Based on your elaboration, it seems that our disagreement only resides in
the issue of how many basic concept representations can actually be agreed
to by a community large enough to form an effective user group for the
foundation ontology -large enough to encourage people to develop utilities
to make it easier to use, and applications to demonstrate its use. I think
that the number is above 5000 (not including those whose agreed meaning can
be logically specified in terms of the basic terms), it seems you may have a
different number in mind. The only way I can think of to answer the
question is to fund development of an FO in a project that can develop
associated utilities and applications, without which the exercise will be
too theoretical to provide an incentive to others to use it. We know from
past experience that volunteer efforts are unlikely to serve the purpose,
but I am willing to participate again if any such unfunded project
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: Friday, July 10, 2009 6:11 PM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Danger of URIs in mission-critical
> PC> The above comments demonstrate a misunderstanding of the
> > function of the common Foundation Ontology- it is not to
> > force agreement on theories which are inconsistent, but to provide
> > a set of concept representations that can unambiguously describe
> > different theories in logical form, whether or not the theories
> > themselves are inconsistent.
> I was assuming exactly what you're saying in that statement.
> PC> The critical point is that is possible to describe inconsistent
> > theories using the same **agreed** inventory of basic terms.
> > People do that every day, and the task of the FO is to enable
> > computers to do that too.
> I also agree with that. But I was also making the point that
> those two principles imply that the *definitions* of those basic
> terms must have almost *zero* content.
> That follows from the fact that the same words, such as 'mass',
> 'energy', 'force', etc., are used in contradictory ways in
> different theories of physics. If you want to use the same
> words in multiple inconsistent theories, you have to strip
> almost all meaning from them -- i.e., you get a very under-
> specified theory with very few axioms.
> I was using physics as an example because it it the most
> thoroughly developed and axiomatized of all the empirical
> sciences. For every other field, the situation is vastly
> more disorganized and chaotic than physics.
> That is why I have been proposing an upper level ontology
> that has very few relations other than subtype and part-whole.
> It also has very few axioms, and all important reasoning is
> done in the open-ended collection of microtheories, many
> of which are inconsistent with one another.
> In other words, what you are left with is something like
> a cleaned up and systematized WordNet at the upper levels,
> and a large collection of detailed microtheories that
> use the terms in the upper levels plus many specialized
> But the basis for any serious inferences are *not* the
> combinations of the the upper level terms, but the
> low-level axioms in the low-level microtheories.
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