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Re: [ontolog-forum] Ontology of Rough Sets

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2011 08:36:18 -0500
Message-id: <4D2EFFD2.2020504@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Folks,    (01)

We have to make a clear distinction between ontology and the tools,
languages, logics, and reasoning methods used with any ontology.
The subject line of this thread could be very misleading.    (02)

Ever since Aristotle, categories and hierarchies of categories
have been useful for ontology -- primarily because the study
of existence leads to a study of what kinds of things exist.    (03)

A's syllogisms and his method of definition by genus and
differentiae have also been useful.  But many people (starting
with Aristotle himself) have noted that prototypes rather
than strict definitions are better for some applications.    (04)

In general, there is *no* specific logic or reasoning method
that is either essential or irrelevant to ontology.  The
choice depends entirely on specific applications -- or even
on very narrow questions or problems about an application.    (05)

Re rough sets:  This is an important topic, but I would be
very cautious about any way of thinking that combines the
word 'ontology' with any particular reasoning method.    (06)

That is in fact why I have been unhappy with the phrase
"Web Ontology Language" used as a scrambled acronym for OWL.
It suggests to many novices, that the word 'the' belongs in
front of that phrase -- but that idea is hopelessly misguided.    (07)

Ontology is *orthogonal* to any and all versions of logic,
reasoning methods, and implementation tools.  Any specific
language or tool tends to channel thinking into certain paths
that may be useful for some applications.  But ways of thinking
that are specialized for one kind of application can often be
inappropriate or even misguided for other applications.    (08)

John    (09)

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