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Re: [ontolog-forum] semantics of the mKR language

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Richard H. McCullough" <rhm@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 20:49:30 -0700
Message-id: <AE6E4BF9B85D4C2C8B47AA004AB5C7BE@rhm8200>
see my answers below, prefixed by ****    (01)

P.S. These issues have been discussed in a series
of private emails between myself, John Sowa and
Pat Hayes.  Since John has made his objections public,
I'm making my answers public.    (02)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: "KR-language" <KR-language@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 4:37 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] semantics of the mKR language    (03)

> Dick,
> We already went around and around on this issue:
> RHM> The meaning of an mKR proposition is -- what mKE does to
> > the knowledge bases, and gives back to the human user.
> That is a fair statement, which I agree with.
> RHM> That being said, here's a definition of the semantics of mKR.
> >
> >   http://mkrmke.org/download/kewin.zip
> You have given a long list of things that your mKE programs
> can do with the mKR notation.  Every one of those operations
> moves the notation around and performs minimal transformations
> on it.  I have already agreed that those operations can be
> quite useful.  But they don't come to grips with the meaning
> of the symbols in mKR.
**** I don't believe John or Pat have come to grips with the
**** meaning of symbols in any natural language, e.g., English.
**** The meaning of language symbols is tied to our sensory
**** perceptions of the real world.  Our senses provide
**** comparisons & measurements of the entities that we perceive.
**** Knowledge begins with propositions which express these
**** measurements.  Further knowledge is derived by abstractions
**** from these first primitive propositions.  Our words give names
**** to our mental images which arise from our sensory perceptions
**** of entities in the real world.  [see David Kelley, "The Evidence
**** of the Senses"]
> You have admitted that you don't yet do more complex kinds of
> reasoning.  And the point that those of us who have been using
> and implementing logic-based systems have made is that if you
> want to do anything more with the meaning of the mKR notation,
> you must give a more precise definition of your language.
**** I have not tried to do more complex reasoning.
**** I have devoted my efforts to exploring different applications
**** to see if mKR could adequately describe those applications.
> The most serious defect of the mKR notation is in the very
> part you seem to be most proud of -- the at-phrases that
> specify what you call the context.
> When we pressed you to define what you mean by 'view', you
> admitted that you couldn't say anything more specific than
> whatever the author intended.  That is a fair statement,
> but it implies that no computer today or in the foreseeable
> future will be able to do anything further to reason with
> those at-phrases.
**** I said that "view" identifies a list of propositions.
**** I expect a human to specify that list of propositions.
**** A computer can reason using that list.
> In short, your system will be limited to what any search engine
> does:  move data around and find data that contains certain
> character strings.  That is certainly useful, but it does not
> come to grips with the meaning of those strings.
**** My first comment addressed the meaning of those strings.
> John    (04)

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