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Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: William Frank <williamf.frank@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 08:54:44 -0400
Message-id: <CALuUwtBAGvHujrgj3oxvRff6mD=Ed3JExOVVoO8fhU4vnznErA@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

The problem I am attempting to  raise is not about whether it is reasonable to look for a set of primitives from which to derive through definition all the other concepts in a corpus of concepts.  In fact, I happen to agree with you that this is an essential part of ontology in computer science. 

The problem I am raising is that, in a deductive system,  there is no ONE set of primitives that is the 'right' one. There will be MANY, just as in the examples I gave.  For example, even with a dozen Boolean connectors, I can reduce them to primitives in about a half dozen ways. 


 >On Sat, Aug 10, 2013 at 12:29:27PM -0400, Patrick Cassidy wrote:
 >> Concerning a comment of William Frank:
 >> [WF] > One of the problem with the "Leibnizian dream" of a universal
 >semantics based on primitives is the unstated assumption that there is at
 >most ONE set of primitives from which all other concepts can be derived.
 >> I???m not Leibniz.  My concern is to find a set of primitives for those
 >cooperative (informative) communications that people have found
 >significant enough to spend some effort to get their computers to
 >understand.  For any given set of ontologies, or of linguistic
 >there will indeed be one set of primitives that can represent all of the
 >concepts included.  Even if there were no overlap, the set of primitives
 >would be the sum of all of the primitives in the individual
 >> Pat
 >> Patrick Cassidy
 >> MICRA Inc.
 >> cassidy@xxxxxxxxx
 >> 1-908-561-3416
 >> [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of William
 >> Frank
 >> Sent: Saturday, August 10, 2013 9:09 AM
 >> To: [ontolog-forum]
 >> Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Practical Semantic Primitives
 >> One of the problem with the "Leibnizian dream" of a universal semantics
 >based on primitives is the unstated assumption that there is at most ONE
 >of primitives from which all other concepts can be derived.  In fact, if
there is
 >at least one, for a set of N concepts, then there will be plenty more
 >sets of primitives from which all the other concepts can be derived.  (My
 >guess would be something on the order of N factorial).
 >> People who discover one of these, or are looking for one and making
 >progress, so often think that theirs is the "real" one.   (Just as, more
 >people who are taught in a logic class that one can derive all the other
 >operators from NOR sadly often come away thinking that NOR is the real
 >primitive, or from the foundations of mathematics, that sucessor and zero
 >more primitive that plus, zero, and one, just because it is a smaller set,
 >though if I define sucessor in terms of plus and 1, I have the same
 >> More generally, mediocre engineers who discover one solution to a
 >> programming problem think they are done, and defend it to the death.
 >> The key is to determine among a set of solutions, which will be the
 >> most useful, for a give set of purposes.  (Purposes being something
 >> else few people seem to want to state explicitly.)
 >> Wm


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