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Re: [ontolog-forum] entity: nothing

To: "Peter F Brown" <peter@xxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Sep 2007 09:43:38 -0500
Message-id: <p0623090bc318362d2dfa@[]>
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>A hole is not the same as a ³nothing² ­ there 
>are two separate threads in this discussion: are 
>we not talking about two different ³things² (I 
>use the word advisedly and very cautiously)?
>    (01)

Quite. Im really not sure what the 'nothing' term 
is supposed to indicate. Early set theorists 
wrestled with this concept for a while before 
they came up with the empty set. Perhaps 
'nothing' is the empty set?    (02)

Regarding boundaries, I made a stab at 
ontologizing these (at least the spatial/physical 
kind) a while ago. Things get quite complicated 
quite quickly. For example, if the surface of a 
solid object is a boundary of it, then where 
exactly is the liquid when that surface is wet? 
It seemed necessary to introduce the notion of a 
'layer' on each side of the boundary. 
Goegraphical boundaries are even more difficult: 
one has to distinguish physical from notional 
boundaries, for example (when the coastline 
erodes, does the country or the county get 
smaller?)    (03)

Pat    (04)

>Peter B
>From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx 
>On Behalf Of Deborah MacPherson
>Sent: 18 September 2007 20:01
>To: [ontolog-forum]
>Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] entity: nothing
>Hi Paola -
>The Cage analogy came around to silence being 
>able to be bounded by sound. Carved sculptures 
>take away unwanted material until only the 
>essential parts remain. In museum design certain 
>content is not ready to be named but it can be 
>classified, subject areas yet to be defined are 
>left as blank, un-labeled placeholders 
>allocating space, hoping future requirements 
>will fit without rearranging everything again.
>More to your point surely is John's statement 
>"more like a boundary than pure nothingness". So 
>with the stretched metaphors above.....What do 
>you think needs to be bounded? What are opposite 
>each other inside and outside the boundaries? 
>What could possibly be consistent across a range 
>of ontologies? What existing communication 
>system like OWL, or ___, or ___, or ___ is best 
>suited to indicating a boundary? How do you know 
>when you encounter a boundary? Simply won't 
>process? How do you "see" the holes and can you 
>measure how big or small they are?
>On 9/18/07, 
><<mailto:paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx>paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx > 
>I am not entirely sure that we have not yet answered this, I may have
>missed somethin
>Following the discussion on holes, the one questrion that I am left
>with is  whether
>holes are entities as such, or non entities  and
>if so
>whether they would belong to a  ' class of nothing' being
>proposed/discussed somewhere earlier on this forum
>It looks to me that they are non entity cause they dont have a mass
>that can be measured
>I mean an entity is determined by its attributes and properties while
>the only property of a hole that we can say is 'absence of energy'
>This is an attempt to bring the hole discussion into the focus of
>current ontological question
>apologies if this is trivial
>Paola Di Maio
>School of IT
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>    (05)

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