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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology-based database integration

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Oct 2009 11:50:08 -0400
Message-id: <4ADDDC30.3020606@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Len,    (01)

JFS>> That is why being an animal is essential, but many other
 >> properties are accidental.    (02)

LY> How is that to be decided when integrating data about animals?
 > What is essential property for a given application of data?    (03)

There are many considerations, and I don't want to get into an
exhaustive analysis.  But following are some basic criteria:    (04)

  1. The first test is whether the classification is determined
     by something permanent (lasting as long as the thing exists)
     or temporary (changeable during its lifetime or period of
     existence).    (05)

  2. Second, whether the classification is based on something
     intrinsic or inherent in the individual (such as being
     a dog) or on some external relationship (such as being
     a pet or an employee).    (06)

  3. Third, whether there is some law or principle that determines
     the inherent structure or function.    (07)

For a fish, being an animal is permanent, its determined by
examining the individual rather than anything outside the
individual, and there are basic biological principles about
how animals are born, grow, and live.    (08)

Living in water is important for a fish, but it can be
interrupted without destroying the fish, it is determined
by something outside the fish (water), and it is less
fundamental to the biology of a fish than its internal
organs, biological functions, and DNA.    (09)

Therefore, if you are considering what type or class
to choose as essential for a fish, being an animal
would have a very high priority.    (010)

John    (011)

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