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Re: [ontolog-forum] to concept or not to concept, is this a question?

To: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>, ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "Conklin, Don" <don.conklin@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 08:04:58 -0600
Message-id: <D17FEEBBEC904A4893DAD46D94AE1CC30639E099@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

-----Original Message-----
From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@xxxxxxx] 
Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2007 4:33 PM
To: Conklin, Don
Cc: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] to concept or not to concept, is this a question?    (01)

>>Weighing in with Ingvar...
>>If I want to describe an organization*, is it the people, the facilities
>>or the notion of an entity that performs some function in accordance
>>with internal guidance* and external laws*? The ideas in the guidance
>>and laws may be reduced to energy on phosphor or symbols in ink on paper
>>but it's the ideas that matter. How do I describe the idea of a design*
>>produced by the organization* that satisfies a customers mission
>>statement* as they compete in a economic marketspace* to reach their
>>annual goals*
>>  * = subclass of Concept    (02)

>Well now, I understand all of the above until that last claim. This 
>seems to me to illustrate a wise observation by Doug Lenat: you might 
>have to have an upper ontology, but which one you have doesn't really 
>matter a damn, because there's very little useful to say at the upper 
>levels, and whatever you really want to say at the middle levels, 
>where all the actual content is, can be made to fit with just about 
>any upper level you like. I know a fair amount about organizations, 
>designs, mission statements and annual goals, and enough about 
>economic marketplaces and internal guidance to follow what others are 
>saying, but I'm damned if I know anything worth writing down about 
>Concepts. And indeed, if I were asked to come up with a name for a 
>superclass of all those *'s, my reaction would be that they have 
>nothing whatever in common. I fail to see how an organization can 
>possibly be said to be a concept, in fact, or for that matter a 
>mission statement (I have actually held mission statements in my 
>hands at various times). Of course we can speak of a concept of an 
>organization, but that's not the same as the organization itself. Can 
>a concept have legal rights? Some organizations do.    (03)

>Pat Hayes    (04)

I tend to agree with Adam's (later) reply vis--vis the upper ontology. As far 
as the mission statement documents you've held in your hand, I regard the 
symbols in ink on the pages of those mission statement documents as the 
physical representation of the concepts discussed in the mission statement. I 
think the physical artifact is of secondary importance, the real value lies in 
the ideas, concepts, notions (pick the favored term). Lockheed Martin 
Corporation is a legal entity. You can hold the document of the article of 
incorporation for LM Corp in your hand. That document establishes the legal 
entity which I don't think you can hold in your hand. That's why I think a 
corporation is a concept. Even if that legal entity has rights and 
responsibilities under the law. BTW I am neither wedded nor welded to this 
approach but it seems to make sense to me. Show me a better one and I'll 
happily adopt it.    (05)

D    (06)

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