Hi John, (01)
Thanks for the feedback - great perspectives as always. (02)
I think the semiotic dimension is an important one and could
possibly be given some kind of formal treatment in modeling
languages or in models somehow. I made the point at the OMG last
week that when thinking about models one should consider as
separate dimensions the questions of what elements in the model
represent (semiotics), what form of logic or math the symbols are
grounded in, and what meta-level the model sits at. Sometimes
people seem to conflate these, or try to interpret ontological or
semiotic issues by framing them in terms of meta-levels, which
IMHO is a mistake. It would be desirable if model languages were
framed in terms of all three dimensions rather than simply in
metamodeling terms as many of them are at present. (03)
Of course OWL already addresses the semiotic dimension by making
everthing a Thing. I'm sure there must be potential for capturing
aspects of the ontological commitments in more detail, but I'm
not sure what that would look like. (04)
On 29/03/2012 22:37, John F. Sowa wrote:
> Rich, Mike, Chris,
>> Limiting ourselves to just logic is a poor strategy, IMHO.
> 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.
> With a bit of updating of the subject matter, we need all of them.
>> 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.
> 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.
>> 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"...
> I agree.
> 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.
> 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):
> Future directions in semantic systems
> The goal of language understanding
>> I am discussing ontology development from the point of view of various
>> users, not only from the point of view of professors or logicians.
> Absolutely!!! Every version of logic is based on the way people talk
> and have talked for many millennia before Aristotle. See the following
> The role of logic and ontology in language
> 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.
>> If ontology canít point to meaningful objects and relationships,
>> then it is about nothing.
> 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.
>> It seems to me that the number of possible categories is virtually limitless.
> I agree.
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