Re: SUO: Re: Ballot Comment
> Pat sets up a strawman and then knocks him down. I disagree with
>the premise that by finding one ontology that one is saying that
>others are wrong.
That is not what I said. What I said is that different people use
different ontologies, and sometimes indeed people use different
ontologies for different purposes. The idea that any of them is wrong
or right is what I think is mistaken.
> I certainly don't intend that other ontologies are incorrect,
>impossible or inconsistent. Merely that we can create a useful
>single upper ontology and that has value as a standard.
Calling it a 'standard' with the level of imprimateur associated with
the IEEE is not just marking it as 'useful'. It is putting it before
the world as a recommendation for a wide, possibly universal, set of
applications and uses. (If this is not true, then what is the point
of the standardisation process, and where is the claimed benefit of
interoperability? ). To me, that is a very high standard indeed. It
is not sufficient to simply be 'useful'; to reach that standard, it
has to be clearly better than any other alternative, or have some
clear advantage which singles it out from other alternatives. (One
such advantage might be that it represents an accepted standard of
usage in some community, as with many other IEEE standards; but there
is no such community for an upper ontology.)
>Many other ontologies could be created with the same coverage that
>would be just as valid.
Then there is no reason to choose one of them as a 'standard'. Let me
ask you, Adam, what you think this term 'standard' means, and why you
think there will be any utility in having a standard, if the world
goes on using many other ontologies? Presumably the idea of the
standardisation process is to somehow encourage many people to
conform to the standard. So whether or not one says that other
ontologies could be created, the intended aim of a standardization
process is to discourage or thwart such activity. If we are talking
about the sizes of electrical plugs, that makes sense. If we are
talking about the conceptual framework of human thought, however,
(which we are, in effect, here) then the idea of choosing a standard
is both more pernicious and less obviously useful.
>The value in having just one is that much like that in having a
>shared human language for communication between people.
You might find (if you look around on the Web, for example) that
there is, in fact, no shared human language, but many of them. (There
isnt even a shared human language within California.) And if you
check out all the various attempts to create a universal human
language (such as Esperanto) you will find that they have all been
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