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Re: [ontolog-forum] Distinction between ontology and semantics

To: ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From: John F Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 22 Jul 2015 00:53:14 -0400
Message-id: <55AF21BA.9090004@xxxxxxxxxxx>
David, Ed, Mihai, Ravi, and Azamat,    (01)

> I mean there are engineering manuals that define things used
> in places like Boeing and NASA and Statoil that those often
> define a discipline/domain very well.    (02)

I agree.  In fact, I strongly agree with every point you've made,
except for the ones where you misinterpret what I've been trying
to say.    (03)

> there are many engineering disciplines, but they are not all
> mutually inconsistent.    (04)

I am not talking about inconsistencies between disciplines.
I've been trying to make the point that *every* large project
uses multiple *inconsistent* approximations for different
aspects of exactly the same physical system.  It doesn't matter
whether you're designing a bridge, an airplane, or a car.    (05)

For example, the same airplane may have a subsonic laminar
air flow over one part, turbulent flow over another part, and
supersonic flow over or through other parts.  The mathematics
for different kinds of air flow use different approximations
with *inconsistent assumptions*.    (06)

Theoretical physics looks clean and precise.  But experimental
physics and engineering use a hodge-podge of thousands of
special cases with mutually inconsistent approximations.    (07)

> the software that runs ... [is] reused without change wherever
> possible. And that is because there is one major engineering
> principle at work in those applications  liability!    (08)

That's a variant of the principle "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
Legacy systems become legacies because they're *successful*.  They
are *never* replaced by totally new systems.  Instead, they just
evolve by incremental, piecemeal updates.    (09)

> my next assertion is that we cannot disconnect semantics from
> the semiotics within which it is defined.    (010)

I very strongly agree.  Semiotics includes all sign systems,
which include natural languages, any symbols and/or images
of any computational systems, and their relationships to the
world and to all beings that live, act, and communicate in it.    (011)

If the ontology includes the full semiotics, the "symbol grounding"
problem is solved.  Without semiotics, there is no grounding.    (012)

> in the end, what counts is what we do with computers, including
> the act of endowing them with adaptive capabilities.    (013)

Yes.  If we don't show how the philosophy relates to what the
computer systems do, all we have is a debating society.    (014)

> All 5 Patologs take one through successive development of logic    (015)

The one that's most relevant to these discussions is patalog4,
http://www.jfsowa.com/talks/patalog4.pdf .    (016)

For the issues about semiotics, start with slide 21 of patalog4.pdf.
Slide 29 mentions Peirce.  For more, follow the URL at the bottom.
Note slide 30, which combines Peirce and Wilkins.    (017)

> In all, it took about ten years to systematize things.    (018)

The patalog4.pdf slides might suggest some developments.
Slide 2 summarizes ontology projects from Aristotle to the
present.  The three most successful -- in terms of widespread
adoption -- are Aristotle's, Roget's, and WordNet.    (019)

Are there any lessons to be learned from that history?    (020)

John    (021)

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