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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 14:41:42 -0400
Message-id: <4E57E8E6.3050003@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Doug and Azamat,    (01)

> I was building on an existing ontology, selecting terms that were
> needed for the purpose of the interest ontology.  I would suggest
> that not every ontology needs to re-invent a top-level.  Ontologies
> are designed to be reused.    (02)

I fully approve of reusing available ontologies when they're available,
and I have frequently recommended the Cyc ontology as one that is
available, better than most, and much more detailed than others.
But I was also mentioning some of my misgivings about the Cyc
upper level.    (03)

> An instance of a class that is an instance of TemporalStuffType is
> (from a 3D+1 viewpoint) "all there" at any instance it exists.
> If a class is an instance of TemporalObjectType, that means its
> instances have temporal parts, and therefore at any given moment
> (from a 3D+1 viewpoint) is only partly there.    (04)

Yes.  That is an application of mereology, which is useful for many
purposes.  But by itself, mereology is woefully inadequate for
defining anything that has to do with intentionality.    (05)

Barry Smith and John Searle had a debate about an ontology
of "social reality" a few years ago:    (06)

    http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith/articles/dksearle.htm    (07)

Neither of them had read much, if anything, by Peirce, but Searle
used triadic relations that could be translated to Peirce's in
a fairly straightforward way.  Smith was trying to use mereology
with nothing but dyadic relations.    (08)

I commented on that debate in Section 3 (pp. 7 to 8) of    (09)

    http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/worlds.pdf    (010)

I believe that Searle presented arguments that were stronger and
more cogent than Smith's.  But I also think that Searle could
have formulated his arguments more clearly and forcefully if
he had studied Peirce.    (011)

> It appears a real ontology of self-interest is of global social
> importance as well.    (012)

I agree that a good ontology can clarify many of the issues.  But
an ontology only defines the terms used in the debate.  Much more
work is necessary to analyze the actual issues and to formulate
policies about what to do about them.    (013)

John    (014)

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