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Re: [ontolog-forum] Incompatibilities in 3D to 4D

To: Christopher Spottiswoode <cms@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Pat Hayes <phayes@xxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 11:31:35 -0500
Message-id: <2180B953-4313-4A93-8036-8395FBC1247A@xxxxxxx>

On Mar 17, 2009, at 12:46 PM, Christopher Spottiswoode wrote:    (01)

> Pat,
>> So if both sides are willing to not gag when they see something
>> apparently meaningless, treating it as ugly sugar for something
>> meaningful, then both can get
> along.
>> The hard part is social, getting each side to not gag when they
>> see apparent nonsense in their ontology.
> But is it always clear that the respective automated reasoners -
> or at least the one charged with the translation - will not gag?    (02)

They can be constructed so as not to gag. Of course, if someone has  
built their mental framework into their software then it may well emit  
en error message or some such.    (03)

> Or can the translation axioms always be applied independently of
> the reasoners while still preserving the semantics?    (04)

Yes.    (05)

>  If so, why
> has the whole issue not been resolved in this way long ago?  If
> not, well, then there is still a problem...?  (Or that is why you
> say it is "the hard part", because you mean "social" in a "society
> of mind" way, between automated agents, and not in a human-social
> way?)    (06)

No, I meant it strictly in a human-society way. In fact, even more  
specifically, a human-philosophers way. The reason its hasn't been  
resolved is that there really is a sharp philosophical disagreement  
here, and many people see the role of a formal ontology as that of  
formalizing their philosophical position (indeed, virtually all  
philosophers see it that way: the formalism is in the service of the  
philosophy. That is why its dangerous to put philosophers in charge of  
ontology engineering projects. :-)    (07)

There is another reason, which is that the formal reconciliation is  
only possible when one has the syntactic flexibility afforded by  
Common Logic. It is much harder to state using a traditional FOL  
syntax: one has to have two incompatible ontologies with extra-logical  
translation rules between them.    (08)

Pat    (09)

> If my questions are merely ignorant (which wouldn't surprise me at
> all in this matter...) perhaps you can easily point out where I
> have got it wrong?
> Christopher
>    (010)

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