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

To: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@xxxxxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 14:29:40 -0400
Message-id: <20070615183032.MTFJ15873.mta10.adelphia.net@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
At 11:44 AM 6/15/2007, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>At 02:34 AM 6/15/2007, Alan Ruttenberg wrote:
>>I'm all for not confusing what reality is about. But what are
>>misunderstandings made of?
>On Jun 15, 2007, at 7:53 AM, Smith, Barry wrote:
>>I would be happy to allow 'concept' to be one of the terms used in
>>developing an ontology of misunderstandings. And also '"concept"'.
>>(In that ontology, indeed, 'misunderstand_involving_use_of_"concept"'
>>will presumably have very many children.)
>On Jun 15, 2007, at 10:14 AM, Smith, Barry wrote:
>>Brainwaves and neurophysiological signalling are necessary for
>>ontology-building, too. But ontologies are not representations of
>>brain-waves. And ontologies are not specifications of
>>electroneurophysiological signals.
>Aside from the general drollness of 
>misunderstand_involving_use_of_"concept" the responses together 
>accentuate the original question of what misunderstandings are made 
>of. (I note also that there would also be very many children of 
>misunderstand_involving_use_of_"universal", and a whole lot of other such)
>Based on previous previous readings, in addition to your current 
>statements, that it is allowable that an ontology is a 
>representation of biological reality.
>I conclude
>- An ontology can be the representation of misunderstandings (I pass 
>over, with only this parenthetical, the use of the negative in the names)
>- An ontology can be the representation of understandings (if the 
>negative, then the positive too?)
>- An ontology can not be the representation of brain waves and 
>electroneurophysiological signals
>- So understandings and misunderstandings are not brain waves or 
>electroneurophysiological signals
>And am still therefore left with the question of what they are...    (01)

What I had been trying to say was that, if anyone had sufficient time 
on their hands to embrace the project of building an ontology of 
misunderstandings, then it might well be acceptable for such a person 
to use the word 'concept' to refer to (part of) what his ontology was 
attempting to represent. Just as it would be acceptable for someone 
building an ontology of conceptual reasoning, for example. Here, 
again, concepts (in some sensible sense) are part of the relevant 
subject-domain. But if we are building an ontology of cell 
components, or enzymes, or electrophysiology, then it seems to me 
that the word 'concept' is inappropriate to use as referring to what 
the ontology is attempting to represent.
Prions are not concepts. Membranes are not concepts. Proteins are not 
concepts (though people may of course be said [by some] to have 
'concepts' of all of these things).
BS    (02)

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