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From: Stephen Bounds <km@bounds.net.au>
Date: Sat, 01 Nov 2008 13:42:02 +1100
Message-ID: <490BC1FA.3080807@bounds.net.au>
To: SKOS <public-esw-thes@w3.org>

Howard and all,

I take a slightly different perspective on these issues due to my 
involvement in Knowledge Management as a discipline and participation on 
the actKM mailing list.

As you might imagine, questions about the definition of knowledge get 
raised frequently on this list, which can in turn lead to some pretty 
colourful debates.  Few agreed conclusions are ever reached!

However, the one thing that has become clear to me is that "knowledge" 
is inextricably bound up with the intelligent agent that created it.

Systems like SKOS are thus better seen as augmenting what an external 
entity "knows", rather than holding intrinsic knowledge in its own 
right.  Quite literally, SKOS is a tool for "knowledge organisation" of 
that entity, much like a dictionary or encyclopaedia.

SKOS is first and foremost designed to augment the knowledge 
capabilities of human entities, i.e. a person or set of people.  Its 
syntax reflects that purpose, and I think that is one of its greatest 

However, I think it's great that the SKOS group has designed the 
language to be easily extended by machine-reasoning languages such as OWL.

So I fully support the SKOS designator, and I think it reflects the 
language's purpose very well.


-- Stephen.

Howard Burrows wrote:
> All,
> I wonder, would it be better to call SKOS SCOS, a “simple concept 
> organization scheme”?  
> Sorry if this is late and totally inappropriate, but perhaps the use of 
> the word “knowledge” in SKOS should be discussed (again?).  Not that the 
> current choice is a bad thing, but I expected, and would really like to 
> see, another sort of SKOS with a different set of requirements.
> My work involves developing an organization system for distinguishing 
> what is “thought” from what is “known”. 
> You can’t be said to “know” anything unless it is an assertion that has 
> the right sort of entitling warrant.  There would be other requirements 
> in the common “justified, true, belief” notion of knowledge.  Since SKOS 
> doesn’t seem to address either of these, it might be worth changing the 
> name, or at least commenting somewhere in the documentation that there 
> could be a family of SKOS recommendations in the future. 
> You have an important and well-established community that is quite 
> comfortable with the terms as you are using them.  However, I think I 
> would prefer to separate schemes for epistemology from those for ontology.  
> Howard Burrows, PhD
> Supporting Research
> Durham, NH, USA
Received on Saturday, 1 November 2008 02:42:46 UTC

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