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Re: [ontolog-forum] Concepts, ontologies, and natural languages

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:11:00 -0500
Message-id: <50B76CF4.3020102@xxxxxxxxxxx>
The discussion about how NL terms are related to concepts, ontologies,
software, etc., is going around in circles without any criteria for
convergence or applicability.    (01)

The word that is causing the most confusion is the word 'concept'.
It raises endless debates about how concepts are or are not related
to NL words and/or ontological categories and/or labels in some
computer software.    (02)

In writing about conceptual graphs, I stated some criteria that
have successfully eliminated endless debates (at least for the
CG community):    (03)

  1. A concept is formally defined as a node in a conceptual graph (CG).    (04)

  2. The meaning of a concept is completely determined by the formal
     operations that may be performed on the CG in which it occurs.    (05)

End of debate.  All further discussion is focused on the operations
for relating concept nodes to each other, to natural languages,
logics, ontologies, etc.  Nothing else is relevant.    (06)

For continuing debates in Ontolog Forum, I'll use similar criteria to
raise questions like "So what?", "Who cares?", and "What's the point?"    (07)

John    (08)

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