Re: SUO: 10 Jun 2002 -- Entangled Ontologies
I agree that the heart of the problem is "the "embedded" character or the
"situated" nature of our most basic conceptual systems". It seems to me
that the biggest contribution of this effort would be progress towards a
principled method of sorting out the various embedding situations within
which and across which communication is desired. This is the source of my
recent and previous postings about an ontology of purpose as a possible
direction for that method. I don't think I'm making myself very clear in
that regard, but I'm likely to keep trying.
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Jon Awbrey <email@example.com>@majordomo.ieee.org on 06/09/2002 06:48:23
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Subject: SUO: 10 Jun 2002 -- Entangled Ontologies
I will continue to focus on the features that potentially
distinguish ontology standards from the kinds of standards
that have been done before.
One of the features that I am trying to get a handle on is sometimes
described as the "embedded" character or the "situated" nature of our
most basic conceptual systems. This makes a big difference in even so
simple a thing as the caution against the gensym fallacy. In a system
where you can freely change the name of everything in sight, only the
axioms determine the meanings, and only to the extent that they can.
But culturally situated systems are just not like that. Words are
bound to their usages in the cultural envelope, and meanings are
embedded in practices over which we never have complete control.
I have never thought of myself as being especially slavish toward
any of the preveiling fashions, either faddish or dyed in the wool,
and it makes me uneasy to hear myself repeating the admonitions of
my former teachers, but even I recognize that you can't just go out
and re-invent some subject all over again without paying attention
to what's been done before and what's considered by practitioners
in the field to be basic and standard already. At least one of
our starter documents does this at almost every turn. I have
given them references and standard definitions in the areas
that I have some background in. It does not seem to be
important to them to know what is standard already.
This seems bizarre to me.
JA: Is it a programming or writing workshop?
FF: I'm not sure what you mean by this, but I'd guess that this is
similar to the "workshops" of ISO/IEC and other organizations.
I was trying to pin down a certain attitude toward criticism
that I have seen exemplified before. Here, I was thinking of
settings in which the criticism of each other's efforts can be
brutally honest, and yet everyone more or less gets that it all
comes out of a passion for the craft and not a personal animus.
Maybe it has to do with the stings and arrows being washed away
in the drunken revel at the end of the workshop, but I'm hoping
that isn't the only balm in gilead. (<<<--- hackneyed cliche).