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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 25 Jan 2009 12:56:18 -0500
Message-id: <497CA7C2.4030409@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Chris,    (01)

I can accept that definition:    (02)

CP> It may be helpful here if you define what sense of logic
 > you are using here.
 > I am using the pragmatic definition that it is what logicians
 > do (or claim to do).    (03)

That's fine.  Aristotle invented formal logic.  His syllogisms
(or their equivalent in other notations) are still the most
widely used subset for definition logics and even informal
notations, such as the UML type hierarchies.  They are also
a subset of all versions of FOL and many other notations.    (04)

I certainly agree that complex reasoning is not necessary
for developing ontologies (although it is sometimes important).
But you need logic just to check that the type hierarchy is
(a) consistent and (b) preserves the transitivity of the
subtype relation.  Those two checks use only the Aristotelian
subset of logic.    (05)

I'm sure that many people can make those checks in ordinary
language without using a formal notation.  But lots of people
can do arithmetic in their heads without writing it down.
That doesn't mean they're not using arithmetic.    (06)

John    (07)

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