On Friday, August 26, 2011 6:03 PM, John wrote : "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
I fully support John.
With my respect to Doug's effort, giving usually very interesting
contribution, the least what we need is to "cyc" things here, like
"interest - temporalstufftype; self-interest-temporalstufftype;
agent-exisitng agenttype, etc.". Besides, its top ontology is too weak to
Briefly, we need just a sensible ontology of self-interest open to a wide
public as well as machines.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Friday, August 26, 2011 6:03 PM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Partial interest ontology (03)
> Doug, Rich, and Ron,
> I'd like to add my thanks to Doug for actually doing something:
>> This will take a (long) while to digest, but at
>> first scan, it looks amazingly comprehensive.
>> After all these years, an ontology in the Ontology Forum!!!
>> Very impressive.
> This kind of ontology is very useful as a mid-level ontology that
> relates a large family of commonly used terms.
> 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:
> 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?
> 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?
> 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.
> 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.
> 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.
> 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?
> 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?
> 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.
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