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Re: [ontolog-forum] Artificial Intelligence, Ontology and Epistemology

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 27 Aug 2011 08:47:44 -0400
Message-id: <4E58E770.7010005@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 8/26/2011 3:02 PM, joel luis carbonera wrote:
> The knowledge of which objects exist in the field is a matter of ontology.
> The knowledge of how one can know something about the domain objects
> and how to make judgments about them, is a matter of epistemology:    (01)

Yes, you could make that distinction.  But I would restate the first
sentence:   "Ontology is the study of existence, and for any domain,
an ontology is a characterization of the kinds of things that can
exist in that domain."    (02)

Epistemology is a study of the conditions and criteria for gaining
knowledge about anything.  It would include theories of learning.
It would also include the philosophy of science, which is the
study of how scientists can accumulate scientific knowledge.    (03)

> Can I say that the first type of knowledge (ontology) is more
> related to analytic propositions and the second type (epistemology)
> is more related to synthetic propositions?    (04)

Kant used the terms analytic and synthetic to classify different kinds
of knowing.  In that sense, both of them are used in epistemology.
But there are many controversies about how to use those terms.    (05)

> It makes sense to think in these terms?    (06)

Thinking about those terms is useful when you're trying to understand
the philosophical problems about the nature of knowledge and the
validity of various methods for learning or acquiring knowledge.
I believe that some study of those issues is important for anybody
who is working on artificial intelligence and methods of learning
and reasoning.    (07)

On the other hand, if I am teaching a course about how to use
a theorem prover to reason about an ontology, I would avoid
getting bogged down in issues of epistemology.    (08)

When you're trying to learn something or to teach somebody else,
it's important to focus on one method or technique at a time.    (09)

John    (010)

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