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Re: [ontolog-forum] What words mean

To: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 10:28:05 -0600
Message-id: <p06230901c3e0b0d94616@[]>
At 11:10 AM +0700 2/19/08, paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx wrote:

> >
> >It depends on the context and what we are trying to achieve, and the
> >hour of the day
> which is exactly why it is not an appropriate topic for discussion in
> this forum, as the entire point of ontologies is to capture useful
> information which can be used in any context and at any hour of the
> day and whatever we are trying to achieve.

I avoid as much as I can becoming contentious because its too taxing,
but let me dare

I made an earlier point on how correctness is related to ontology, but
I can make it again:
correctness depends on value system, that can be represented as an ontology

perhaps we should  discuss the relevance of that to this forum

Well, indeed, that is an interesting thesis (that a 'value system' can be represented as an ontology). I have never seen an example of this, but it would make in interesting topic for research. One small data point which might be relevant is the existence of 'business rules' standards which have to be able to express what ought to be done as well as what is in fact done, and keep track of the distinction. They feel obliged to use modal logics to accomplish this.

there is a whole world of context out there that needs to be
confronted by the ontology community, and you cant keep ingnoring it

You misunderstand me. I am not ignoring it. I have studied it for years, attended many meetings concerned with 'context', worked on the semantics of 'context logics' , and so on. And I have come to the conclusion that the topic is (a) underdefined (b) overrated - in the sense that many things which are hastily classified as 'context' are in fact better studied under a different heading (indexicality, tense, belief, provenance) - and (c) in some ways positively harmful for serious ontology work, in the exact sense that changing the logic to accommodate 'contexts' is, although fashionable, a retrograde and harmful step, and a very poor engineering decision. It was the third conclusion that I was referring to in the above remark. Note carefully the distinction between an ontology OF contexts, which refers to contexts and how they change meanings (I agree entirely with the importance of this) and the idea of an ontology as itself being USED IN a context, so that its own ontological meanings change with the 'time of day and what we are trying to achieve'. Confusing the former with the latter has been a continuing source of poor decisions. You seemed to be referring to the latter.

For more reasoned and careful exposition of these thoughts, see





Paola Di Maio
School of IT

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