At 7:01 PM -0500 3/11/08, John F. Sowa wrote:
>As I have said many times, I want a barest minimum of axioms at the
>upper levels. The ideal number is ZERO. But I'd be content with
>a few is-a axioms and an occasional part-of.
>PH> Ontological differences like that between 4-d temporal ontologies
>> and continuant/occurrent temporal ontologies are NOT matters of
>> detail. One CANNOT ignore or bypass these differences by simply
>> leaving them out and retreating to a weaker ontology which can then
>> be specialized to give the version one prefers. They really are
>> inherently, profoundly, INCOMPATIBLE. Each of them makes assertions
>> at the very basic level which are simple necessary truths in one
>> view of the world and are, at the same time, nonsensical and
>> incoherent in the other view.
>I completely agree. That is one among many reasons why I don't
>believe that axioms belong at the upper levels of an ontology. (01)
I guess I don't understand this. All an ontology is, is axioms. What
does it mean to have zero axioms? (02)
>My ideal for an upper-level ontology would be the barest minimum
>number of axioms -- and the ideal number is 0.
>For time, the only axiom I would assume is that bigger numbers
>come after smaller numbers and that it's possible to associate
>funny numbering systems such as "2008 03 11 18:58:14" with
>points on a time line (03)
"Line" implies a total ordering, I presume: that's three axioms already. (04)
>-- but different locations might have
>different time lines.
>PH> You are living in a dream world in which all reasonable people
>> will eventually agree....
>Please don't confuse me with Pat C. I do not believe that any
>of the current schemes is going to achieve any kind of consensus. (05)
OK, sorry if I misunderstood. You seemed to be agreeing with him. (06)
>PH> But I would hate to see yet another promising ontological
>> engineering initiative get lost in the same swamp that has
>> consumed so many others.
>The points I have been making repeatedly for several years are
> 1. There is no hope of getting agreement on a single universal
> upper ontology within the lifetime of any subscriber to this list.
> 2. There is no reason to assume that having a single universal
> upper ontology would solve any practical problems of any kind.
> 3. Even if every implementer agreed on the same universal ontology,
> there is no reason to assume that any human who interacted with
> any computer would make the same assumptions that were implemented
> in that computer system.
> 4. My recommendation is a framework for an ontology *library* that
> supports a systematic set of relations among ontologies, such
> as generalization, specialization, etc. Any message sent from
> agent A to agent B would include an identifier that specifies
> what ontology is assumed for the terms in that message. (07)
That sounds to me rather like the semantic web with named RDF graphs :-). (08)
>In other words, all the axioms are at the task level, and each
>message sent between systems identifies what ontology is assumed. (09)
I agree that makes a certain sense, but Im less sanguine than you are
about being able to neatly express relationships between ontologies.
Not that such relations are impossible, but I think they will will be
messier and more tangled, as Mala says in her recent message. Which
is not necessarily a problem or something to avoid, just something we
should be ready for. (010)
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