Thanks John, that makes a lot of sense. I think if one were to
extend an ontology to describe things about programs or data as
well as things about the world outside programs and data, then
things need to be framed very carefully in the terms you
describe. I'm still getting my head around the details but I
think this is important - otherwise things which are called
ontologies because they are in OWL, in which it is not entirely
clear what's really modeled, data or things. Or am I being overly
Many thanks, (02)
On 30/03/2012 16:38, John F. Sowa wrote:
>> 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.
> Yes. More generally, every language is a system of signs, and every
> model is also a system of signs. Those signs are related to signs
> inside the computer, and all of them have some relationship to reality,
> directly or indirectly.
>> Sometimes people seem to conflate these, or try to interpret ontological
>> or semiotic issues by framing them in terms of meta-levels...
> Metalevels can be important for many purposes, but that is just one kind
> of semiotic relationship. For more discussion of metalevels and their
> relationship to semiotics, see the following two articles:
> Laws, Facts, and Contexts
> The role of logic and ontology in language
> The rolelog.pdf article covers a lot of ground, but Section 2, called
> A Semiotic Foundation for Ontology, is a brief intro to Peirce's
> categories, including some issues about metalevels.
>> Of course OWL already addresses the semiotic dimension by making
>> everything a Thing.
> Actually, the category Thing is just a placeholder for the top of the
> hierarchy. It maps to a predicate T(x), which is true of everything
> and says nothing.
> The major problem with OWL is that it cannot represent triadic
> relations, and its use of dyadic relations is extremely limited.
> Those limitations make it impossible to use OWL for defining or
> even discussing anything related to social and institutional issues.
> OWL is useful as a tool for exchanging terminologies. But for
> ontology, using OWL is like putting on blinders that make it
> impossible to see anything that's not in front of your nose.
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