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

To: Mills Davis <lmd@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2007 11:32:08 -0500
Message-id: <p0623090dc30f13fd48fc@[]>
Thanks for this reference.    (01)

The paper is a fabulous historical survey of many 
relevant issues, but its main arguments are 
fatally flawed by the author's apparent ignorance 
of modern logic. He seems to assume (without even 
stating this thesis clearly) that any kind of 
formal logic is limited to the expression of 
'static' facts (whatever that means) and 'today's 
world view', and so is incapable of representing 
multiple points of view or describing historical 
changes. This is so spectacularly false that it 
is hard to know where to begin in trying to 
refute it. Just say that it is *completely* 
unfounded, a total fantasy. Such statements as 
(page 39)    (02)

"Today's semantic web assumes that there can be 
only one "objective" map of Poland."    (03)

exhibit this fundamental mistake quite clearly in their evident absurdity.    (04)

Pat Hayes    (05)

>Here is a link to a paper by Kim Veltman:
>This paper argues that the computing community 
>(and semantic web crowd in particular) has been 
>overly fixated on first order logic and has 
>failed thus far to produce a semantic web that 
>is suitable for culture. The abstract reads:
>Todayıs semantic web deals with meaning in a 
>very restricted sense and offers static
>solutions. This is adequate for many scientific, 
>technical purposes and for business
>transactions requiring machine-to-machine 
>communication, but does not answer the
>needs of culture. Science, technology and 
>business are concerned primarily with the latest
>findings, the state of the art, i.e. the 
>paradigm or dominant world-view of the day. In 
>context, history is considered non-essential 
>because it deals with things that are out of
>By contrast, culture faces a much larger 
>challenge, namely, to re-present changes in ways
>of knowing; changing meanings in different 
>places at a given time (synchronically) and
>over time (diachronically). Culture is about 
>both objects and the commentaries on them;
>about a cumulative body of knowledge; about 
>collective memory and heritage. Here,
>history plays a central role and older does not 
>mean less important or less relevant.
>Hence, a Leonardo painting that is 400 years 
>old, or a Greek statue that is 2500 years old,
>typically have richer commentaries and are often 
>more valuable than their contemporary
>equivalents. In this context, the science of 
>meaning (semantics) is necessarily much more
>complex than semantic primitives. A semantic web 
>in the cultural domain must enable us
>to trace how meaning and knowledge organisation 
>have evolved historically in different
>This paper examines five issues to address this 
>challenge: 1) different world-views (i.e. a
>shift from substance to function and from 
>ontology to multiple ontologies); 2) develop-
>ments in definitions and meaning; 3) 
>distinctions between words and concepts; 4) new
>classes of relations; and 5) dynamic models of 
>knowledge organisation. These issues
>reveal that historical dimensions of cultural 
>diversity in knowledge organisation are also
>central to classification of biological diversity.
>New ways are proposed of visualizing knowledge using a time/space horizon to
>distinguish between universals and particulars. 
>It is suggested that new visualization
>methods make possible a history of questions as 
>well as of answers, thus enabling
>dynamic access to cultural and historical 
>dimensions of knowledge. Unlike earlier media,
>which were limited to recording factual 
>dimensions of collective memory, digital media
>enable us to explore theories, ways of 
>perceiving, ways of knowing; to enter into other
>mindsets and world-views and thus to attain 
>novel insights aSome practical consequences are 
>On Sep 9, 2007, at 9:06 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
>>Might I remind people that this thread started with a discussion
>>of how the pieces of the SemWeb are related to ontology.
>>John Cage's compositions are worth some discussion, but perhaps
>>the amount spent so far has strayed a bit off topic.
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>>To Post: 
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>    (06)

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