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Re: [ontolog-forum] mKR programming language

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2009 14:20:17 -0500
Message-id: <68849170-0813-45FE-BD69-F662EFE54D84@xxxxxxxx>
On Mar 17, 2009, at 1:49 PM, Richard H. McCullough wrote:
>>> You seem to imply that mKR is of no value without a formal  
>>> semantic theory.  I totally disagree.
>> That much is clear. :-)
>>> Further, I assert that there are many meaningful exchanges taking  
>>> place in this forum, even though we have no formal semantics for  
>>> English.
>> Of course, but we have all learned English by being socialized into  
>> various linguistic communities wherein the semantic conventions of  
>> English have already been assimilated.  It is, of course, logically  
>> possible that large communities of people sit down and hash out the  
>> meanings of the mKR constructs informally and start adding them to  
>> the way they speak and write -- although, as noted above, there  
>> seems little reason to do so, as English appears to be doing just  
>> fine as a medium of spoken and written communication between human  
>> agents in most contexts.  But once again, if you want mKR to be of  
>> general use as an ontology language that helps us to leverage high- 
>> speed computer networks to share, integrate, and reason upon large  
>> bodies of information, then mKR needs a formal semantics that (i)  
>> fixes the meanings of its primitive constructs and (ii) assigns  
>> definite meanings to complex expressions recursively in terms of  
>> the meanings of their simpler parts.  Without this it is impossible  
>> to guarantee that information has been exchanged and integrated  
>> accurately and that inferences drawn on the basis of that  
>> information are sound.
> I am relying on the "linguistic communities wherein the semantic  
> conventions of English have already been assimilated".
> I have stated, on my web site, that the meaning of an mKR  
> proposition is defined by the meaning of its English paraphrase. I  
> do not consider many pages of mathematical formulas to be an  
> appropriate definition of meaning in mKR.    (01)

Then the fact is that whatever potential mKR might have for the  
knowledge engineering community will remain untapped.  It simply  
cannot be used as an ontology language without a formal semantics.    (02)

No more from me on this.    (03)

-chris    (04)

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