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Re: [ontology-summit] First Model Bench Challenge

To: "Ontology Summit 2012 discussion" <ontology-summit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "doug foxvog" <doug@xxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 6 May 2012 22:23:59 -0400
Message-id: <da8a2d1a54495bf5ed649860a016ce03.squirrel@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Sun, May 6, 2012 10:37, John F Sowa wrote:
> Doug, Adrian, Leo, and Jack,    (01)

> DF
>> I thought that we were dealing with ontological issues, not NL issues.    (02)

> AW
>> I'm not sure how one can legitimately claim to be studying Semantics
>> without at least touching on NL.    (03)

I agree with AW that NL can inform semantics.  And of course, semantics
can be greatly beneficial to NL.    (04)

>> NL is difficult, it's complicated, but it's essential that the intended
>> real world meaning behind p123(x,y,z) be captured computationally.    (05)

> I recognize what Doug is trying to say, but I agree more with Adrian.    (06)

I agree with Adrian, too.    (07)

> In fact, I would make even stronger claims:    (08)

>   1. Natural languages are the ultimate knowledge representation
>      languages -- in generality, flexibility, *and* precision.    (09)

John, i am surprised at the claim of precision.  You have often
argued that natural languages lack precision, but that such can
be achieved through the use of controlled natural languages in
which the meanings of the terms is precise and the syntactic forms
are limited.    (010)

If NL were precise, the task of writing programs to encode something
stated in NL or to translate from one language to another would not
be nearly as difficult as it currently is.    (011)

>   2. Every version of logic -- in fact every artificial notation
>      of any kind -- is an abstraction from some aspect of some NL
>      for some special purpose.    (012)

Agreed.  The precision issue arises from the multitude of aspects of NL.    (013)

>   3. For many purposes, the artificial languages can be more
>      precise in what they say -- because they are more limited.    (014)

Agreed.    (015)

>   4. That gain in precision can be of immense value for many
>      purposes, as we see with computer programming languages.    (016)

Agreed.    (017)

>   5. But that gain in precision is often illusory because it
>      strips away the context and nuances of the original NL.    (018)

Which suggests that the full meaning has not been encoded.    (019)

>   6. Re formal logic:  What it says so precisely may be totally
>      different from what the author had intended.    (020)

Agreed.    (021)

-- doug f    (022)

> See http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/rolelog.pdf    (023)

> ...    (024)

> John    (025)

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