I would hesitate before bundling law off into its own domain. It's a
good example of one of those so called "domains" the concepts of which
are actually fundamental across a range of business domains. For
instance any business would reference concepts from the legal domain -
essentially law is where most of the meaning comes from in business (the
AI folks have some interesting things to say about symbol grounding and
courts of law). (01)
I do think that some of us may still be talking slightly at cross
purposes about what's an Upper Ontology, what's a framework for
integrating ontologies, whether one of necessity has to be the other and
so on. Meanwhile there are things which some people call "Domain" which
are fundamental enough to be used by multiple domains; particularly law,
financial accounting and economic activity. (02)
If you bundle these into a vertical domain where no-one else sees them,
then you will have ontologies in other domains which replicate existing
terms (or bypass them in their taxonomic hierarchy) without knowing they
are there. That would be like someone discovering a new species of
reptile but not knowing what a reptile was because that part of the
taxonomy of species was hidden away in someone else's specialized
vertical domain of African or Australasian creatures. (03)
Matthew West wrote:
> Dear Pat,
>> Just on one point:
>>> [MW] Yes, but I repeat what I said to John. Those things that are
>>> foundational are unavoidable in practically any domain, and are in
>>> case quite small.
>> Yes, I suspect the same.
>>> I rather think the mileage is in filtering out domains and
>>> parts of domains that are not of interest to the problem at hand. But
>>> maybe we have slightly different ideas of what an upper ontology/
>>> ontology is.
>> Probably true. In representing the concepts in the Longman defining
>> vocabulary, most of the effort goes into specifying social concepts,
>> would not be needed in most industrial applications. They get more
>> for things like law.
> [MW] Well contracts and agreements and organizations are found in industry
> as well, but generally not criminal law.
> I would expect to find a basic ontology of intentionally constructed objects
> in an upper ontology, but I would see law itself as a domain and possibly
> many other social concepts as domains, just as engineering is.
> Matthew West
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