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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Steve Newcomb <srn@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2009 18:14:36 -0400
Message-id: <4AEA13CC.6080601@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Phil Murray wrote:
> Topic Maps are precisely that: Maps to topics. That's not a bad thing. 
> It's a great thing for organizing the thinking (as expressed in 
> resources) about a domain or discipline. But it's also not the best 
> foundation for connecting knowledge with reality, for enabling people to 
> put knowledge to work.    (01)

Phil, I have the feeling that you're (very kindly) saying that we should 
use screwdrivers to drive screws, and hammers to drive nails. That 
"connecting knowledge with reality" is one kind of task (involving 
"knowledge" and "reality") and expressing correspondences between 
subjects of conversation is something else entirely.    (02)

For me, there is no reality, other than the reality that I experience, 
and I experience it as the universe that I live in. Forgive me, but the 
notion that there's any other kind of reality, for anyone, ever, strikes 
me as naive -- as exhibiting a lack of awareness of the fact that 
universes exist in which an individuals' personal experience of reality, 
no matter what it is, is outside that of many other persons. So when you 
say "connecting knowledge to reality", I experience that phrase as 
vacuous. What you call the connections of knowledge to reality *are* the 
universe in which you live, and the same is true for the universe I live 
in. The fundamental questions all have to do with what we believe (or 
what someone else believes) those universes have in common.    (03)

I'm probably wasting your time. Sorry.    (04)

Steve    (05)

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