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

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Matthew West" <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 2 Mar 2010 08:31:13 -0000
Message-id: <4b8cccca.5124cc0a.14f6.2319@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Dear PatH and PatC,    (01)

Let me have a go at this.    (02)

> >   The disconnect between PatH's view of "meaning" and mine is that
> > he is
> > content to believe that the meanings of the elements used in
> programs,
> > databases, ontologies (e.g. time, distance, physical object, dollar,
> > person)
> > all change every time we add a new assertion about unicorns, and I
> > am not.
> It is not a matter of being content to believe. I am asserting this AS
> A FACT, and you are simply in denial about elementary facts of
> semantic theory. Now, of course, you are free to invent an alternative
> semantic theory, one that supports your intuitions about meanings
> being fixed when axioms change, but I would like to see that theory
> given some reasonably precise flesh before proceeding to discuss this
> matter very much further.    (03)

MW: I suspect the real problem here is that you are each looking through
opposite ends of the telescope. Let me describe the different views:    (04)

PatH looks at it from the theory end, and says that when you change an axiom
in a theory there is a different set of models that it picks out. Absolutely
right. It "means" something different.    (05)

PatC looks at it from the other end. He has a particular intended
interpretation, and his question is: if he changes this axiom does it still
pick out his intended interpretation (he doesn't care about any unintended
interpretations). If it does, as far as he is concerned it "means" the same
thing. Also true.    (06)

I think there is something to be accommodated from both sides here in
practical ontology development    (07)

Regards    (08)

Matthew West                            
Information  Junction
Tel: +44 560 302 3685
Mobile: +44 750 3385279
http://www.matthew-west.org.uk/    (09)

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