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Re: [ontolog-forum] Next steps in using ontologies as standards

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Matthew West <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 7 Jan 2009 09:54:16 -0000
Message-id: <49647be2.4467260a.3624.7b74@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Pat,    (01)

I'm sorry, but this is just wrong (I wish it were not).    (02)

>If there is an
> identifiable set of primitives (5000-10,000, say) that can be used to
> build
> all of the more complex concepts required for applications, then
> separately
> developed ontologies can be related to each other automatically,
> because the
> relations between the domain terms will be deducible from comparison of
> the
> combinations of primitive elements of which the domain ontology
> elements are
> composed.  That can't be done just using the built-in semantic elements
> of
> FOL.    (03)

[MW] The reason is that even when talking about the same thing, 
different ontological commitments in an ontology will mean that
even when they talk about the same thing (in common sense terms)
they are not. So, take something as uncontroversial as person,
under 3D this is something that exists only in the present, and
under 4D this is something that has past and future states that
exist. You will not be able to relate ontologies about persons
with these two different ontological commitments without translating
between these commitments, and not just knowing that they are about
persons.    (04)

Even at simpler level, you used space as something you presumably
think is uncontroversial, but is space an empty box that matter
exists in (Newton) or does space not exist unless it is filled
in some sense (Einstein)?    (05)

Regards    (06)

Matthew West                            
Information  Junction
Tel: +44 560 302 3685
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (07)

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