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

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Patrick Cassidy" <pat@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 1 Feb 2010 18:02:20 -0500
Message-id: <0c0f01caa392$9ba9a720$d2fcf560$@com>
  You seem to have missed the point about the FO - but don't fret, you do
have some company.    (01)

[RF] > John can answer for himself, but my answer is that the real reason
> not backing a FO is not the cost or the need. The real reason is that
> a comprehensive FO is impossible.
   I obviously disagree and your arguments do not demonstrate that - see why
below.    (02)

 [RF] > The evidence is that there will always be more than one way of
> at the world, and generally these ways will be contradictory.     (03)

  Of course!!!!  Who ever said otherwise???     The FO is a set of *basic*
("primitive") concept representations that allow translation among the many
different - even rapidly changing domain ontologies whose elements have had
their meanings specified by use of the basic elements of the FO.  The FO
itself is not "comprehensive" in the sense of itself describing all domains,
it just provides a set of elements that can be *combined* by domain
ontologists to create more complex ontology elements in their specialized
domains.  If any primitive elements required for some domain are missing
from the FO, they can be added when a new domain is defined that requires
them.  The number of elements in the FO will always be much smaller than the
number of complex elements specified as combinations of FO elements.  All
required primitives will be in the FO after a new domain has been described
using those elements, so that all of those mapped domains will be
interoperable.  Keeping the FO as small as possible ("but no smaller") makes
broad agreement much easier.    (04)

  All logically compatible "ways of looking at the world" can be
accommodated in the FO, or if those views are not primitive elements, then
in some extension.  Contradictory theories would be contained in
*extensions* that are not part of the FO, but these contradictory theories
would still be describable in terms of the same primitive elements, which
would be part of the FO.      (05)

[RF] > This is an insurmountable problem for a "foundation ontology". Unless
you want
> it to contradict itself.
  No, the FO itself will be **logically self-consistent** and any
incompatible theories can be maintained in extensions, described in terms of
the FO elements.    (06)

[RF] > What is needed is a way to tease apart when
> these different ways of looking at the world apply (and a way to
> generate them, because the number is probably infinite.)
   Well, yes, that is one of the functions of the FO:  To tease apart the
complex concepts so that the relations among them can be described, even
when the complex elements are 
contradictory to each other.  These different views will apply when the
creators of domain ontologies say they do, for their purposes.
   All of this has already been discussed more than once (in what I thought
was very clear language).  I'm puzzled that this wasn't already clear from
the many postings.  What did I say that gave you those misimpressions?  I'll
try to use different language to avoid the problem.    (07)

  The principle that I seem not to have been able to adequately convey to
all is that the FO as proposed provides a set of primitive
(non-decomposable) ontology elements to describe more complex ontology
elements - and to translate among different domain ontologies.  Almost every
objection to an FO seems to be based on properties of some *extensions* that
could be described in terms of the FO (or to human language), but do not
apply to the FO itself.  Am I saying things obscurely or are some people
just not reading what I've been saying?  If you doubt that incompatible
theories can be described in terms of common, more basic elements, try
presenting some incompatible theories (and show how they are logically
incompatible) and I will show how it can be done.  (but if you do that, gird
up your loins like a man and be prepared to *admit* that the general
principle holds, and don't run off and bring up some orthogonal objection or
keep adding more examples ad infinitum - I don't want to waste time for no
productive purpose).    (08)

Pat    (09)

Patrick Cassidy
cell: 908-565-4053
cassidy@xxxxxxxxx    (010)

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