I think the most
appropriate conclusion is that ontologies can be quite effectively constructed
for restricted contexts, though not for all possible cases in general.

John Sowa wrote:

Just consider one of the
simplest equations used in physics:

F=ma

On the surface, one might
think that the force F is being defined

in terms of the mass m times
the acceleration a. But that is an

illusion. Exactly the
same equation could be written

m=a/F or a=m/F

In fact, none of the three
terms are primitives. Each of them could

be characterized by the
methods used to measure F, m, or a. But any

of those methods are just
useful techniques with a given technology.

A case could be made that the set of constrained
equations is the set of primitives. If I only care about the Newtonian
models, F=ma is the primitive relationship among force, mass and acceleration.
No matter how I differentiate, integrate or bind variables to constants, F=ma
is always in force. Therefore that constraint is a primitive for Newtonian
mechanics. Ignoring Einstein, I can develop a set of constraints based on
Newton's work
and call those an ontology for restricted cases.

This approach abdicates a position relating
Newtonian mechanics to Einsteinian physics, but it can still be very useful as
an ontology for Newtonian applications. This ontology can only be applied
within the context of Newton's laws. But
it is very, very useful in that context.

The point is that ontologies can be quite
effectively constructed for restricted contexts, though not for all cases.
So bounding the context is required if we are to make ontologies useful in
widespread applications.

-Rich

Sincerely,

Rich Cooper

EnglishLogicKernel.com

Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com