|To:||"[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>|
|From:||"Schiffel, Jeffrey A" <jeffrey.a.schiffel@xxxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Fri, 5 Feb 2010 14:15:58 -0600|
> Dr. Sowa,
> - An Elephant is an animal
> - Clyde is an elephant
> - Therefore Clyde is an animal
> > John F. Sowa wrote:
> > I have read the following slides, which make some interesting points
> > and cite some useful references:
> > http://www.micra.com/COSMO/TheFoundationOntologyForInteroperability.ppt
> > First of all, I have a very high regard for the work by Anna Wierzbicka
> > which I have been following for nearly 30 years. (I cited her early
> > _Lingua Mentalis_ in my 1984 book.) I also agree with Cliff Goddard
> > that the arguments against that kind of research are *bad*.
> > But I must emphasize that the so-called "primitives" that Anna W. and
> > others have proposed are most definitely *not* primitives in the sense
> > that mathematicians use.
The point in Pavithra's comment does not have to do with logic deduction. It is more
pragmatic , about an issue of conflating three meanings of the word "is."
First, from Pavithra :
- An Elephant is an animal
- Clyde is an elephant
- Therefore Clyde is an animal
But now consider (from an different J. Sowa source) :
- An Elephant is a species
- Clyde is an elephant
- Therefore Clyde is a species
Both are valid, but only the first is true.
The difference is the verb use. In the first set, "Elephant is an animal" is a "kind-of" relation.
In the second set, "Elephant is a species" is an "is-a" hyponym relation. This semantic relation
In both sets, a third relation is present: "Clyde is an elephant" is an instance relation from Clyde to
types animal and species.
Mixing the three relations together cannot be transitive just because they share the same verb.
For example, the instance Elephant and the types animal and species do not result in a construct like:
- Clyde is an elephant is a species, so Clyde is a species
-- Jeffrey Schiffel
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