Re: SUO: Metaphysical choices - position. mereology and constituti on
I've been away for a week, and I'm still trying to catch up on
the 200+ messages that have accumulated. Instead of commenting
on all the details, I'd like to summarize some of the issues
that seem to be woven into these threads.
Re metaphysical choices: The kinds of circles that Chris and Ian
have been cycling around the question of roles, Queen Elizabeth,
etc., illustrate my point that many fundamental philosophical
issues must reach some stage of closure before it is possible to
write useful axioms that could seriously be considered candidates
for standardization. Following are the implications:
1. Until these issues are resolved, any axioms based on or related
to them could never be considered "standard".
2. Since roles, intentions, and related issues are fundamental to
every topic outside of pure mathematics, that means that any
axioms in SUMO that apply to anything outside of mathematics are
unsuitable for anything that might be called a "standard ontology".
3. Point #2 does not imply that the axioms of SUMO or OpenCyc should
be rejected. It only implies that the axioms should not be given
the status of "IEEE standard". To adopt Frank's suggestion, I
believe that a suitable term would be "registered"; i.e., they
have been assigned a place and a unique identifier in the kind of
registry that Frank was discussing.
4. A registry for modules (i.e., collections of axioms) would not
imply that any particular module had reached a definitive status
that could be called "standard". It would just mean that it had
been registered and agreed to by some number of users for some
5. Associated with the modules in the registry could be comments and
certifications of compatibility with other modules and various
other standards. For example, a module that axiomatized concepts
related to grains and cereals might be certified as compatible with
the ISO standard for durum wheat.
Bottom line: I would strongly object to any application of the term
"IEEE Standard" to any collection of axioms related to the topics that
Chris and Ian were discussing. But I would be quite happy with putting
them into a registry, where the users could certify their applicability
and compatibility with other related standards.