|To:||"[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|From:||"Azamat Abdoullaev" <abdoul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Fri, 1 Jun 2007 14:12:56 +0300|
The least i wish to do is to contribute to this lengthy formal logical disputations. But even at the peak of polemics, the eristics need to take an extreme caution against extreme views on natural language:
PH: But in any case, I also think, purely now as a matter of engineering, that to confuse natural language with
ontological formalisms is a serious methodological blunder.
JS: I agree. I blame Montague for some of the worst excesses, which followed from his claim "I reject the contention that an important theoretical difference exists between formal and natural languages" (published in "English as a Formal Language", 1970).
I am much surprised at John's being so inconsistent. I heard the quite opposite statements: ?natural language is the ultimate knowledge representation language? and that ?the richest source of ontological categories is the vocabulary of natural languages?.
I found it as an intellectual deed to consider a formalized natural language as a formal (ontological) language to comprehensively and consistently describe the world and its domains.
Among the common misconceptions widely spread both in the KR communities and NLP interest groups are that a human?s knowing of the world is basically performed without natural language and that linguistic communication only marginally involves thinking, as J. McCarthy states: ?Language is froth on the surface of thought?. This view resounds another bad confusion: natural language can?t be knowledge and reasoning representation language, but only an interface, for it is non-algorithmic, ambiguous, vague and unsystematic. Or, that its consistent description, rigorous axiomatization and formalization as algorithmic program is open to question.
In contrast to such widespread misconceptions, the linguistic knowledge can be organized as a formal system of basic definitions, axioms, and rules so that to assure consistency of meaning, correctness of linguistic inferences and discovery of possible relationships among words and sentences (context). Let's remember that to achieve this goal is a basic task of real ontology targeting to build an integrative semantic framework permitting to avoid many (formal logical) misunderstandings about the nature and structure of natural language.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "Pat Hayes" <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, June 01, 2007 8:30 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology, Information Models and the 'Real World': Contexts
> I have no complaints about the IKL model theory, which I
> have found sufficient to support what I want to do.
> Re contexts: I agree that the word has been used in many
> confusing ways. My definition is very simple and formal:
> in CGs, a context is a concept box that contains a nested
> conceptual graph.
> Since concept nodes have type labels (the absence of a type
> label defaults to an untyped node that can accommodate any
> referent of any type), the type label of the context serves
> to "coerce" the interpretation of the nested CG:
> 1. If the type label is CG, the nested graph is a literal,
> which is effectively quoted by an ordinary quote.
> 2. If the type label is Proposition, the nested CG states
> the proposition (which I map to an IKL proposition).
> 3. If the type label is anything else, the nested CG
> states a proposition that describes some entity
> of the given type.
> So far, I have not found any common use of the word 'context'
> that cannot be mapped to one of these three options. If the
> context is some linguistic _expression_, it maps to a proposition.
> If it is some nonlinguistic situation or whatever, it maps to
> a concept of the appropriate type that is described by a CG.
> Some comments on selections from your note:
> PH> I too [like Quine] find modal logics essentially meaningless,
> > I don't believe in possibilia (how many possible men are standing
> > in an empty doorway?)
> I don't blame you (or Quine) for not believing in possibilia, but
> we constantly use modal talk in ordinary language, and I believe
> it is a legitimate object for further analysis and clarification.
> One reason why I prefer Dunn's semantics to Kripke's semantics
> is that Dunn makes the laws that define any modality explicit.
> Whenever people say "you must ...", they implicitly intend
> some law(s) that determine why you must. Those laws could be
> laws of logic, physics, economics (i.e., financial limitations),
> engineering (i.e., practical limitations), governments, or even
> your mommy (as in "because I told you to"). Anything implied
> by the laws is necessary (or obligatory, according to the mode),
> and anything consistent with the laws is possible.
> This provides a very clear explanation of modality, which is
> completely formal and compatible with ordinary language.
> PH> I think that natural language - *real* natural language, not
> > the prissified academic stuff that philosophers write and read
> > to one another - is beyond the pale of any attempt to formalize
> > its actual meanings. About half the stuff we say to one another
> > isn't even intended to convey meaning: its more like a kind of
> > verbal grooming. But in any case, I also think, purely now as
> > a matter of engineering, that to confuse natural language with
> > ontological formalisms is a serious methodological blunder.
> I agree. I blame Montague for some of the worst excesses, which
> followed from his claim "I reject the contention that an important
> theoretical difference exists between formal and natural languages"
> (published in "English as a Formal Language", 1970).
> In the early 1970s, when I read Montague's papers, I was impressed
> by the technical virtuosity, but I couldn't believe that anything
> remotely similar to that could serve as the foundation for NLs.
> JFS>> ... the semantics of NLs, for which many people would like
> >> to use IKL.
> PH> Hmm. News to me. It wasn't designed with that purpose in mind,
> > for sure.
> But that was one of the requirements laid down by people like
> Jerry Hobbs, etc. Lenat had always said that he wanted to use CycL
> to represent NL semantics (or whatever he extracted from NL), and
> he said that the CG contexts were more suitable for that purpose
> than CL. But he (and the other CycLers) agreed that they could
> use IKL to represent CycL.
> PH> I really don't think we need to be this fussy about terminology.
> > IKL is a formal logic, and without the proposition names it really
> > is just common logic, which is FOL written in an unusually slack
> > syntax.
> I agree, but that point about propositions is the thin opening wedge
> that pries open the floodgates to an enormous range of options. When
> I had been working with Genesereth to develop ANSI standards for KIF
> and CGs, I mapped CG contexts to KIF statements in "backquotes". I
> regard IKL propositions as a nicer notation for KIF backquotes (which
> very few people ever understood or used).
> PH> So any discussion of propositions in English is really beside
> > the point for IKL: it does not set out to capture all propositions
> > expressible in English (a tensed, modal, indexical, elliptical
> > language which evolved to convey speech acts in a social context)...
> You can ignore them if you like, but IKL gives me the mechanisms to
> define the kinds of things I was doing in the following two papers:
> Laws, Facts, and Contexts
> Worlds, Models, and Descriptions
> PH> And strictly speaking, there is no notion in IKL of a proposition
> > being 'inside' a context, or of contexts being 'nested'.
> As I said, I use the word 'context' for CG boxes that contain other
> CGs -- and I map those boxes to IKL that-clauses. The CG boxes
> can be nested in the same way as IKL that-clauses. That is all I
> need to define the structures I want to define.
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