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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: Fri, 30 Mar 2012 20:37:56 +0200
Message-id: <CAO_JD6PhYZDLgBSejBrAAOOtM6fC_CNrFRwfnOJfngQFFEWGkQ@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 9:59 PM, Rich Cooper <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Dear Chris,


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

Ah yes, the old chestnut we "professors and logicians" only traffic in "theory" and have no experience with the *real* world. In fact, it is about as closely connected to reality as the idea that universities are liberal indoctrination mills.

Though logic has its place in ontology, it is not sufficient to designate the objects that ontologies are about.  Numerous examples have been given by Hans, Amanda, Mike, and myself. 


May I suggest that you consider for a while exactly what those variable and constant names in a logical _expression_ refer to?  What do you do when people (e.g. on this list) disagree about what is referenced?  If ontology can’t point to meaningful objects and relationships, then it is about nothing.

Rich, what do you think "ontology engineering is about the representation of information" means? "Information" here means information about the real world. That is, the constants of our representation languages refer to real things in some domain; the predicates of those languages pick out real properties of, and relations among, those things. The point of my post is that the quasi-philosophy that has come to dominate this list has gotten away from issues related to the central task of ontology engineering, namely, the construction of actual ontologies, actual logical representations of information that are rich and precise enough to be used by computational systems. I'm not saying the quasi-philosophical stuff is entirely out of place, just that there is way too much of it, especially given that much of it covers material that is discussed more deeply and in more detail elsewhere.


From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Christopher Menzel
Sent: Thursday, March 29, 2012 11:21 AM

To: [ontolog-forum]
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] metaphysis,semantics and the research program of ontologies


On Thu, Mar 29, 2012 at 7:32 PM, Rich Cooper <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

Dear Chris,

Reality is far, far more than logic.  


Indeed. Why you think this is in any way germane to my post is a mystery to me.


The purpose
of any representation of reality is so that we can
manipulate reality in ways that assist us, and so
that we can know which realities cannot be

In addition to logic, there is usefulness,
appreciation (beauty, attractiveness, elegance,
love, lust, ..), value (preference of one thing
over another given a choice), and all the

Limiting ourselves to just logic is a poor strategy, IMHO.


This is so far off the point I hardly know where to begin. Ontology engineering is about the representation of information. But there is no limitation on the type of information — 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". If you are not talking about issues and problems related ultimately to the representation of information — any information — in logic, you are not talking about ontology engineering.




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