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Re: [ontolog-forum] formal systems, common logic and lbase

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 24 Nov 2007 12:55:13 -0600
Message-id: <F43F02A8-219A-4445-83EE-7C969C6A3AC9@xxxxxxxx>
On Nov 23, 2007, at 12:12 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
>> Hi Pat and all
>> remind me please
>> what is CL for? what does it add to FOL or previous existing things?
> If FOL were a single formal language with a single, uniformly
> accepted, universally used, syntax, then CL would add nothing. But it
> isn't. Almost everyone who writes about FOL or uses it, uses a
> slightly different notation.    (01)

I'd rephrase Pat's point only by removing the word "slightly"!  If one  
were to compare the same sentence expressed in    (02)

* Russell-Whitehead "PM-ese" notation
* Polish notation
* FOL RuleML
* Conceptual graphs    (03)

one would be hard pressed to see any but the most abstract  
similarities between them.   Yet these are all (more or less) widely  
used first-order formalisms that are all, in a precise sense,  
equivalent.  Throw in the usual notation used in description logics  
(which can be thought of as theories expressed in restricted  
sublanguages of FOL), and the waters are muddied even further to the  
layperson's, and even the not-so-layperson's, eye.    (04)

> The original intention was to adopt a single surface syntax upon
> which everyone would agree: but when it became apparent that even the
> ten or so members of the working group could not agree, this idea was
> abandoned, and instead a system of a common 'abstract syntax'
> allowing for many different 'surface syntaxes' (aka dialects) was
> adopted.    (05)

Just so.    (06)

-chris    (07)

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