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Re: [ontolog-forum] Is there a universal ontology?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Jenny ure <jure2@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 23 Jul 2007 17:13:31 +0100
Message-id: <46A4D3AB.7080008@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Thanks - the Umwelt, Lebenswelt and Innenwelt does make a very useful 
I suppose the indirect question I still have is - if one size doesnt fit 
all - how can ontology design harness the value of a shared 
interoperable core on which we have fairly stable agreement and the 
value and usability of dynamic, or purpose specific local 
infrastructures such as folksonomies.    (01)

Jenny Ure    (02)

John F. Sowa wrote:    (03)

>I agree with the points you make.  I'd just like to add
>a few more comments:
> > perhaps you have to take account of the fact that in
> > collectively taking  and acting on a particular view of
> > the domain it is
> >   (a) purpose specific
> >   (b) constructed and enacted rather than discovered -
> > there is a sense in which we construct the reality we live in
>Although I agree, I avoid the verb 'construct' when applied to
>external reality.  At the end of this note is a copy of a note
>I sent on May 20, in which I cited the terms 'Umwelt', 'Lebenswelt',
>and 'Innenwelt' for making finer distinctions about the kinds of
>"worlds" we live in and create internally.
> > To give the concrete example - after some group discussion on how to
> > express the difference between river and lake in a geographical
> > ontology for ordnance survey mapping - we realised
> >
> > (a) the definition for an environmentalist, a fisherman, a geographer,
> > a sailor etc was purpose specific and based on purpose specific
> > criteria, rather than on features of the domain itself
> >
> > (b) the existence of an ordnance survey application that was widely
> > adopted would create de facto standard for pragmatic reasons rather
> > than ontological ones
>That's a good example, and similar examples can be found whenever
>different people analyze the same subject matter for different
>reasons from different points of view.  To use the terminology below,
>those people may inhabit the same Umwelt, but their Lebenswelt and
>Innenwelt are different.
>John Sowa
>My primary reason for introducing the terms Umwelt, Lebenswelt,
>and Innenwelt was to avoid using the word 'reality' in too many
>different senses.
> > I am interested in exploring your proposed distinction between
> > umwelt (UW), its rough equivalent lebenswelt (LW) and InnerWelt (IW),
> > as possible categorization of reality based on the subjective or
> > objective stance.
>As I mentioned in my previous note, I like John Deely's distinction
>between UW and LW because it distinguishes what is biologically
>perceptible (UW) from a language-influenced classification (LW).
>Following is the URL of Deely's analysis:
>Brief summary:
>   Reality -- What exists independent of any observer or any system
>       of perception and interpretation.  Reality is same for all
>       beings, independent of their sensory apparatus or mental
>       capacity.  Reality would be the same for an alien from
>       outer space or even a robot designed by the aliens.  But
>       there may be aspects of reality that are inaccessible
>       without some kind of sensory enhancers (such as telescopes,
>       microscopes, microphones, or gamma-ray detectors).
>   Umwelt (UW) -- "a vehicle for expressing especially the role of
>       biological heritage in the use and function of signs, rather
>       than for expressing what is species-specifically human in
>       the use and function of signs."  (Deely's definition)
>   Lebenswelt (LW) -- "I have proposed that the term Lebenswelt
>       should be adopted to express an Umwelt which is species-
>       specifically human, retaining Umwelt to express the
>       generic idea of an objective world which is in every
>       case species-specific consequent upon biological
>       constitution."  (Deely)
>   Innenwelt (IW) -- The inner world of human experience, thought,
>       mental models, feelings, wishes, hopes, fears, etc.
> > ... although reality can be expressed with truth values.
>No.  Reality is not "expressed" in truth values.  It just is.
>What is expressed are statements in some language, whose truth
>or falsity is evaluated in terms of their correspondence with
>what is.
> > what truths pertain to the UW and what to the IW?
> >
> > Surely there are overlaps, dichotomies and dependencies between
> > the two stances.
>Yes, there are definite overlaps.  Everything that is true about
>reality in the IW must have been perceived through the biological
>mechanisms that determine the UW and the linguisitic interpretation
>in the LW.
>It is also important to recognize that statements that have
>been written, spoken, or thought are also part of reality.
>Therefore, there can be metalevel truths:
>  - The following sentence has four words: "The sky is blue."
>  - In ordinary arithmetic, "2+2=4" is a theorem.
>  - Most people believe that the earth is spherical.
>But in all cases, truth is determined by testing the statements
>by some method for examining the evidence (UW) of what is.
>Note that both object-level and metalevel statements can be
>objective, in the sense that their truth or falsity can be
>tested by someone other than the speaker.
>I would classify some of your categories as object-level
>or and metalevel:
>Object level truths, determined by UW mechanisms, possibly
>enhanced by sensory extenders such as microscopes:
> >  ontological (when truth resides in things);
> >  factual or empirical (physical, chemical, biological, and social);
>Metalevel truths, determined by UW mechanisms and LW interpretation
>of statements:
> >  logical (truth resides in ideas, tautologies);
> >  mathematical (truth is validity or coherency, axioms);
> >  semantic (truth is meaning);
>I don't know what you mean by "verbal (truth of words or speech);".
>If you mean statements in linguistics, those would be metalevel.
>But if you mean the truth of something stated in language, that
>would be object level or metalevel or one of the following:
>The remaining three categories raise more complex issues.
>For "poetic or fictitious truths;" those could be metalevel
>statements about what some author wrote, or they could be
>object-level statements that use analogies and metaphors to
>make observations about society and human feelings for which
>there is no established non-metaphorical terminology.
>For "moral norms and imperatives;" this gets into serious
>philosophical issues about the grounds for ethics. Some would
>say that there are object-level, metalevel, or metaphorical
>grounds.  But the amount of writing on this topic is too
>voluminous even to summarize.
>For "religious truths (divine verities)" the issue is similar
>to the basis for moral norms.
>John Sowa
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>    (04)

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