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Re: [ontolog-forum] (OT) German and "mother-like-ness"

To: "[ontolog-forum] edbark@xxxxxxxx," <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Duane Nickull <dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2008 15:45:25 -0800
Message-id: <C3A94B15.AEC7%dnickull@xxxxxxxxx>
In strict terms, your examples are easy to rebuke:    (01)

On 1/8/08 2:54 PM, "Ed Barkmeyer" <edbark@xxxxxxxx> wrote:    (02)

> Stavros Macrakis wrote:
>> Let me try to save this discussion from utter triviality.
>> Lakoff has pointed out the centrality of metaphor, analogy, and graded
>> categories in natural language, contrasting them with the property-based
>> strict categories of Aristotle.  The female biological and genetic parent
>> who lives with and cares for a child, is its legal parent, and is married to
>> and lives with and its biological and genetic father is certainly a "mother"
>> in every traditional way, but how do we deal with cases like adoptive
>> mothers (cares for but not biological), foster mothers (cares for but not
>> legal parent), lesbian co-mothers (one of whom may or may not be a genetic
>> or biological parent), surrogate mothers (biological but not genetic), egg
>> donors (why don't we use the word "mother" here?), stepmothers (married to
>> father), birth mothers (biological but doesn't care for or live with),
>> transgendered adoptive mother (not genetically female), etc.? The
>> intersection of the properties of these different kinds of "mother" is
>> empty.
>> How to treat these in an ontology?
>> -- with exceptions?  "A foster mother is a mother except that ...."
DN: Since you have already defined a mother as a "biological and genetic
parent..." then according to your definition, a foster mother (might not be)
an instance of mother (it depends if she has born another child).
>> -- with limited analogy? "A foster mother is like a generic mother in that X
>> and Y are true"
DN: you could surmise that a foster mother has some of the same
characteristics of a biological mother, no???
>> -- as arbitrary names for otherwise arbitrary categories? "A foster-mother
>> is like a mother because she happens to share some properties with a mother
>> (just as a father shares some properties with a mother), but also shares the
>> substring 'mother' in the category name."
>> -- with graded membership? "A foster mother is 50% mother." (not clear what
>> sort of reasoning you can do on this...)
DN: according to the above, mother and foster mother are disjoint as one is
a biological parent and one is not.  This truly distinguishes them from each
other.    (03)

Duane     (04)

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