Good morning, (01)
I think I need to better phrase my question so this is not going into
the direction of how many concepts can be defined .. (my mistake, I
defined some criteria of the question in the subject line and not in the
body of the question. ) (02)
I am looking for (I'm going to call it) 'fundamental concepts' and I am
making the assumption that there is some basic agreed level of
definition of these concepts so we don't end up in Physics and Chemistry. (03)
I am assuming this level is arbitrary and we can agree with it. (04)
My criteria for 'fundamental concept' is that it cannot be replaced by a
semantic net-let that crosses the agreed level. (05)
So John S, to take your examples: (06)
Lebensversicherungsgesellschaftsangestellter is a concept but it clearly
is not fundamental. The semantic network behind it consists of at least
the concepts: life, insurance, company, employee, that are related in a
specific way to each other and on top of that they are not fundamental
'bank': I can attach the textual representation 'bank' to multiple
semantic nets, It helps identifying a list of concepts that might appear
in text but it is not the primary identification of the concept. That is
generated automatically from the semantic net. So 'to bank' at Wells
Fargo or to 'to bank' a plane will result in different recommendations
of concepts to link up e.g. if you wanted to store the concept of
'banking a plane'. That btw. also defines context. (08)
What I am looking for is when one takes a look at all the uses of the
verbal form of 'banking', what is the common thread, and how can that be
replaced with a semantic network. Eventually you end up at concepts
where you cannot do that any more without crossing the agreed level.
These are then fundamental concepts that make up a root knowledge in
which you could describe anything. I was hoping there were some
numbers/lists for that. With that number one could start calculating
what space it would take to store human knowledge and assess if if could
fit into a mobile device for example. (I know this will spin up a whole
new discussion). (09)
While I writing this I was wondering if we do end up with fundamental
concepts that mimic the elements of programming languages. (010)
On 05/03/2014 07:03 AM, John F Sowa wrote:
> Tom, Pat C, and John B,
>> I was wondering if this is a relatively stable number of concepts that
>> should be in any ontology/repository: the concepts of the English
>> language that cannot be described through a semantic sub-net.
> General points:
> 1. Philosophers and scientists since Plato and Aristotle have observed
> that only the terms (or concepts) agreed by convention can be fully
> defined by necessary and sufficient conditions -- the most common
> examples are in mathematics and in stipulations by lawyers.
> 2. Empirical concepts (in science and everyday life) change with every
> novel experience, and no two people have the same experience.
> 3. The distinction between a word and a phrase is vague. Is 'ice
> cream' one word or two? How would you count "words" such as the
> German 'Lebensversicherungsgesellschaftsangestellter' or its
> English equivalent 'life insurance company employee'?
> 4. What do you do about the many homonyms of 'bank'? Dictionaries
> don't agree on any exact number: river bank, bench or table for
> money changers, financial institution, to bank a fire, to bank
> an airplane in a turn... All those meanings evolved from the
> same Germanic root -- from which we also get the word 'bench'.
>> several dictionaries use a "defining vocabulary" as the list
>> of words to define all the other words in the dictionary...
>> "Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English" ... has about
>> 2150 words... Some of the words are used in more than one sense.
> *All* of those so-called defining words are used in many more than
> one sense. And dictionaries don't even attempt to state necessary
> and sufficient conditions for most words. For plant and animal
> species, their definitions are hopelessly vague. Some include
> a picture; others cite the Latin name, which they don't define.
> See below for a brief summary of Adam Kilgarriff's paper, whose title
> is a quotation by Sue Atkins. Sue A is a professional lexicographer,
> who worked with computational linguists. Adam K is a computational
> linguist who has a company that processes large volumes of NL data.
> For further discussion, see the other slides in goal3.pdf.
>> it is hard to define a concept.
> That is the understatement of the year. For conceptual graphs, I used
> a clear, simple, and precise way to *avoid* a definition: a concept
> is a node in a conceptual graph. I wrote a book and many articles to
> explain how those nodes map to the many ways that people (and their
> computers) use words like 'word', 'phrase', 'concept', etc.
>> The general consensus in The Brain (the journal) community is that
>> columns serve as points that function to draw together data from a
>> larger area around the column which might be interpreted as a concept...
> Yes. That may clarify some issues, but it raises many, many more.
> For a summary, see slide 34 of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal2.pdf
> Source: Slide 14 of http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/goal3.pdf
> “I don’t believe in word senses.”
> The title is a quotation by the lexicographer Sue Atkins, who
> devoted her career to writing and analyzing word definitions.
> In an article with that title, Adam Kilgarriff observed that
> ● “A task-independent set of word senses for a language is not
> a coherent concept.”
> ● The basic units of meaning are not the word senses, but the
> actual “occurrences of a word in context.”
> ● “There is no reason to expect the same set of word senses to be
> relevant for different tasks.”
> ● “The set of senses defined by a dictionary may or may not match
> the set that is relevant for an NLP application.”
> ● Professional lexicographers are well aware of these issues.
> ● The senses they select for a dictionary entry are based on editorial
> policy and assumptions about the readers’ expectations.
> * See http://www.kilgarriff.co.uk/Publications/1997-K-CHum-believe.pdf
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