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Re: [ontolog-forum] Axiomatic ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 2 Feb 2008 09:48:19 -0600
Message-id: <p06230902c3ca3eab15c4@[]>
At 8:03 PM -0500 2/1/08, John F. Sowa wrote:

John, obviously you and Arun have an ambitious research program going on here, and I don't want to argue against it in any way. I was simply reacting, at the beginning of this thread, against a naive and uninformed assumption that the Web was a direct source of ontological knowledge, or perhaps even was a giant ontology all by itself.

Just to register one point of disagreement, where we will no doubt have to agree to disagree:

For deep reasoning, I would insist on a representation in formal
logic.  But for commonsense reasoning, I believe that formal
deduction is not necessary.

I have never seen anything to suggest that common sense reasoning is 'shallow'. I think that because we all have common sense and seem to have acquired it without intellectual effort, we assume it must be simple or shallow; whereas in fact it takes about as long to acquire all this knowledge (and the concomitant linguistic skill that comes along with it) as it does to become a chess master or a professional concert violinist or indeed to achieve mastery of any other skill: about 10-12 years of constant practice, several hours every day. Maybe all this everyday expertise is best used by a case-based reasoner which cannot perform logical inferences, but I doubt it.

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