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Re: [ontolog-forum] Concepts, classes, universals

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Matthew West" <dr.matthew.west@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sat, 14 Jul 2012 09:47:31 +0100
Message-id: <50013228.c54fb40a.1ce6.ffffedfe@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

Dear Marcelino,


I wonder what is the differences among concepts, classes and universals.


MW: Well I try to avoid using concept and universal, but most usage of these terms I observe suggests they are synonyms.


The ontology, in computer science is about concepts, classes, universals, some of them, all of them,...?


MW: You get to choose.


"Person that likes icecream" (for instance) is a genuine concept/class/universal in computational ontologies? It is a specialization of "Person"?


MW: Good question. Given my remarks above, I would call this a class. But it is not a specialization of Person. To be a specialization of Person all members of the specialized class need to be a Person necessarily for the whole of their lives. So whilst it is possible for a Person to like icecream for the whole of their life, it is possible that at some times they would and at other times they would not. Indeed we tried my grandson (3 months old) on icecream recently and he did not like it. But I am confident he will in 4 years time.


MW: So what is Person who likes icecream a specialization of? One answer is state of person where (roughly) a state of person is a Person for a period of time. Interestingly Person is also a subtype of this.




Matthew West                           

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