Your reading of the realms of existence
is partly correct, but partly confusing. First, you must conclude from your
life experience that the Social Reality is quite a real thing, sometimes a
harsh reality which bites or causally destroys. If it had been just ''the conceptual world about people...', humans
would enjoy an eternal paradisiac life.
second issue you are raising even more significant:
''Isn't it fitting that the Ontological World, the location of fundamental
concepts, be grounded in the Natural World, the source of all
Here things look a bit more complicated.
Take on such general things as entity, being, unity, identity,
substance, state, property, quality, quantity, change, process, action,
activity, relation, causality, causation, space, time, they all reside
in the Ontological World. Descending to the Natural World, these universal
entities transform into natural entities and processes like as physical
substance, matter, energy, force, interactions, etc.
I strongly suggest to avoid a poor understanding of ontology as some
derivative tool doing something with taxonomy, like that one: ''Ontologies are
merely taxonomies, sets of names; and they are operated on only syntactically.
There's no more meaning in such a system than there is heat in a
computer-simulated oven.'' (S. Harnard, a symbol grounding expert, http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Hypermail/Syntactic.Web/0006.html
Although, his argumentation about the Syntactic web (owl:sameAs)
the Semantic web, ungrounded syntactic computational systems and
grounded semantic dynamic systems, has some relevancy to our discussion.
Summing, there are things in the world (the region of ontology and natural
sciences); there are thoughts, ideas, concepts, images, feelings, and sense
data, or mental signs (the realm of cognitive sciences; there are words
and constructs (the elements of natural language systems and
programming languages, Java, PHP, etc); and there are social institutions
and relationships and cultural symbols and artifacts (the subjects of social
sciences and engineering). But the first realm is the original source and
resource of all meanings and senses and mental notions and computing symbols and
And the matter of symbol grounding, if to return to the start of your
thread, would be useful to analyze in such a natural hierarchy of symbols and
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Monday, September 01, 2008 4:43
Subject: Re: OntoPaedia [was Physical
Grounding [was Foundation Ontology]]
Here is my take on the several forms and levels of reality or
The Natural World, the world of physical phenomenon, the source of all
The Mental World, the residence of all concepts that are derived from
The Social Reality, the conceptual world about people which is derived
from the physical sensations emanating from people as physical participants in
the Natural World;
The Technological World is a subtype of Social Reality. The
Technological World is about engineering systems and processes;
The Ontological World, the world of very general and fundamental
concepts, which is derived from all the other Worlds.
Isn't it fitting that the Ontological World, the location of fundamental
concepts, be grounded in the Natural World, the source of all concepts?
On Aug 31, 2008, at 8:34 AM, Azamat wrote:
I fully support your search for a solid
grounding or foundation for ontology. It is most significant
to associate the foundation ontology with reality, without ambiguity.
Another good thing is to know that such a reality is not bounded by the
material world, the physical universe of sensible entities. It
would be of great use to distinguish several forms and levels of reality or
existence, as in:
The Ontological World, the world of Entity,
Space and Time;
The Natural World, the universe of material
entities, processes, and relationships;
The Mental World, the psychological realm of
mental entities, processes, and relationships;
The Social Reality, the world of cultural
objects, processes and social interrelations;
The Technological World, the realm of
engineering systems and processes, encompassing the computing reality of
information knowledge entities and relationships.
We debate the hot topics and
issues of Foundation Ontology quite a long: what it is, how it is
possible, what it must cover, how it must be built, who will construct it,
who is to fund it, how to store it, etc. Today I am glad to inform
something concrete. Before soon everybody will have a chance
to download such a ontology reference experimentation, named
as ONTOPAEDIA: Global Knowledge Base, to be released by EIS Encyclopedic
Intelligent Systems Ltd next month.
it's basic world
hierarchy of entities grounds all key subject categories of Britannica, its
Propaedia's knowledge organization system, the categorical systems of
Wikipedia , as well as the reclassified WordNet.
In ONTOPAEDIA, it is practically demonstrated
the integrating value of the Unified Foundation Ontology in
building domain ontologies and knowledge bases, on all key topics presented
in the Encyclopedia Britannica (Knowledge In Depth). As the more detailed
use cases go the Medical Ontology, the Business Ontology, and the World
It's time to realize our big promises and
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2008 7:57
Subject: Re: Physical Grounding [was
I think we agree.
Foundation Ontology, as a branch of philosophy based on logical
reasoning rather than on empirical methods, covers some of the same ground
that the science of physics does.
I do not know that Foundation Ontology subsumes Physics, and I do not
know that Physics subsumes Foundation Ontology.
The point of my prior posting was to anchor Foundation Ontology in
the perceivable world, that is, in the reality that we become aware of
directly through our senses. Physics can use hypothetical constructs
and intervening variables in its calculations. Foundation Ontology
is not in that business.
In terms of the prior discussion centering on symbol "grounding" and
"foundation," I hope the following quote is helpful:
"Synonyms: base, basis, foundation, ground...
These nouns all pertain to what underlies and supports... Base is
applied chiefly to material objects... Basis is used in a nonphysical
sense... Foundation often stresses firmness of support for something of
relative magnitude... Ground is used figuratively in the plural to mean a
On Aug 30, 2008, at 2:03 PM, Azamat wrote:
Foundation Ontology, as the science of
entities (substances, states, changes) and their
interrelationships, covers physics, the science of material
substances (matter), states (forms, shapes, sizes) and changes
(energy) and their interrelationships
On Aug 29, 2008, at 10:41 PM, James wrote:
Of the three methods of grounding symbols
the one most fitting for a Foundation Ontology (FO) is the first.
The first method implies that the physical universe is
by humans as functioning organisms. The first method does
assume transcendent reality, whatever that might
Is there firmer grounding for a Foundation Ontology than
the material universe?
What forms of physical substance need be considered
in a FO other than solid objects, liquids, or gases?
What attributes of objects need be considered other
physical attributes such as shape and size?
What attributes of liquids need be considered other
physical attributes such as volume?
What attributes of gases need be considered other
physical attributes such as density?
What changes in material substance need to be
other than changes in internal constitution or changes in
What other than
(a) physical substance and
(b) change in physical substance
needs to be considered in a
On Aug 23, 2008, at 6:08 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
That is an accurate description, since it may be
desirable that the
terms of an ontology would be grounded in actual
entities in the real
world, but there is no way to ensure that any
particular version is
On Aug 24, 2008, at 6:38 AM, John F. Sowa wrote:
there are three methods of grounding the symbols we
1. Direct experience with the referents by
perception and action.
2. Indirect connections to experience by
associations created by
patterns of words that are more
3. Communication by means of natural languages
with other people
whose grounding for the symbols is
more direct than