The primitives of logic and the units of measurement are a small part of
the basic vocabulary that people use to express knowledge. The foundation
ontology does not replace or duplicate scientific concepts, it incorporates
them into a larger body of knowledge, and enables translations among
different vocabularies used to express the same or related ideas. The
experts that use the units of measurement (I have used all of the basic
units in my laboratory days) and specify their logical description will be
included in a consortium that creates the foundation ontology.
The whole point of creating an FO by a large consortium is precisely to
be certain that the views representing many different interests and ways to
express knowledge are taken into account, within a lattice of theories. I
can't imagine how you interpret this as meaning that some important views
are going to be ignored in such a project. The consortium process ensures
that maximum effort will be made to be certain that nothing that is useful
in translating views is left out, and dictates nothing to anyone. I have
explicitly reiterated repeatedly that any basic concepts that anyone needs
should be included.
It is clear that you have completely misinterpreted the proposal I have
been making. (01)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: Monday, January 19, 2009 9:45 PM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Next steps in using ontologies as
> We already have such a system:
> PC> If you are interested in **accurate** transfer of information
> > among ontologies that can usefully share information, there is
> > no substitute for some common method of expressing meaning,
> > rich enough in the basic concepts to be able to translate among
> > multiple views of the same object.
> It's called first-order logic (FOL), and it's a subset of every
> natural language. Frege and Peirce independently developed
> different formal notations for FOL, they both converged on
> identical semantics for FOL, and FOL is a superset of all or
> nearly all knowledge representation languages. That indicates
> that there is something natural about using FOL for KR.
> For the vocabulary, the most important international standards
> are the units of measurement that have been defined for all the
> basic physical observables and their combinations: space, time,
> electrical charge, momentum, energy, frequency, light intensity,
> colors, sound intensity, etc.
> We also have international standards for designating points
> of time and space relative to the earth, sun, and our galaxy.
> Every branch of science, engineering, medicine, law, business,
> agriculture, finance, government, music, etc., has standards
> bodies for designating, defining, and relating the terminology
> for everything that is relevant to their field.
> All of the above standards must be supported by any proposed
> foundation for ontology.
> PC> ... a foundation ontology that has as many of the basic
> > concepts as can be identified. But that kind of ontology
> > will be only as useful as the number of people that adopt
> > it as the means of translating among their diverse preferred
> > representations.
> The professionals who have developed the standards mentioned
> above are far more knowledgeable about their concepts than
> any amateur. They will *never* translate their concepts into
> some subset that a bunch of amateurs extracted from Longman's
> dictionary or anything that resembles it.
> PC> Is there a reason not to try to organize such a consortium,
> > to create and present a proposal for funding of such a project?
> There is an excellent reason for not doing so: Any consortium
> of amateurs will *never* be able to dictate to professionals
> how they should think and talk about their subject matter.
> Any amateur who tries will either be politely ignored, rudely
> dismissed, or treated with scorn.
> The only skill that the people who subscribe to ontolog forum
> may claim is some knowledge of logic and some experience of
> using it to define concepts more formally than the usual
> statements in natural languages.
> That is why I recommend that we focus on the logical structures
> and the computer-aided tools and methodologies to support them.
> For the subject matter, the people in this group are amateurs
> compared to the professionals in each field. We cannot and
> must not dictate to professionals which primitives they are
> allowed to use to organize and think about their own subject.
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