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Re: [ontolog-forum] metaphysis, semantics and the research program of on

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Christopher Menzel <cmenzel@xxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 11:59:59 +0200
Message-id: <2B9ED2F5-77F3-4FBB-91E6-8E2C6240B898@xxxxxxxx>
Hans Polzer responded:
> Another thing to keep in mind is that conceptual reality includes things like 
>countries and corporations and driver's licenses. It's not just about 
>representing concepts in logic - it's about representing the reality that 
>human society has created around these concepts.    (01)

What else is there to representing reality than representing reality *in 
logic*? The "reality that human society has created around these concepts", 
insofar as it is relevant to our purposes, is just more stuff to represent in 
logic.    (02)

> Society hasn't just created the concept of a corporation - it has created 
>millions of actual corporations - not detectable in physical reality other 
>than through surrogates (i.e., the IBM corporation is NOT the building in 
>Armonk -which could be sold tomorrow - or any of its myriad other physical 
>possessions). How does one detect and represent such conceptual realities in 
>"cyberspace"? Where is most of your money in physical reality? Not in your 
>mattress, I suspect, nor in gold bars or other physically detectable 
>manifestations….    (03)

Of what relevance are these ruminations to the *representation* of these 
entities in a rigorous and computationally useful way? Formal ontology is about 
the representation of useful information in logic. If, by some chance, it turns 
out to be useful explicitly to note that something is "conceptual" or 
"abstract" as opposed to "physical" (whatever exactly that distinction amounts 
to), then it is just *more information*. John is exactly correct. Rather than 
debating endlessly over subtle, quasi-philosophical distinctions and treading 
yet again over well-worn territory (often, it seems, in ignorance of vast 
bodies of relevant literature in philosophy, linguistics, and artificial 
intelligence), it would be far more useful to research and discuss the virtues 
and liabilities (vis-á-vis, e.g., simplicity, expressiveness, and tractability) 
of various alternatives for capturing the information we need rigorously in 
logic. A good start in the context of this thread would be Jerry Hobbs' classic 
paper "Ontological Promiscuity" (www.isi.edu/~hobbs/op-acl85.pdf), as well as 
any number of things to be found on John's website.    (04)

Chris Menzel    (05)

> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Rich Cooper
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:22 PM
> To: '[ontolog-forum] '
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] metaphysis, semantics and the research program
> of ontologies
> Actually, talking about "conceptual" versus physical or social types is
> essential to constructing a design for an ontology implementation.  How to
> represent something that is conceptual versus physical or social is a
> tightly coupled design decision with responsiveness, throughput, and
> resource requirements.  That's from the engineering point of view.  
>> From the validity point of view, I have suggested
> that all concepts are recorded by subjective
> person(s) and that subjectivity remains in those persons who did NOT record
> concepts.  The validity of a conceptualization is proven by having other
> users, both actual and prospective, tell you that they like the results or
> they do not like them.
> Since I claim that ontologies are recorded by subjective agents (persons,
> whatever ..), it is unlikely that other persons of different experiences
> will be fully comfortable with most conceptualizations.  No matter how
> theoretically pure and historic a conceptualization is, it also has to be
> useful to the audience for which it is intended.  It has to work and work
> properly for the users in order to be a valid conceptualization.  
> -Rich
> Sincerely,
> Rich Cooper
> EnglishLogicKernel.com
> Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
> 9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F. Sowa
> Sent: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:18 PM
> To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] metaphysis, semantics and the research program
> of ontologies
> Folks,
> In philosophy, metaphysics and ontology are often considered synonymous.
> Much of this discussion deals with issues that are on the borderline of
> logic and ontology.  Questions about contexts are among them.
> Talk about whether or not something is
> "conceptual" is not helpful.
> It is much more appropriate to cite examples from the literature about how
> various researchers and implementers have used logic and computational
> logics to represent those topics.
> John    (06)

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