No, most definitely *not*! I strongly agree with Pat Hayes: (01)
PH> Getting such agreement is both unnecessary and probably
> impossible. It would achieve nothing other the creation of
> a huge and unusable formalization which would then be ignored
> for almost all applications, being too unwieldy and needlessly
> complicated and mired in pointless controversy to be usefully
> applied to any particular domain. (02)
John and Pat,
That's a bad confusion. It looks somebody of us is missing the whole point
of standard ontology. The underlying axioms and truths, fundamental
principles and facts, "a huge and unusable formalization".
As close examples, take the set theory formal axioms: extension, empty set,
separation, pairing, union, power set, infinity, choice, replacement,
restriction. Or, better look at the basic concepts of the biological
sciences: Unity (of living substance); Diversity (of life), Evolution
(natutal selection); State (homeostasis); Interrelationships (of living
things), Continuity (of generations). All the living things and the life
processes are defined in terms of the few biological principles, which are
nothing but the extension of ontological principles to the domain of life:
Substance, Unity, Diversity, Change, State, and Relationship. (03)
Azamat Abdoullaev (04)
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2009 7:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology (05)
> Pat C, Pat H, and Ian,
> PC> ... there is the practical question of whether we intend
> > to recommend one foundation ontology as the basis for the
> > formalization, or take a hands-off position and let a
> > thousand incompatible flowers bloom?
> Three points: (1) there is no foundation ontology that anyone
> could hope to recommend, (2) there are already thousands of
> flowers and weeds, and (3) there is no consensus about which
> are the flowers and which are the weeds.
> Therefore, we cannot recommend any single ontology, and we
> must accommodate the totality of those that have proved to
> be useful to at least some narrow group.
> PH> Nobody heeds such an all-encompassing ontology, however.
> > Each standardization effort is devoted to a relatively narrow
> > range of topics and concerns, compared to the full range of
> > all possible standards.
> I strongly agree.
> IB> ... you need to get your hands dirty and look at the legacy
> > data. You can carry out academic exercises mapping models and
> > doing gap analyses, but these never work when it comes to the
> > real world.
> Certainly. Anything that has lasted long enough to become
> a legacy has passed the most important test of all: it works.
> That is an enormous advantage over proposals that have not
> been tested or deployed on any practical application.
> PC> I feel strongly that getting some agreement among at least
> > one large user community on the content of *some* foundation
> > ontology should be a very high priority objective until it
> > is accomplished, regardless of how often we have talked
> > about it. Other tasks are IMHO at least secondary, and
> > perhaps dependent on the first.
> No, most definitely *not*! I strongly agree with Pat Hayes:
> PH> Getting such agreement is both unnecessary and probably
> > impossible. It would achieve nothing other the creation of
> > a huge and unusable formalization which would then be ignored
> > for almost all applications, being too unwieldy and needlessly
> > complicated and mired in pointless controversy to be usefully
> > applied to any particular domain.
> A working system always trumps a pie-in-the-sky dream.
> As a theoretician, I am in favor of dreaming. But as somebody
> who worked at a profit-making institution for 30 years, I
> realize the importance of grounding those dreams in reality.
> Therefore, the primary requirement for any theoretical proposal
> must be a smooth migration path from where we are today (namely,
> the thousands of weeds and flowers) to the promised land flowing
> with milk and honey.
> PS: That metaphor of milk and honey reminds me of a cartoon
> that showed Moses leading a bunch of people dressed in flowing
> robes, dripping with sticky white stuff. We need a migration
> path that takes advantage of the sticky stuff, instead of
> getting mired in it.
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