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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology similarity and accurate communication

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Barker, Sean (UK)" <Sean.Barker@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2008 15:29:37 -0000
Message-id: <E18F7C3C090D5D40A854F1D080A84CA4C0E589@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

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non-withstanding. It is the opinion of the author, and does not represent an 
official company view.    (01)

>From earlier in the thread>    (02)

"  This is precisely the point that I dispute, that the communication is based 
on different ontologies.   This is worth some discussion.  The hypothesis I 
presented is that the part that **is understood** is based on *exactly* the 
same ontology, and where the ontologies differ there is misunderstanding.  In 
fact, I can't imagine how it can logically be otherwise.  Different ontology => 
different interpretation (at least when the parts that are different are part 
of the interpretation process).  But, **please** note that I said that what is 
similar in people are the **fundamental concepts** - among which are the na´ve 
physics sort of notions that a weighty object will fall if not supported, when 
near the earth's surface.  The point is that there are lots of these, including 
how people interact with each other, that we learn from experience as we grow 
up.  And when we put labels on those common experiences, we have the most basic 
ontology, which is extended by analogy to less concrete things."    (03)

The phrase, "And when we put labels on those common experiences" sends me 
reaching for my 'Philosophical Investigations', notably the opening citation 
from St Augustine. I was taught 'Investigations' as a set of therapies against 
at least some forms that view. Experience are not things that we observe, they 
are things we construct. The claim that we simply learn an ontology of 
fundamental concepts is not one I would be comfortable with. We learn that the 
elements of earth and water fall, while fire rises - concepts like weight, and 
near-the-Earth's surface are secondary, and the latter quite outside most 
people's experience.     (04)

Sean Barker
BAE SYSTEMS - Advanced Technology Centre
Bristol, UK
+44(0) 117 302 8184    (05)

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