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Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fu

To: "[ontolog-forum] " <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Cory Casanave <cory-c@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 10:56:24 -0400
Message-id: <B958E6B1BCD5114789747469E80A8762A90CF94860@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>


This conversation started with a much less philosophical discussion about modeling contracts, obligations and such.  Chris Partridge seemed to be taking the position that the “real thing” for a contract was the physical artifact or perhaps a physical process of creating the physical artifact.  My approach is to recognize the agreement as the “real thing” in the business with the physical artifact being evidence of it.


A contract or law has “observable effects”, so by your definition they are tangible, however I would still consider them intangible since they don’t exist in space. Since they do have observable effects they are “real” in terms of the abstractions we are modeling.  In fact in business modeling MOST of the elements we deal with could be considered intangible.


I am not suggesting that Chris’s approach is wrong or does not work, but that for my domain (which tends to the practical side of business and systems modeling) these intangible agreements and policies are very meaningful elements and quite independent of the physical manifestations that represent them.  From a methodological point of view it is quite practical to start with the physical artifacts but I tend to then look for what those artifacts represent in terms of a joint action among involved parties.


This seems quite orthogonal to the thread on possible worlds, which is interesting. We certainly need to be able to have multiple plans, options, possibilities or opinions in the same model so that we can understand how they are or are not related.  For this purpose “possible worlds” seems useful.  I have yet to figure out what the crux of the argument is.




From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx
Sent: Friday, July 29, 2011 8:21 AM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] intangibles (was RE: Why most classifications are fuzzy)



The words 'tangible' and 'intangible' do not admit gradations of variability.  There is nothing semi-tangible or almost intangible.

> so it looks more intangible than tangible.

No.   There are many physical things that are very hard to detect:  atoms, quarks, Higgs boson, neutrinos, etc.  But that does not  make them intangible.

Anything that has any observable effects of any kind is tangible.  And dark matter has huge effects:  it changes the way matter in galaxies and even intergalactic space is distributed.


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