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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles

To: ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Date: Mon, 23 Feb 2009 15:32:00 +0000
Message-id: <c09b00eb0902230732l5b538414u1f5799ed1e0666bb@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Thanks Ian and all

I understand that most intangibles can be associated with a tangible countepart
even the wind, which we cannot touch, is indeed a physical phenomenon

however, things exist that are abstract, ie, do not have physical qualities
I can make a list but surely you can come up with a list too

emotions (okay, sweat and heartbeat are indicators of emotions but not emotions themselves)
they are ever so important, surely lots more

I can accept that mod ontology is mainly concerned with physical things, although I would argue that
the enemy may also be a mere nasty intention
in which case, it would elude the IDEAS representation (as I understand from the diagram)
(correct if wrong)

yes, CYC has substance, but not sure how other upper ontologies deal with it, was wondering

from the BORO diagram in mod pdf, I am not sure I understand what happens to things that cannot be kicked

But I ll study in more detail and look forward to more examples

basically until now I have defined upper ontologies to the aristotele/kant fundamental categories
but il looks like more recent upper ontologies, like DOLCE and IDEAS are somewhat different in nature

thanks a lot


On Sun, Feb 22, 2009 at 9:38 PM, Ian Bailey <ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Hi Paola,


I remember getting into this discussion at a NATO meeting once. I actually don't think those things are intangible. In fact, I don't think anything is, we just need to get behind the names to figure out what is being referred to, and most people are too lazy to bother. If the reference is to a particular hostility, then it's an individual – we know its extent (which may be scattered – e.g. the London tube bombings). If we're talking about how to classify hostile behaviour then it's a type of individual – its members are all hostile activities that are undertaken. You have to be clear about what is understood to be hostile and by whom, so it may need clarifying in the name you actually give it – e.g. ConsideredHostileByUSGovt, ConsideredHostileByUKGovt, etc.


The classic example Chris Partridge always brings up is Agreement. Most people things it's intangible, but that's just because the word can refer to many things in the real world, and as it's so commonly used, we become so relaxed about it we unintentionally conflate its senses into an intangible muddle. It could mean the act of signing the agreement (an individual). It could be the agreement text (a type, or if we mean a physical signed copy, an individual). It could mean the end-to-end process that takes place under the agreement – e.g. a building services company might describe their ongoing maintenance of a building for a customer as their "agreement".


Partridge is a great believer in testing the extent behind a term. He reckons if two people are not sure whether they are talking about the same thing we should try and find an example which one thinks is a (e.g.) hostility and the other does not. Then they are talking about different things. This avoids the problem of saying that hostility has an (abstract) essence…but you still need to do the work figure out what the extent is.


My point is that there's not much point doing ontology if you're unclear about what it is you are referring to (although it doesn't seem to stop most people…leaving myself wide open for a babooning from Pat there). If you think something is intangible, it's just that you haven't pushed hard enough on it to work out all its senses and related objects. Usually, something seen as intangible turns out to be a pattern of many things – e.g. you can't just have one object in the ontology to correspond to your term. People tend to fight this – it's counter-intuitive. I think getting over the name bias is the key to developing a useful ontology. Can't say I've got over it myself yet though.






From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of paola.dimaio@xxxxxxxxx
Sent: 22 February 2009 18:49
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: [ontolog-forum] intangibles



thanks for the pointers
>From this link I get a summary view of IDEAS and BORO's, at last

May I ask, how does it deal with intangible entities? (such as 'threat' or 'hostility' , for example)
Does it just ignore them , deny they exist, or does it always correlate an intangible to a tangible entity?
Admittedly there are things that you cant kick,  such as the wind

Do uppen ontologies all have this characteristic of only modelling tangibles?


Paola Dm

On Wed, Feb 11, 2009 at 11:53 AM, Ian Bailey <ian@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Hi Paola,


The website is http://www.ideasgroup.org. There's not much more than the foundation on there right now. Chris Partridge and I are working on the documentation now with a target of release in June 09.


There have been a couple of implementations. Unfortunately, the customer asked us to tackle subject areas which didn't lend themselves well to ontology, so they're not exactly paradigm shifting apps. You can download the country-code demo from http://www.modaf.com/News/69/mod-ontology-demonstrator-released  


PS - The UK sponsor is Luigi Gregori, who I think you already know.



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