem to be using the 
term "study epistemology" in quite another sense than I am. To me it 
means to study a certain part of philosophy, but to you it seems to mean 
what empirical scientists have been doing throughout the ages. "To study 
the relationship between an ontology artifact and that which it 
represents" must, I guess,  mean to consult the relevant knowledge 
experts, since they are the ones who have the most truthlike views of 
reality (what is represented).    (02)

> In many practical situations, it is of essential importance to 
> acknowledge explicitly that an ontology is incomplete and error-prone.    (03)

Yes, I agree.    (04)

> In such situations, it is important to annotate a representation with 
> information about its credibility or quality.    (05)

Yes, but note now what what fallibilism in (philosophical) epistemology 
really amounts to. It means that you cannot even be absolutely sure that 
your credibility index is quite correct. You seem to me to give up "the 
quest for certainty" at one level only to install it again at a higher 
level, but it should be given up altogether. However, in my opinion, 
"the quest for truth" should remain as living a goal as it was in the 
times when it was linked to the view that knowledge can be certain.    (06)

Ingvar    (07)

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