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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 13:42:15 -0500
Message-id: <4AEB3387.409@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear Matthew and Rich,    (01)

I just want to comment on the following interchange:    (02)

RC>> As John Sowa is fond of saying, people play language games.    (03)

MW> But computers don’t.    (04)

Actually, they do.  But they are limited to just those game(s) that
some programmer(s) programmed for them.  They stubbornly play those
games no matter how ill-suited they turn out to be.  I'm sure we
all have horror stories with humorous and/or painful examples.    (05)

RC>> So one enterprise level purpose of each subjective personal
 >> ontology is to “correct” the personal viewpoint, projecting it
 >> back into the enterprise ontology.    (06)

MW> This is essentially the process of agreeing the enterprise ontology,
 > or aligning with it.    (07)

The enterprise ontology is just one more game, which the developers hope
is sufficiently universal that it can subsume all the other games that
all the members of the enterprise and their clients and suppliers may
happen to play.    (08)

For a tightly managed enterprise, it might be adequate for a useful
subset.  But no single ontology can ever be sufficiently general to
meet the requirements for all the possible games that might arise.    (09)

That is why I have emphasized the need for a framework that can
accommodate an open-ended hierarchy of ontologies.    (010)

John    (011)

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