Re: SUO: Re: Ballot Comment
Matthew, Pat, and Adam,
And following are more examples why a monolithic ontology won't work.
In the framework I proposed in my two talks, you can have a hierarchy
of concept types that include Space, Time, etc. Then,
1. Informal statements are mapped to the categories in the lattice,
which have may different detailed definitions in different theories.
2. Some sentences are general enough that they can be answered in
either theory (e.g., "What time is it here and now?").
3. More detailed problem specifications might only make sense in
one theory or the other. The system tries both mappings and
takes the one that has the best fit.
4. Other problems might not have a clean mapping to either theory.
In that case, the system reports the areas that don't match and
carries on a dialog with the user to refine the specification.
I'm not claiming that the lattice of all theories is a magic solution
to all problems. But I am claiming that it can handle a lot more of
them than a single monolithic ontology.
"West, Matthew R SITI-GREA-UK" wrote:
> Dear Pat and Adam,
> Pat wrote:
> > One thing that is for certain is, that if it is detailed enough to be
> > useful, then some users will find it intrusive and awkward, perhaps
> > to the point of being unusable. If it treats time four-dimensionally,
> > the Barry Smiths of this world will refuse to have anything to do
> > with it; if it fails to treat time four-dimensionally, the process
> > control community will refuse to have anything to do with it. If it
> > tries to both, then it will either become so confused that only
> > highly trained specialists will be able to use it nontrivially (like
> > Cyc), or else it will have to incorporate the kind of translations
> > between ontological frameworks that would allow the rival views to
> > coexist. And if it can do that, then it doesn't need to be a
> > 'standard upper ontology', because with such translations available,
> > we can translate between different upper ontologies.
> Well first I agree with the thrust of Pat's argument. The idea of a
> standard ontology in terms of "the one true way" to describe the world
> is problematic.
> On the other hand, a standard expression of some ontology(ies) is
> potentially useful. Here we are not saying something about the ontology
> itself, but of a standard representation of some ontology, so that
> references to it can be made in a way that (dumb) computer systems can
> recognise as being of the same thing. This basically comes down to agreeing
> standard names for concepts, and defining axioms in a standard language.
> You might then have a standard expression of a number of ontologies, without
> being judgemental about the ontology itself. I think this has more chance of
> being useful at this stage in the development of ontology and metaphysics.
> Matthew West