[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology vs OWL implementation

To: Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 21:03:35 +0200
Message-id: <p06230917c43fc30c16dd@[]>
At 2:41 PM -0400 5/1/08, Bill Andersen wrote:

And yes, that is an ontology. Its not a very interesting ontology, but I see nothing whatever to be gained by trying to give criteria to distinguish 'mere assertions' from 'real ontologies'.

I did not advocate that position.  Others did; I stayed on the fence.

It seems pretty clear which side your legs are on, though.

This kind of distinction is impossible to make precise, cannot be based on anything other than intuition or prejudice, and in any case is not the slightest use. So, to hell with it. To ignore it is good engineering, good methodology and (I submit) good philosophy. I propose to ignore it, and urge others to do the same.

The problem I have with the use of the term "ontology" in the way you suggest is that it is thereby just a synonym for perfectly useful and well-understood technical terminology that we already have.  Namely "logical theory".

Right. Though since not all ontology languages are really logics, it might be taken to have a wider extension.

The only reason I can see for the use of the term "ontology" in this connection is to increase the chances of winning funding from people who still attach mystic significance to the term "ontology" that they would not to "logical theory"

Quite. But isn't that the only reason for using the word "ontology" under any circumstances?

Surely you can't be in favor of introducing a new term that does no more and no less work than established terms of art in logic and automated theorem proving, can you?

I wouldn't be if the term really were new (and I resolutely ignored it when it was first introduced) but its no longer new, and we are now stuck with it. But it does a lot less harm if its merely a synonym than if its supposed to have some mystical importance inherited from philosophy or the latest vogue in management theory. Certainly I don't think we should be trying to invent some way to separate it from 'logical theory' simply in order to justify its existence.



Bill Andersen (andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx)
Ontology Works, Inc. (www.ontologyworks.com)
3600 O'Donnell Street, Suite 600
Baltimore, MD 21224
Office: 410-675-1201
Cell: 443-858-6444

IHMC               (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   home
40 South Alcaniz St.       (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                 (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                     (850)291 0667    cell
http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes      phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Subscribe/Config: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (01)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>