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Re: [ontolog-forum] FW: Lattice of theories

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 17 Jan 2009 09:16:43 -0500
Message-id: <4971E84B.1040208@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sean,    (01)

As I suspected, the discrepancy can be resolved by clarifying
the term 'grounding'.    (02)

SB> Grounding - what the data means in the context of the business
 > processes that use it. For example, by the term "part" I mean a
 > design for a physical component of a product, but not the
 > engineering drawing of the part (which is the presentation of
 > the representation of the shape of the mechanical design view
 > of a version of the part), although this was the way it was
 > interpreted in one well publicised project.    (03)

That is a common failure caused by confusing signs with the
the objects they refer to.  Other examples:  confusing a map
with the territory, a name with the person, a photo with the
scene, or data in a database with the actual things and events.    (04)

My original claim was that if you have two theories with the
same axioms, they are true in exactly the same circumstances.
If a complex system of signs is sufficiently accurate, some
axioms will be true of both the signs and the things they
represent.  For example, the spatial relations of a physical
system are preserved by a good map or engineering drawing.    (05)

However, other axioms are not preserved.  The distance measure
for a map and the territory will differ by a constant scale
factor.  Other features, such as weight, color, smell, etc.,
will not be represented at all.    (06)

So this issue can be resolved by making a distinction between
systems of representation (e.g., signs of some kind) and the
things they represent.  In one sense, every object is a sign
(or model) of itself.  That is the only kind of sign relation
that preserves all axioms.  But most signs are abstractions
that only preserve those axioms that are significant for some
particular purpose.    (07)

SB> Data model - old fashioned technology, written in EXPRESS,
 > in this case ISO 10103-203 - the point I was making was one
 > from the experience of using older semantic standards.    (08)

The term 'data model' originated in the database community,
and it can be considered a special case of an engineering
model.  I have no objection to using it, provided that the
distinction between the model and the system being modeled
is clearly stated.  The term 'grounding', I assume, was
intended to record that distinction.    (09)

John    (010)

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