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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer Cake

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2007 10:21:26 -0400
Message-id: <46B9D166.1020005@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sean and Chris,    (01)

I agree with the points Chris Menzel made.  But I'd like to make
an additional comment:    (02)

SB> but the behaviour of a system (=people + procedures + goals
 > + materiel, including computers), and the difficulty is more
 > in demonstrating that the logic is applicable to situation
 > of interest.    (03)

To show that Common Logic is applicable to any situation of interest,
I would first observe that English has proved to be applicable to
any situation of interest.  Then I would add that it is not necessary
to use *all* of English.  For defining anything in mathematics or
computer systems, the following subset of English is sufficient:    (04)

  1. The ability to state a simple declarative sentence with one
     subject, one verb, and the usual complements associated
     with that verb (e.g., direct object, indirect object, and
     prepositional phrases).    (05)

  2. The words 'and', 'or', 'not', and 'if-then' to combine those
     sentences in ordinary English syntax.    (06)

  3. The two quantifying words 'some' and 'every' used at the
     beginning of noun phrases or in phrases such as "For every
     string in the input file" or "there exists a string in
     the output file such that...".    (07)

  4. The usual methods for using names to refer to individuals
     in the domain of discourse (including the option of using
     URIs as names).    (08)

  5. For convenience, I would add numerals and other quantifiers,
     such as 'exactly one', 'at least 5', etc. (which are, strictly
     speaking, not necessary since they can be defined in FOL).    (09)

Because of possible ambiguities with pronouns, I would supplement
the English as used above with letters (AKA "variables") used
as temporary names.  These temporary names could be considered
unambiguous pronouns whose scope is limited to a single paragraph.    (010)

This subset of English, which can be translated directly to or
from Common Logic, is sufficient to define all of mathematics and
anything that has ever been implemented on any digital computer.    (011)

If you doubt my claim, choose any statement from any document that
specifies any implemented computer program, and I'll show you
either that it can be translated to this subset or that it is
a "comment" that is not necessary for a complete specification.    (012)

John Sowa    (013)

PS:  There are versions of "controlled English" very similar to
the above, which can be automatically translated to and from
versions of FOL.  See the homepage for controlled natural languages:    (014)

    http://www.ics.mq.edu.au/~rolfs/controlled-natural-languages/    (015)

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