Thanks, Graeme, comments below. (01)
From: Graeme Hirst [mailto:gh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Monday, October 11, 2010 4:07 PM
Cc: Obrst, Leo J.
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] using SKOS for controlled values for controlled
On 11 Oct 2010, at 15:13, Obrst, Leo J. wrote:
> Graeme has another observation about language that may be of interest:
>> This seems to arise from a combination of overenthusiasm for Western
>> and a misunderstanding of the nature of language that borders on fear. In
>this view, language
>> is a messy and highly imperfect medium that is not to be trusted, but rather
>must either be
>> sidestepped entirely or be beaten into submission by means of logic and
> [LEO:] This seems like an anti-science and anti-logic quotation, I hope out
>of context. It seems it is hard to be a computer scientist or engineer if you
>don't believe in science and logic. (03)
Yes, very much out of context; for example, you don't even know what the word
"this" in the quotation is referring to. Read the paper.
[LEO:] I remember reading a version of this paper from the AAAI Fall Symposium
on Context in KR & NL in Cambridge in 1997. And the "this" was in John's
extracted quote, not mine.
[LEO:] Here is the context in your 1997 paper:
"I think that AI in general is sometimes just a bit too impetuous in its desire
to formalize things, and it tries to turn things into systems or logics
without fully understanding them, as if simply by doing so they would
thereby come to be understood. Sometimes this works; and sometimes it
just leads to meaningless, ungrounded formal systems-Lakoff and NŽu~nez
(1997) again. To someone with a hammer, every screw looks like a nail.
And topics that deal with language, cognition, and acting in and interpreting
the world get more than their share of this bad treatment." (05)
> [LEO:] I don't think the answer is to throw our hands up and say "Oh,
>language is ineffable, inscrutable!" Linguists and philosophy of language
>folks may dispute this. Is it complex? Yes. Well, so is the weather, physics,
>evolution, etc. Yet we try to apply a systematic approach to understanding
>those, developing knowledge about those, including the development of
>theories, theorems, models, and succinct and predictive models. (06)
So then you will, in fact, agree with my paper, which is addressed principally
to John McCarthy and says "it's hard to do natural language processing if you
don't believe in natural language". (07)
[LEO:] Yes, you need to know natural language (and linguistics) and use it to
do NLP. And of course you need it to do knowledge representation, since your
insights are based on use and analysis of natural language, although other
issues come in to play, e.g., formal ontology, metaphysics, and computer
science, among others. My initial exposure to "context" was in fact in formal
semantics in linguistics, with situation theory, situation semantics, and
discourse representation theory, underrepresentation theory in computational
linguistics. I agree that "context" is a woefully overused term, so one needs
to define the contribution one makes to the clarification of "context"
I've also found the following useful, in addition to the McCarthy, Guha, and
Buvac work, and the IKRIS work, in addition to my own work:
Giunchiglia, Fausto; Bouquet, Paolo. 1997. Introduction to Contextual
Reasoning: An Artificial Intelligence Perspective. Istituto per la Ricerca
Scientifica e Tecnologica (IRST), Trento, Italy, Technical report 9705-19, May,
Giunchiglia, Fausto; Bouquet, Paolo. 1998. A Context-Based Framework for
Mental Representation. Istituto per la Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica
(IRST), Trento, Italy, Technical report 9807-02, July, 1998.
Giunchiglia, Fausto; Ghidini, Chiara. 1998. Local Models Semantics, or
Contextual Reasoning = Locality + Compatibility. Principles of Knowledge
Representation and Reasoning (KR'98), Proceedings of the Sixth International
Conference, Trento, Italy, June 2-5, 1998, Anthony Cohn, Lenhart Schubert,
Stuart Shapiro, eds., pp. 282-289.
Lewis, David. 1980. Index, Context, and Content. In Kanger, Stig and Ohman,
Sven, eds. Philosophy and Grammar, Reidel Publishing.
Makarios, Selene. 2006. A Model Theory for a Quantified Generalized Logic of
Contexts. Stanford University Technical Report KSL-06-08.
Menzel, Chris. 1999. The Objective Conception of Context and Its Logic, 1999.
Minds and Machines 9(1): 29-56 (Feb 1999). (09)
:::: Graeme Hirst * Professor, Computational Linguistics
:::: University of Toronto * Department of Computer Science
:::: gh@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx * Voice +1 416 978 8747 * Fax +1 416 978 1455
:::: http://www.cs.toronto.edu/~gh * "Ancora Imparo" (010)
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