A response to Rob Freeman: (01)
> P.S. Pat C. I'm aghast at how you reconcile this comment:
> "In these discussions of the principles of an FO and a proposed FO
> not only has there been no technical objection to the feasibility of an
> to serve its purpose..."
> With this one:
> Pat C: "I do not know how to prove that *every* pair of incompatible
> theories can be specified by axioms using some common set of agreed
> terms. To make the FO project worth funding, don't think it is
> necessary to prove that *mathematically*, but if we can conclude that
> exceptions would be rare..."
> Perhaps there is something in the words "to serve its purpose" which
> has completely changed the words "foundation ontology" so that they
> now mean something which makes the two compatible?
The FO is the ontology of basic concepts, terms, things, that is used to
specify the meanings of all of the domain ontologies that use the FO for
interoperability. I know of no way to prove mathematically that no one will
ever think up a new concept whose meaning cannot be specified (to the domain
ontologist's satisfaction) solely as combinations of the terms in the FO.
In such cases, new elements (call them "primitives" or anything else you
like) will be add to the FO so that the new ontology's domain terms can also
be specified as combinations of FO terms.
What this means is that we cannot prove mathematically that any given FO
will provide prefect interoperability for all *new* domain ontologies. But:
(1) it will provide accurate interoperability for all domain ontologies that
have at any given time been mapped to the FO;
(2) it will provide more accurate interoperability than any other method I
have seen suggested. (03)
I hope that the meaning of the FO is clearer now. (04)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-
> bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rob Freeman
> Sent: Monday, February 15, 2010 1:09 AM
> To: [ontolog-forum]
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Foundation ontology, CYC, and Mapping
> On Mon, Feb 15, 2010 at 2:27 AM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> > ...
> > I wasn't referring to any specific note, but we had previous
> > discussions (in which we mostly agreed) about the fact that a great
> > deal of information can be derived from the patterns of words in
> > a document. That information, which is never formalized, can be
> > used for analogical reasoning (in a very broad sense of 'analogy').
> It is good that we agree a great deal of information can be derived
> from patterns among observables.
> I don't think those observables need be limited to "words in a
> document", though natural language does offer a very clear and
> accessible example.
> The key thing is, I think we're agreed, many patterns can never be
> completely formalized.
> That's already a big step. If we can get some consensus on that, a
> vast amount of wasted effort, people constantly trying to find
> complete formalizations for all kinds of data, would be saved.
> Not to mention the wasted effort of people arguing about which formal
> perspective is the "real" perspective, what names and labels "really"
> > The question of how those informal patterns can be related to
> > the more formal information in databases and computer programs
> > is critical to practical applications. I believe that it can
> > be done, and many useful programs have implemented techniques
> > for doing so.
> To comment I need to get a clearer idea what you mean by "more formal
> information in databases and computer programs".
> As I hope is clear, I don't think information in computer programs is
> necessarily formal. Not in the sense that all the information in them
> can be expressed with decidable/complete/uncontradictory axioms.
> Most of the information in our computer programs today may be coded
> formally, it's true. But I don't think that is due to anything
> intrinsic to computer programs. Rather I think it is due to something
> intrinsic to the way humans simplify and communicate about the world.
> We see the world in terms of labels, so we've assumed that is the way
> the world is, and we've programmed our computers to incorporate that
> The key problem has been we have not realized our formalizations must
> always be partial.
> I don't think it will be difficult to map the real world to one or
> other formalization once we realize that formalizations are not basic,
> certainly not essential to computation, but just a human
> simplification, and actually a "lossy" simplification, something that
> must always be partial.
> -Rob (07)
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