Re: SUO: Re: Ballot Comment
Forgive me for speaking somewhat bluntly below. I don't wish to offend
but I think you really have to be more concrete. You've said a single
ontology won't work but I think there's a burden of proof on you to show in
detail why. In contract, the SUMO proposal is a very concrete effort to
show how it will work to have a single ontology. If you wish to show that
it won't work please define
1. ...what it means precisely in logic that it "doesn't work". Does this
mean that both P and (not P) are derivable from axioms in the ontology? Or
2. ...a proof which shows that the definition of "doesn't work" above is
satisfied from axioms in SUMO
Otherwise, this is an unjustified criticism. An opinion of value due to
the strength of your accomplishments and intuitions, but hardly a precise
criticism. You've made a reasonable case for why you can have a lattice of
theories. I agree that's possible too (by the way I don't see that you've
given any examples below counter to a single ontology, just statements
about a lattice). But you haven't shown that a single ontology is impossible.
At 10:12 AM 8/17/2001 -0400, John F. Sowa wrote:
>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,
> > 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
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