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Re: [ontolog-forum] Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ronald Stamper <stamper.measur@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2010 13:07:22 +0000
Message-id: <A148E1A1-0EC2-4BF4-B429-33D6D7825CF8@xxxxxxxxx>
Dear All,    (01)

Although my own team’s approach to ontology differs strongly from the  
mainstream of Ontolog thought, you may find these ideas relevant to  
this thread:
  1. Making and maintaining the meanings of signs used by people will  
always depend upon human judgement and will always resist mechanical  
standardisation.  Hence we should live with that fact and put more  
effort into improving the intelligence of human communities and less  
into creating a generalised mechanical form of artificial intelligence  
while still building limited scale, pseudo-intelligent machines.    (02)

  2.  Nevertheless, there does exist a very stable structure across  
cultures and time arising from ‘ontological dependency’.  We arrived  
at this relationship on the basis of an ontology (= an understanding  
about the nature of reality) that takes into account how people  
construct the world they perceive.  One thing depends ontologically  
upon others when it can exist only during their coexistence.  (For a  
little more see parts of the two papers on www.rstamper.co.uk .)    (03)

  3. This stable semi-lattice structure, serves as a Semantic Normal  
Form, for a Semantic Temporal DataBase.  Each node serves as surrogate  
for perceptual unit with a few essential attributes including a start  
and a finish for its existence and an authority for the start and  
finish, which account for the cultural and temporal variations in  
meaning.    (04)

  4.  Wherever other perceiving agents furnish information on which we  
base our understanding of the world around us, each of those agents  
contributes to some degree or other towards the meaning we associate  
with the node.  The contribution may be the idiosyncratic choice of an  
individual person or it may be defined by a norm that determines a  
start or a finish (think of copyright law) and a norm distributes the  
authority over the many individuals who supply the observations,  
judgements, etc in the conditional part of the norm.    (05)

  5. Although we cannot standardise meanings, we can track more  
carefully the contributions made by different individuals and  
institutions.  The stable SNF schema supports a logical process of  
analysis but that can never be sufficient; analysis of the authorities  
tells us about the power exercised by the people who play their  
various roles in the fine tuning of meanings.    (06)

  [6.  an aside:  The generic-speicific relationships that play a  
major part in the ontolog style ontologies have nothing to do with  
existence relationships in the ontological dependency sense because  
they are cognitive norms, which are themselves dependent on the  
judgements of certain cultures, institutions or even individuals.]    (07)

  Ronald Stamper    (08)

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