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Re: [ontolog-forum] Looking forward at the past

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rob Freeman" <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 7 Oct 2008 15:47:20 +0800
Message-id: <7616afbc0810070047h7970b3ddv22816bb4eb17d974@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ronald,    (01)

I quite like your "affordance" based approach to ontology. To me it
emphasizes the subjectivity of category, whether that subjectivity be
personal or social.    (02)

Were it possible to find a complete objective ontology this personal
or social aspect would not be so important. That a personal or social
aspect is so important strikes me as further evidence no complete,
objective way of categorizing the world exists.    (03)

As I say in the Axiomatic ontology thread, I think we can model the
subjectivity of category by making ad-hoc generalizations over sets of
examples. Those examples can be perceptual or social. The ad-hoc
generalization approach is especially compatible with a social
perspective, because it should be clear social affordances might be
very numerous, more numerous than individuals, as the number of ways
you can find different social groupings in a population is numerous.    (04)

-Rob    (05)

On Tue, Oct 7, 2008 at 12:40 AM, RK Stamper <stamper.measur@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Dear Pat,
>
>
>
> Yes, I do have an ontology that addresses the problems I raise.  Indeed it
> also leads to some interesting results in computing terms.
>
>
>
> At its foundation is an ontology in the metaphysical sense, not in the
> Ontolog sense.  The core ideas will appear quite alien to the Ontolog
> community.  However, I shall try to explain but you must allow for the
> impossibility of my anticipating all the objections you might raise.
>
>
>
> You and I may believe in an objective reality. But I emphasise that these
> are our separate beliefs.  Each of us can have direct knowledge of only the
> tiny fragment of reality existing in the individual's here and now. Using
> signs (language, gestures, pictures etc.) that stand for the things known
> directly, we can extend our knowledge to embrace distant, past and future
> things.  Using signs is essentially social.
>
>
>
> Still confined to our individual here and nows, we each construct images of
> a 4-D world that we confidently treat as the one objective reality.  While
> "bounded in a nutshell" like Hamlet, each of us counts himself "a king of
> infinite space".  This amazing result depends upon our use of signs to form
> a society and share a composite view of the world.
>
>
>
> By taking our well-founded belief in an objective reality for granted, we
> fail to address the fundamental problem of how we have attained the
> wonderful result that Hamlet drew to our attention. Solipsism, despite its
> bad press, can help us find that explanation.
>
>
>
> James Gibson's Theory of Affordances provides an appropriate solipsistic
> account of direct knowledge.  An organism perceives, not by recognising a
> given, ready-made, objective reality placed in the window of its senses, but
> by discovering, through direct action and experience, what repertoires of
> behaviour the world affords it.
>
>
>
> ALL objects of perception are invariant repertoires of behaviour.
>
>
>
> Directly perceived affordances are few compared with those we learn through
> indirect perceptions based on our collective, shared experiences.  These
> indirect perceptions depend on what we say to each other and the records and
> memories we keep.  All those linguistic and other signs also exist only in
> the present but they allow us to picture the past and future.
>
>
>
> Ontologically speaking (metaphysical sense) reality consists of the
> affordances we recognise both individually and collectively.
>
>
>
> You will be wondering where this might take us technically, formally or
> computationally.  I shall not disappoint you.
>
>
>
> Building on Gibson's work, we see that all knowledge of the world depends a)
> on an agent to do the knowing and b) the agent's behaviour that embodies the
> invariants we treat as perceived things.  This suggests a syntax:
>
>             agent affordance
>
>             John upright
>
> By realising or making available a repertoire of behaviour, the agent
> modifies itself, so that recursively we can say:
>
>             (agent affordance) affordance
>
>             (John upright) jump
>
> Some affordances depend for their existence on two, coexisting antecedent
> affordances:
>
>             (agent (affordance while affordance) ) affordance
>
>             (John (paper while pencil)) draw
>
> When we move from direct knowledge to knowledge shared by Society through
> the use of information, we need to treat Society as the root agent, for
> example:
>
>             Society (person while person) marriage
>
>             Society (John while Mary) marriage
>
> But suppose they are not married; someone, perhaps John, can use a sign that
> stands for the marriage when he wants to propose:
>
> Society (John, "(John, Mary) marriage" propose
>
> where the quotes indicate that we are talking about a sign that stands for a
> marriage that does not yet exist, a sign that John employs to propose.
>
> Thus one builds a schema of ontological dependencies.  Imagine it as a
> semi-lattice rooted in the node, Society.  Each node has associated with it
> a tuple of intrinsic properties: identity, the universal of which it is a
> particular, one or a max. of two ontological antecedents, a start, a finish
> and authorities for the start and the finish.
>
>
>
> Those schemas have an empirical canonical form that leads to stability in
> any system based on them.  The data organised under such schemas can be
> manipulated using a very powerful, easily understood, 4GL that employs
> temporal operators.
>
>
>
> The Semantic Normal Form (the canonical schema) obeys a few strict rules,
> especially that for an affordance to exist all its ontological antecedents
> must coexist.  The SNF makes the 4GL possible.  While the SNF is
> linguistically neutral as it only deals with perceptions, each node /
> affordance in the schema can be labelled in whatever languages you want to
> work with.  The SNF contains the kernel of the meanings of those labels to
> which cultural variations or refinements of meaning may be provided by the
> start and finish authorities.
>
>
>
> For requirements engineering and also for computing, the benefits are huge
> but one must swallow the ontology (metaphysical) on which the theory is
> based and learn how to construct empirically based schemas of ontological
> dependencies  not so easy but worth the effort.
>
>
>
> Sorry to inflict such a long mail on you.
>
>
>
> Ronald    (06)

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