Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com
9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2
[mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of John F Sowa
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 7:15 AM
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Concepts, ontologies, and natural languages
On 11/29/2012 3:40 PM, Tom
> I agree fully with
John's assessment (criteria) and would actually go
> further in defining a
concept as nothing but a (numbered) placeholder. It is
> meaningless without
relations. In my system (NeuroCollective) a relation can
> be semantic (creating
semantic networks) but all concepts allow NL relations
> which go into
That's a good discipline
for developing ontologies.
In logical terms, the only
fundamental notions are Boolean operators,
relations. Everything else can be defined in terms
of them: properties,
attributes, concepts, types, classes, etc.
But I also believe that
empirical studies in psycholinguistics and
neuroscience are important
for determining how symbols in general
and language in particular
are related to human psychology.
In any case, practical
experience in computer science and systems
is still the most
important basis for developing practical systems.
Pardon my heresy, but I also believe those
things are important for establishing the commonality of much of human
thinking. The heretical part is concepts. IMHO, concepts are not as
important as experiences and motivations in describing thought processes.
That is, people see the reality of this moment in terms of their experiences
and motivations, not in terms of abstract concepts.
We in the U.S. (and in most other developed
countries I suppose) are taught several hundred to several thousand concepts,
such as lines, points, equations, communicable categories, and others I haven’t
mentioned. But the idea that concepts are at the root of human
communications neglects how humans thought before education became orthodox, widespread
and relatively common in its structuring of reality, beliefs and experiences.
Those of us who, out of choice or
necessity, have experience in marketing products and services to other people,
find the amazing diversity of reasons for people to accept or reject offers to
be far more illuminating than the logical combination of concepts we expect
when we start marketing.
People have ideas in their heads that they
can’t or won’t fully communicate. The amount of knowledge in
each head is not as important as the motivations each person follows.
Until we can recognize motivations, combine them in ways that help us
understand people, and develop ways to communicate along those motivational
lines, we will not have a one true ontology, IMHO.