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[ontolog-forum] [ontology-forum] Intensional, Extensional, FO, HO & UHLO

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Ian Bailey" <ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 12 Feb 2009 09:32:52 -0000
Message-id: <008701c98cf4$f36aa050$da3fe0f0$@com>

Hello Now,


I’ve been watching this thread on standard ontologies for a bit now…I even dared stick my head in the lion’s mouth a couple of times by posting.


I realise the thread is supposed to be about using ontologies in standards. Although that doesn’t preclude everyone doing their own thing (it certainly hasn’t before in the world of standards), it would perhaps make sense if these standards *could* all descend from a common foundation. By foundation, I mean what Rich was calling an Ultra-High-Level Ontology – i.e. ontic categories and relationships.


Has anyone looked into the possibility of a foundation that covers the whole gamut ?  First order, higher order, intensional, extensional (my sense), etc. ? RDF/RDFS gives us classes, type-instance, and sub-super. It just doesn’t have individuals (my sense, ”something with spatio-temporal extent”). RDFS covers higher order and first order by dint of not restricting how RDF:type is used. All it lacks is a grounding in physical extent, which is understandable as it was designed to refer to stuff in cyberspace rather than stuff I can kick.


The difficulty, I suspect is in the intensional vs extensional bit. In BORO/ISO15926/IDEAS, we would have one class with many names (e.g. “Equiangular Triangle”, “Equilateral Triangle”), whereas the intensional folks would have two classes, perhaps with an equivalence relationship between them. Has anyone analysed the nature of these two approaches and come up with a common foundation for both, or are they so fundamentally different it can’t be done ?  Surely some logician or philosopher must have cracked this ?


The SC4 resources, at one time, had class_by_intension and class_by_extension in them, not sure if there was anything to join them up though. I think David Leal did the work on this.




Ian Bailey


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