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Re: [ontolog-forum] Scheduling a Discussion [was: CL, CG, IKL and the re

To: <matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2008 02:23:27 -0800
Message-id: <p06230903c3a266943343@[]>
>Dear Pat et al,
>>  FWIW, here is the definition of "context" that I put forward at
>>  Heidelberg, and which seemed to meet with some general acceptance.
>>  -------
>>  Theories of meaning invariably focus their attention on some subset
>>  of the many factors which can possibly influence the actual meaning
>>  conveyed by a meaningful utterance or sentence or diagram, or any
>>  symbolic structure or act. The other factors or aspects which may
>>  influence meaning, but which are not explicitly examined by the
>>  theory, are often referred to as "context". Thus, the term "context"
>>  has no single meaning: it is used simply to refer to anything (or
>>  sometimes everything) which can influence meaning but which is
>>  outside the scope of the current theory. It is always defined
>>  negatively.
>>  -------
>MW: This fits very well with how I have come to understand context,
>which roughly speaking is "What was left out because it was so
>obvious".    (01)

Or so arcane or difficult that nobody wanted to think about it.    (02)

>MW: The problem is that what is obvious in one context, is not obvious
>in another context, and provides significant hinderance when you try
>to integrate the two ontologies.    (03)

+1    (04)

>As a result, my approach to context
>in this sense is that if you can identify one, try to eliminate it by
>making it explicit.    (05)

+5 Exactly. Which is why its so much better to 
have an ontology of contexts (if one must) rather 
than a context logic.    (06)

>MW: On the other hand, this idea of context seems to me to be different
>from what John S is talking about with boxes, and Pat H about IKL. This
>is about saying something about propositions, it seems to me.    (07)

Two sides of the same coin. Propositions (or 
sentences) change their truth-value in different 
contexts. Is this more about the context or the 
propositions? Doesnt really matter.    (08)

>MW: Equally, Duane seems to be talking as much about an approach to
>analysis as anything else, with a handy check-list of "contexts" to
>make sure you have not left something out.    (09)

I havnt checked the details yet, but it sounds 
like the big plus is similar to the reason Cyc 
likes to use contexts: so one can use the same 
word to have a 'family' of distinct but related 
meanings and use machinery to select or compose 
the appropriate one automagically, rather than 
having to remember them all explicitly. This is a 
good point, but its really to do with the design 
of human interfaces rather than the basic logic 
itself.    (010)

Pat    (011)

>Matthew West
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