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

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 16:37:01 -0500
Message-id: <4F74D5FD.60109@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Rich, Mike, Chris,    (01)

> Limiting ourselves to just logic is a poor strategy, IMHO.    (02)

Peirce followed the tradition of the Seven Liberal Arts in dividing
semiotics in three parts:  grammar, logic, and rhetoric.  Those are
the three language arts.  The four mathematical arts are arithmetic,
geometry, music, and astronomy.    (03)

With a bit of updating of the subject matter, we need all of them.    (04)

> Ontology notations allow one to make a meaningful model of some domain.
> How you apply those (i.e. whether the meaningful concepts you define
> relate to some set of real things or not) is a separate matter.
> So the considerations of what kind of world you are modeling, and what
> you choose to model it with, are two separate matters.    (05)

I agree.  But all our communications among people and computers are
based on signs.  Mathematics has come a long way since medieval days,
and we can apply math to semiotics.  That is a task that Peirce began
over a century ago.  Modern computers are one result, and they can help.    (06)

> Ontology engineering is about the representation of information. But
> there is no limitation on the type of information ó it can be anything
> from payrolls to art to ethics. And, obviously, extra-logical methods
> and tools will be involved in the analysis and collection of that
> information. But the medium of representation in ontology engineering
> is formal logic and constructing ontologies in formal logic is the name
> of the game. It makes about as much sense to talk about "limiting"
> ontologists to "just logic" as it does to talk about "limiting" a
> conductor to "just an orchestra"...    (07)

I agree.    (08)

Just a bit of emphasis:  logic is the language of digital computers.
Every machine instruction and every combination of machine instructions
can be defined in logic and be translated to logic.  If we are going to
design anything that can be programmed on a computer, logic is the only
game in town.    (09)

But even within those limitations, there is a huge amount that can be
done to make our systems more user friendly.  For my summary of what
can be done, see the following article and slides (there is some
overlap between them, but not much):    (010)

    Future directions in semantic systems    (011)

    The goal of language understanding    (012)

> I am discussing ontology development from the point of view of various
> users, not only from the point of view of professors or logicians.    (013)

Absolutely!!!  Every version of logic is based on the way people talk
and have talked for many millennia before Aristotle.  See the following
article:    (014)

    The role of logic and ontology in language    (015)

For recommendations about how to implement these ideas in computer
systems that don't require anything beyond a high-school education
for people to use logic effectively, see futures.pdf and goal.pdf.    (016)

> If ontology canít point to meaningful objects and relationships,
> then it is about nothing.    (017)

Exactly!  Peirce made the observation that every proposition in logic
must have at least one indexical to relate its terms to something in
the domain of application.  More specifically, each variable in any
logical statement must be associated with a pointer that designates
something in the real world.    (018)

> It seems to me that the number of possible categories is virtually limitless.    (019)

I agree.    (020)

John    (021)

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