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[ontolog-forum] semantic definition

To: "Golda Velez" <gv@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: 'SW-forum' <semantic-web@xxxxxx>, "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Azamat" <abdoul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2008 21:34:40 +0200
Message-id: <002301c88153$743f8e10$010aa8c0@homepc>
On Thursday, March 06, 2008 9:55 PM, Golda Velez wrote:
> I think assuming that definitions are factual rather than personal 
> representations of reality is one of > the reasons that there has been 
> some problems getting domain ontologies created.  I
> remember reading a quote from a US Senator, that whoever is in charge of 
> the
> definitions wins the argument.  Rules and definitions beg for discussion 
> in
> any field that is under 100 years old...    (01)

I was surprised that the issues of definition, its nature, kinds, meaning, 
demonstration, and formalization, has not received a separate thread and 
careful discussion both on the semantic web and ontology forums. Since it is 
hardly to find another notion so decisive for ontology and semantic web 
...and so muddled and vague. For currently the definitions [as giving the 
meanings of expressions, symbols, constructs, or things] might be 
constructed by reference to:    (02)

classification or dichotomy (classificatory definition);    (03)

properties (genus&differentia) (essential definition);    (04)

parts, accidental properties (ostensive definition)    (05)

context (contextual definition);    (06)

cause, genesis, origin (genetic or genealogical definition);    (07)

end or purpose (stipulative definition);    (08)

interest (pragmatic definition);    (09)

common use (dictionary definition);    (010)

induction (recursive definition);    (011)

intension (connotation) (intensional or connotative definition);    (012)

extension (denotation) (extensional definition).    (013)

Such inconsistency of definition is a cause of diverse views of meaning 
itself, which is defined as in:    (014)

idea, thought or intention;    (015)

operation, measurement, and computation;    (016)

usage, utility;    (017)

truth condition;    (018)

sense, intension, connotation, content;    (019)

reference, extension, denotation;    (020)

sense and reference together.    (021)

A definition may be qualified as consistent and contradictory, true or 
false, arbitrary or real, proved or unproved, accidental or essential, 
formal or material, nominal or real.    (022)

It is stated that many axioms of the sciences, formal and theoretical, are 
nothing but definitions in disguise. That definition is formal and precise 
unlike description, explanation, interpretation. And that formally it is a 
kind of an equivalence relation where the left side (the definiendum, that 
which is to be defined) is a function of the right side (definiens, that 
which defines, determines, specifies).    (023)

The most prospective method of defining seems to be a semantic real 
definition, where the definition involves the primary meaning (key 
denotation cum major connotation) of a word, a phrase, a symbol, a concept 
or an entity, so that it states the nature of the object defined and is 
convertible with its subject. The semantic definition is a relatively stable 
construct. Although, it is liable to the controlled redefinition as far as 
the knowledge of the world progresses, but this updating should not be 
something unpredicted or unforeseen, a radically new definition.    (024)

There is an example of motherhood, the family relationship between an 
offspring and the female parent. Presently, a child may have mothers as 
diverse as natural mother, biological mother, adopting mother, step mother, 
surrogate mother, cloning mother, etc. When we use a standard nominal 
definition of mother as {''a woman giving birth to a child''), we are 
missing all possible kinds of motherhood. When we use a real definition (''a 
woman parenting (producing, begetting or raising) a child''), verified by 
experimentation, we can cover all the key senses of motherhood.    (025)

Re ''the personal representations of reality'', being a sort of nominal 
definitions and usually having nothing to do with the nature of things, such 
definitions are not harmful as far as they used for specific personal 
purposes, but most harmful then presented as the scientific and objective 
definitions. One may define erotica as '' a creative activity to stimulate a 
reproductive activity'', capitalism as '' an economic system based on 
exploitation and profiteering'', political party as ''an organization to 
gain power by revolution'', business as ''a commercial activity to 
profiteer'', etc., thus creating an unreal world.    (026)

The same reasoning applies to defining ontology, ontological classes, 
computing ontology, ontology engineering, ontology languages and tools, 
semantics, semantic concepts, semantic systems, semantic web, semantic web 
technologies, etc.    (027)

Here I met a conference definition of semantic interoperability as ‘’the 
common automatic interpretation of the meaning of the exchanged information, 
i.e. the ability to automatically process the information in a 
machine-understandable manner.’’ Now I wonder what sort of definition it 
might be: nominal, extensional, pragmatic, ostensive.    (028)

azamat abdoullaev    (029)

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