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Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza (was ckae)

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Obrst, Leo J." <lobrst@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2007 16:51:08 -0400
Message-id: <9F771CF826DE9A42B548A08D90EDEA80024D049B@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
John,    (01)

I tend to agree, but so far semantics and pragmatics are more like
localized poles: it's more over here, it's more over there. There are
as yet no hard differentiations. Maybe there are intermediate points,
which will grow into semi-independent sciences. We can only hope. If
only I could be developing a formal theory!    (02)

Leo    (03)

Dr. Leo Obrst       The MITRE Corporation, Information Semantics 
lobrst@xxxxxxxxx    Information Discovery & Understanding, Command and
Control Center
Voice: 703-983-6770 7515 Colshire Drive, M/S H305 
Fax: 703-983-1379   McLean, VA 22102-7508, USA     (04)

>-----Original Message-----
>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
>[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of 
>John F. Sowa
>Sent: Sunday, September 02, 2007 4:17 PM
>To: [ontolog-forum]
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Current Semantic Web Layer pizza 
>(was ckae)
>I am all in favor of recognizing continuous ranges and
>gradations where appropriate.
> > I think it's useful to consider semantics-pragmatics as
> > a spectrum, at least from the viewpoint of theoretical/formal
> > linguistics.
>On the other hand, I also believe in making clear distinctions
>where such distinctions are appropriate.
>As a guideline for deciding where to draw the line between
>the continuous spectrum and discrete distinctions, I observe
>the following distinction:
>  1. Naturally occurring concepts grow by accretion, and there is
>     rarely a sharp dividing line between the many, many word
>     senses in typical dictionaries.  Alan Cruse coined the term
>     'microsense' for the arbitrarily fine variations in meanings
>     of most words.
>  2. But the technical terms in science, especially mathematics,
>     can be made precise by an agreed convention.  An example is
>     the word 'number', which is a naturally occurring word with
>     an open-ended range of meanings.  But mathematicians have
>     taken that word and given it a discrete set of precise senses,
>     usually by adding qualifiers, such as 'natural number',
>     'rational number', 'imaginary number', 'complex number', etc.
>As for 'semantics-pragmatics', I would agree that different authors
>draw the boundary in different places.  But if I were developing
>any kind of formal theory, I would follow the practice in math
>of drawing a sharp distinction (and probably adding a suitable
>adjective in front of the words 'semantics' and 'pragmatics' --
>or coining a new term, such as 'methodeutic').
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