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Re: [ontolog-forum] Terminologies and Ontologies

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2011 22:41:45 -0400 (EDT)
Message-id: <58275.>
On Sat, April 30, 2011 14:05, AzamatAbdoullaev said:
> John,
> We are largely in accord.
> I still believe in possibility of formulating some combination from:
> "An ontology is a theory about what exists in some domain."
> "Ontology is a description of the world. A formal ontology is a formal
> theory/account/model/specification of the world."
> Something like: "Ontology is a general theory about the world, its
> domains,
> entities and relationships." "A formal ontology is a formal theory of the
> world, its domains, entities and relationships."    (01)

The distinction between the first sentence and the others is whether
(an) ontology need cover everything in the world or merely within a
domain.    (02)

Ontologies used in productive systems only cover the needed domains.
This is why the standard definition used by professionals is stated
so as to allow the restriction of ontologies to a single domain or set
of them.    (03)

So, i would suggest the quotes be modified something like:
"Ontology is a general theory about some aspect of the world, its
 subdomains, entities and relationships."
"A formal ontology is a formal theory of some aspect of world, its
 subdomains, entities and relationships."    (04)

-- doug foxvog
> Some comments below.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
> To: <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
> Sent: Saturday, April 30, 2011 12:39 AM
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Terminologies and Ontologies
>> Azamat,
>> The first point I want to emphasize is that the distinction between
>> formal vs. informal is not a value judgment.  There is no suggestion
>> that an ontology expressed in logic is better than one expressed
>> in ordinary language.
> Agree. Each good science is seeking two types of analysis:
> Qualitative/Descriptive and Quantitative/Formal
>> On the contrary, there are very many formal ontologies that are
>> significantly *worse* than informal ones.
> Certainly, yes.
>  Please note the poem
>> by Henry Kautz (copy below) which have quoted on many occasions.
>> In particular, note the following sentence:
>>    "With sufficient formality, the sheerest banality
>>     will be hailed by all as miraculous."
>> I also like to quote a statement attributed to Lord Kelvin:
>>    "Better a rough answer to the right question
>>     than an exact answer to the wrong question."
> Again, can't disagree. Most of them leaving aside the content/substance,
> hunting the empty form only.
>> AA
>>> In fact, Ontology is a description of the world. A formal ontology
>>> is a formal theory/account/model/specification of the world.
>> It would be very nice to have a formal ontology of everything,
>> but a prerequisite would be a finished, completely specified
>> theory that answered every open research question in science,
>> engineering, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.
>> That won't happen for a long, long time, if ever.  But there are
>> many useful informal theories that are sufficient to cover most
>> of our requirements for our daily lives.
> AA: A "formal ontology of everything", FOE, is an ideal/approximation, but
> a
> hardly utopia for theoretical physicists looking for TOE, which could be
> the
> Models of FOE.
>> AA
>>> As all sciences, one can divide ontology into three broad categories:
>>> descriptive, normative and exact (as in the ontology lattice diagram).
>> I had some serious concerns about that division.
> It has its weaknesses, but for a long time has been silently accepted by
> scientific communities
>> First of all, nothing in science is normative.  The only normative
>> fields are aesthetics, ethics, and the law -- and for law, you
>> always have to ask about the authority of the lawgiver and the
>> extent of the jurisdiction.
> Very true.
>> Second, there is no such thing as absolute exactness in science.
> Undeniable. We are able only to approximately model, imposing all sorts of
> temporal and spatial conditions, restrictions, and constraints.
>> A statement of a theory in mathematics can be exact.  But there
>> is no guarantee that the theory is true beyond those conditions
>> for which it was tested and the level of precision of the measuring
>> instruments.
> Too ofhen, they are far away from the real world complexities.
>> Third, the most important criterion for any scientific theory
>> to be more than a summary of data is that it has predictive
>> power:   it can make predictions about what will happen in the
>> future, given certain observations in the past.
>> Since ontology is closer to science than it is to aesthetics,
>> ethics, or the law, the normative issue is not applicable.
>> Exactness is possible (i.e., an ontology can be formal), but
>> formality is no guarantee of truth or relevance.
> AA: Reasoning in the same way, i credited to Federated/Integrated Ontology
> all three attributes: Exactness/Fomality, Descriptiveness and
> Normativeness/Prescriptiveness (giving fundamental rules and strategic
> directions).
>> John
>> ________________________________________________________________
>> If your thesis is utterly vacuous,
>> Use first-order predicate calculus,
>>    With sufficient formality,
>>    The sheerest banality
>> Will be hailed by all as miraculous.
>> But for theses you fear indefensible,
>> Reach for semantics intensional.
>>    Over Montague grammar
>>    Your committee will stammer,
>> Not admitting it's incomprehensible.
>>                         --Henry Kautz    (05)

doug foxvog    doug@xxxxxxxxxx   http://ProgressiveAustin.org    (06)

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great
initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours."
    - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
=============================================================    (07)

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