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Re: [ontolog-forum] What is "understanding"

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 02 Apr 2008 13:18:42 -0400
Message-id: <47F3BFF2.1050400@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Gary,    (01)

That is not what I said:    (02)

GBC> If one were to begin anew to urgently develop a "common
 > foundation ontology" then one might consider mapping the existing
 > upper/foundational ontologies to see what is common.  At least
 > that sounds as useful as getting some agreement without
 > understanding what is common in these.  John's content seems
 > to be that you won't find large, obvious commonality.    (03)

There are a lot of things that we all agree should be at or
near the top -- space, time, objects, processes, numbers, sets,
data, etc.  But different people have proposed very different
underlying assumptions for defining them.  Therefore, I have
recommended that we avoid choosing *any* detailed axioms as
a mandatory standard for those things.    (04)

For many practical applications, the most important standards
are formats for dates, times, measures, and the terminology
that refers to the specific objects and events of interest.
The theoretical questions about different axioms for a 3D vs.
4D ontology for space-time or axioms about continuants vs
occurrents usually have no effect on the choices of low-level
formats, measures, and terminology.    (05)

I'm not clear about how much detail Pat C. wants in his defining
vocabulary.  But the detailed axioms of Cyc have little or no
influence on how an English sentence is mapped to logic.  After
the mapping has been done, those axioms might be useful for
further reasoning in logic -- but even that is questionable
for many practical applications.    (06)

John    (07)

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