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Re: [ontolog-forum] Just What Is an Ontology, Anyway?

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rob Akscyn" <ra33@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 23 Oct 2009 13:28:05 +1300 (NZDT)
Message-id: <54247.>
> Hi All,
> For modern usage, I'd rate Ed Barkmeyer's definition of 'ontology' as the
> most satisfactory so far.
> Here it is:
> *What makes written knowledge an "ontology" is that the language has a
> grammar and
> an interpretation of the grammatical constructs that is suitable for
> automated reasoning.  If most of the desired reasoning depends on your
> interpretations of constructs you introduced, that can't happen unless
> you build the engine.  Without that engine, you have an ox, not a bull.*    (01)

My own belief is that ontology is a concept that far transcends language,
dealing with the notion of what exists, or can be said to exist. Language,
while necessary to discuss 'being', is secondary. As Will put it well:    (02)

     What's in a name? that which we call a rose
      By any other name would smell as sweet;    (03)

**********    (04)

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