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Re: [ontolog-forum] Partial interest ontology

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 26 Aug 2011 11:03:24 -0400
Message-id: <4E57B5BC.1050209@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Doug, Rich, and Ron,    (01)

I'd like to add my thanks to Doug for actually doing something:    (02)

> This will take a (long) while to digest, but at
> first scan, it looks amazingly comprehensive.    (03)

> After all these years, an ontology in the Ontology Forum!!!
> Very impressive.    (04)

This kind of ontology is very useful as a mid-level ontology that
relates a large family of commonly used terms.    (05)

But I'd also like to emphasize Doug's adjective 'partial'.  There
is more work to be done to relate this mid-level ontology to the
issues about upper and lower levels:    (06)

  1. Questions:  What is interest?  How does it relate to purpose,
     goal, and intention?  What about the adjective 'interesting'?
     Is there a deeper connection than just the first 8 letters?    (07)

  2. Interest isn't a physical object, event, or state.  In terms
     of Peirce's semiotics, it is a kind of Mediation (Thirdness)
     that brings two other things into relationship (e.g. an agent
     and something that can help achieve the agent's goals).  How
     can we characterize and generalize that mediation?    (08)

  3. This thread began with issues about governments and politics,
     A lot more work would be needed to relate Doug's definitions
     to the questions about how a citizen's self interest is
     related to government organization and functioning.    (09)

  4. As an example, the recent events in Libya brought out the
     fact that Libyans and people in many other countries have
     three levels of priorities:  family first, tribe second,
     and nation third.    (010)

  5. A tribe sounds like a "third world" kind of organization, but
     people everywhere have a general category of "people like us",
     which they may distinguish from other citizens of their country.    (011)

  6. Example:  When the US Civil War broke out, General Robert E. Lee
     was strongly opposed to breaking up the Union.  But he felt that
     he had a stronger duty to his tribe (Virginia) than to the nation.
     Was that in his own self interest?  He was undoubtedly strongly
     conflicted, but how can we define the conflicting interests?
     How does self interest extend to the family, tribe, or nation?    (012)

  7. In an earlier post, I discussed the range of biosemiotics from
     bacteria up to humans in order to clarify how the issues affect
     every level.  For example, a bacterium would normally act in ways
     that preserve its own integrity.  But in a colony, the bacteria
     at the boundaries may sacrifice themselves for the benefit of the
     "family" or "tribe".  How is that related to what General Lee or
     any foot soldier would do?  What is similar or different?    (013)

I don't want to detract from the value of Doug's partial ontology.
But it's important to explore the broader issues about how we can
relate those definitions to general upper levels and to a wide range
of lower-level concepts for specific applications.    (014)

John    (015)

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