[Top] [All Lists]

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

To: FERENC KOVACS <f.kovacs@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 2009 13:06:55 -0600
Message-id: <0328FE47-F55E-4229-8237-9999850A570E@xxxxxxx>

On Jan 26, 2009, at 11:45 AM, FERENC KOVACS wrote:

Dear Ferenc

You (and other contributors to this forum) really ought to find out more about the published works of people before responding to them in this style. John does not "see the world through a tube", and he does not make the elementary errors that you attribute to him, presumably on the basis of reading a few emails. John knows perfectly well that words are indicators of concepts. In any case, your message is off the point, which was only that in order to judge the correctness of a syllogism, one must make sure that words are being used in a consistent sense throughout. This is (a) true and (b) obvious and (c) has been the topic of elementary textbook exercises for the past two millennia. 

Most of us in this forum have at least a passing acquaintance with the 40 (or so) years' history of AI and cognitive modeling, so are vividly aware of the complexities of human language processing and mental modeling of knowledge. Please do us the courtesy of presuming, until you read clear evidence to the contrary, that we are not suffering from simplistic delusions about basic ideas from elementary philosophy of mind or cognitive science. 

We all know that human thought and language exceeds in its scope anything that can be currently represented in any kind of formal logic. Everyone who has studied logic knows this, including Aristotle. But this trite observation is not a criticism of formal logic itself, and it does not imply that anyone who uses or studies logic is in a tube or a tunnel. Moreover, it hardly seems relevant to a forum such as this which is wholly concerned with discovering what can be usefully represented in formal logics of one kind or another.  

BTW, a few of the things you say seem to be slightly off the mark. For example, most words do not actually name concepts. Rather, they indicate or correspond to concepts: that is, hearing the word in a suitable context brings the concept to mind or, more technically, 'activates' it. (Activation can be measured experimentally.) Again, knowledge is not familiarity with mental operations: we are in fact very unfamiliar with our own mental operations, which are almost entirely opaque to introspection. 

I have looked at the Topos of Music. It seems to be entirely about music, which seems somewhat off the point here. You might try reading Stephen R. Fischer's trilogy ("History of language, ... of writing,  ...of reading"  http://www.amazon.co.uk/History-Language-Globalities-Steven-Fischer/dp/186189080X/ref=pd_sim_b_2 ) to get some insight into the relationships between human language and thought. 

Pat Hayes

Dear John
You see the world through a tube. There is a lot more out there in understanding this world and human language processing than trying to describe in terms of formal logic. In fact, you do not need a language to understand the world to a large extent. Moreover, you do not have to speak a language syntactically correctly to get by. You should understand that knowledge is an ordered acces to information and knowledge representations in natuaral languages are NOT accessible in an ordered fashion, not even the books in the libraries. Why not? Because they are morphologically sorted, that is alphabetical indexes are the search/keyword tools and no matter what you do about them in compiling thesaurii or ontologies you still have the same problem.
You do not see that all the words you use are names of concepts, and concepts are all abstract, there is no such thing as an abstract concept and a concrete concept, etc. Knowledge is the level of failiarity with the mental operations and their results in nterms of objects, properties and relations, all concepts, all products of conceptualization by the mind, but not unambiguous, on the contrary, most of the time the have ambiguous senses and sometimes triples senses. You need to understand this, otherwise you never get out of your tunnel.
What you try to achieve in formal languages and codi8ng is all lost in translation anyway.Your computer is in front of you, after compiling your program the machine code shows nothing of the efforts you have been making. All you get is an output and an input, but what goes on in the mind in between has certainly nothing to do with mapping, especially not in 2D or more Ds.
Please, read the book entitled the Topos of Music, you will get a better understanding of what I am saying. (I would hate to recommend my writings or ideas to read now, and they are only available for perks, anyway. I am not a charity from now on. :-) )
Cheers, Frank
 Vasco and Frank,

The problem of multiple senses for nearly all words in natural languages
makes them informal.  When NL words are inserted into formal languages
(e.g., in controlled NLs such as Aristotle's syllogisms), the sense
must be specified by some declaration or stipulation.

JFS>> For example, following is the *form* of the pattern named Barbara:
>>    Every A is a B.
>>    Every B is a C.
>>    Therefore, every A is a C.
>> When the letters A, B, and C are replaced by arbitrary common nouns,
>> the interpretation of the syllogism is uniquely determined --
>> provided that the middle term B is required to apply to exactly
>> the same individuals in both premises.

VCP> By saying "provided X" aren't we introducing background knowledge?
> I.E aren't we considering background knowledge implicitly?
> In the absurd we could say
>  "Every lightning rod is a conductor"
>  "Every conductor studied music"
>  "Therefore, every lightning rod studied music"

The word 'conductor' has multiple word senses.  In one sense, it means
something that conducts electricity.  In another sense, it means a
person who conducts an orchestra.  If the word sense can vary between
premise #1 and premise #2, that introduces a fallacy called the
'nondistributed middle term' -- i.e., the word 'conductor' has
different extensions in each premise.

To solve this problem, the complete _expression_ of the syllogism must
include a declaration of word sense for each noun in the syllogism.

VCP> Aren't we introducing the background knowledge of the word
> 'lightning rod' in determining why this is false?

There are two aspects to meaning:  intension and extension.  The
intension of any statement is an abstract pattern.  The extension
is determined by matching that pattern to the domain (which may
be some aspect of the world, an abstract model, or some possible
world).  The intension is determined when the pattern of the
logic (in this case, the syllogism) is stated and each term of
the syllogism is mapped to a unique definition (e.g., by stating
the URI of some specification).  The extension is determined by
using the pattern and the URIs of each term to determine the
truth value.

FK> Your ontologies are a mess...

I certainly agree that many of the things that are called
"ontology" are a mess -- and they've been getting worse, not
better, in the past ten years.

John Sowa

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

IHMC                                     (850)434 8903 or (650)494 3973   
40 South Alcaniz St.           (850)202 4416   office
Pensacola                            (850)202 4440   fax
FL 32502                              (850)291 0667   mobile
phayesAT-SIGNihmc.us       http://www.ihmc.us/users/phayes

Message Archives: http://ontolog.cim3.net/forum/ontolog-forum/  
Config Subscr: http://ontolog.cim3.net/mailman/listinfo/ontolog-forum/  
Unsubscribe: mailto:ontolog-forum-leave@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://ontolog.cim3.net/file/
Community Wiki: http://ontolog.cim3.net/wiki/ 
To join: http://ontolog.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?WikiHomePage#nid1J
To Post: mailto:ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx    (01)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>