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Re: [ontolog-forum] [Obo-relations] Heterarchy & Hierarchy, oh my my

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Bill Andersen <andersen@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 5 May 2008 08:25:50 -0400
Message-id: <B3217FDF-0B26-44AE-A6B6-DA0712E0A9D9@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hi John.    (01)

On May 4, 2008, at 23:06 , John F. Sowa wrote:    (02)

> Bill,
> That can also be restated as the refrigerator principle:
>> Everyone ought to agree on a principle of least commitment.
> Restatement:  "When in doubt, throw it out."    (03)

Huzzah for that.    (04)

>> To distinguish, say, between universal and particular, has
>> paid dividends in actual applications I've worked on
>> where these were conflated.
> The useful distinction can be stated in other terms, such
> as types and instances.  Or even predicates and instances.    (05)

That's not the same distinction.  You're speaking only of roles wrt an  
instantiation relation    (06)

(x,y) (instance(x) & type(y)) <-> instantiates(x,y)    (07)

I don't find that very useful at all.  The distinction I'm talking  
about is between two classes    (08)

(x) (Type(x) <-> ~Indiv(x))    (09)

        ... (if you don't like the word 'Universal')    (010)

> My complaint about the terms 'universal' and 'particular'
> can be seen in the enormous amount of ink that has been
> spilled over the past few millennia on those terms.
> I'll agree that some of that discussion has made useful
> points, but any pair of terms that requires so much
> discussion to explain is not a pair that is pedagogically
> useful to perpetuate.    (011)

To be clear, you're talking about the *names*, right?  Because even if  
we agree not to use them, I'm going to find an ontology where I can say    (012)

        (instantiates MadisonSquareGarden JohnSowa)    (013)

, with these names conventionally interpreted, pretty damned hard to  
make sense of.    (014)

> My recommendation is to apply the refrigerator principle
> to those two terms.    (015)

I'm happy to toss any overly burdened terms so long as the same work  
gets done.    (016)

        .bill    (017)

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