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Re: [ontolog-forum] Thing and Class

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 14 Sep 2008 14:49:43 -0400
Message-id: <48CD5CC7.4040709@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Leonid,    (01)

The labels are confusing the issue.  In order to clarify the issues,
look at what people actually do.    (02)

 > But when to use a Classification System in practice there is a need
 > to use an extensions (Taxonomy) before detailed examining "intensions"
 > (properties, merons ).    (03)

Except for very tiny sets, nobody actually "uses" extensions in
taxonomy.  Just consider the sets of farm animals like cows,
bulls, steers, donkeys, mules, etc.  It would be impossible to
classify them by gathering billions of instances and trying to
subdivide them in different sets.  When farmers try to separate
the sheep from the goats, they do that by *intensions*, which
may be verbal or image-like characterizations of the properties
that distinguish the two types.    (04)

Farmers, veterinarians, and biologists certainly do examine some
number of individuals.  But they do so in order to *describe* them
and to relate the descriptions.  It is not only impossible, but
totally useless to gather up all the actual sets.    (05)

The fact that people look at the data does not imply that they
are using extensions.  They are trying to determine what are the
characteristic intensions necessary to discriminate one type
from another.    (06)

John    (07)

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