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

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx
From: Rob Freeman <lists@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 2010 16:52:55 +1300
Message-id: <7616afbc1002021952s6ce1ae76p1610290f2fdf335d@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Matthew,    (01)

I'm trying to narrow things down to the main points.    (02)

I think you make two main points.    (03)

1) If you had a FO it would in principle be easy to move between
particular theories, and so multiple theories would not matter.
2) Generating theories will give the same result as having an infinite
number of theories.    (04)

On 1) I agree. I just don't think it is possible to find a theory
which will map between all other theories (see my post to Pat C asking
him to find a FO for mathematics.)    (05)

On 2) I agree. I like this part of John's thinking. Though I can't
imagine how to model an infinity of theories, let alone move between
them, unless it is by generating them.    (06)

-Rob    (07)

On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 9:52 PM, Matthew West <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Dear Rob,
>> On Tue, Feb 2, 2010 at 10:00 AM, Patrick Cassidy <pat@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> >
>> >  ...
>> >   If you think that *every* application that wants to communicate
>> > accurately with *any* other application could do so by a different
>> tactic
>> > with that degree of ease, I would certainly be interested in learning
>> how.
>> John can answer for himself, but my answer is that the real reason for
>> not backing a FO is not the cost or the need. The real reason is that
>> a comprehensive FO is impossible.
> MW: It depends what you mean by comprehensive, and it depends what you want
> to be able to do.
>> The evidence is that there will always be more than one way of looking
>> at the world, and generally these ways will be contradictory.
> MW: Yes. But for interoperability (Pat's interest) that is not a problem.
> You only need to pick one. You then only need to be able to map other views
> into and out of it. Alternatively, if you want to capture many different
> viewpoints, you can adopt John's Lattice of Theories.
>> This is
>> an insurmountable problem for a "foundation ontology". Unless you want
>> it to contradict itself.
>> What is needed is a way to tease apart when
>> these different ways of looking at the world apply
> MW: To be properly a foundation ontology you should be able to deal with
> life-the-universe-and-everything. So you can choose. Pragmatically, there is
> no problem specifying that different theories for the same thing (say
> gravity) apply in different conditions. The conditions just become part of
> the theory.
>> (and a way to
>> generate them, because the number is probably infinite.)
> MW: That is the lattice of theories again.
> Regards
> Matthew West    (08)

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