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Re: [ontolog-forum] standard ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 10 Feb 2009 16:27:18 -0500
Message-id: <4991F136.4010405@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Ian and Pat,    (01)

I agree with Pat:    (02)

PH> I wouldn't describe this list as an ontology at all, more
 > like the underlying formalism of an ontology. I would add
 > immediately that this isnt a clear boundary, but your list
 > here doesn't seem to be about the world being described so
 > much as about the apparatus you propose to use to describe it.    (03)

The following classification is closer to a description of the
permissible syntactic categories:    (04)

   -tuple (thing, thing, thing, ...etc.)
     -couple (thing, thing)
       -superSubtype (type, type)
       -typeInstance (type, thing)
         -powertypeInstance (powertype, type)
         -nameTypeInstance (nametype, name)
       -namedBy (thing, name)
     -triple (thing, thing, thing)
     -quadruple (thing, thing, thing, thing)
     -quintuple (thing, thing, thing, thing, thing)    (05)

Common Logic, for example, is called a logic rather
than an ontology.  But it is possible to define a dialect
of CL that uses the labels above to name the syntactic
features of CL.    (06)

  - A thing is anything named by a CL name.    (07)

  - A type is a monadic relation that is used as a
    restriction on a quantified name.    (08)

But as Pat said, the boundary isn't clear.  You could say that
your system does make the following "ontological commitment":    (09)

  - If there exists a thing x and a thing y, then there exists
    a couple consisting of x and y.    (010)

In CLIF, that statement could be written as the following axiom:    (011)

    (forall (x y) (exists (z) (= z (couple x y))))    (012)

However, this level of commitment is far below what you would
get from adopting any first-order logic plus some obvious
mathematical theories that can be axiomatized in FOL:  sets,
functions, relations, integers, real numbers, etc.    (013)

But that is still very far from giving us an ontology that can
represent all the stuff of science, engineering, business, etc.    (014)

John    (015)

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