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Re: semantics and knowledge

From: ssgindia <ssgindia@ssgindia.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2008 10:15:58 +0530
Message-ID: <00b101c940a4$9ef6d300$0201a8c0@ssgindiaceo>
To: <hburrows@supportingresearch.com>, <public-esw-thes@w3.org>
Hi All,

We were also thinking the same way like Howard Burrows and discussing for quite some time.

What is SKOS today - is definitely a part of "Knowledge" but it not really total Knowledge.
If we are wrong - what are the answers to the following questions - 

01. If language and semantics based knowledge is only Knowledge, then a person who can not speak has no knowledge ? Don't we have enough knowledge when we view a Charlie Chaplin film which does not talk at all ?

02. Where is the role of observation( through eyes, ears, nose,touch and taste), analysis, perception and continuously updating knowledge bank of a person based on experience ?

Things are very complicated. A well planned modeling based on organization behavior and human psychology analysis might help. 

I just thought of airing my view - if at all it helps.


SSG Software Systems Pvt Ltd
URL - http://www.ssgindia.com/login.aspx

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Howard Burrows 
  To: public-esw-thes@w3.org 
  Sent: Thursday, November 06, 2008 8:27 PM
  Subject: semantics and knowledge



  I guess I don't feel that we get to talk about "knowledge" at all if we are limited to semantics alone.  As Antoine indicates, this project is Semantic Web-biased.  In that context, we don't get "simple knowledge"--we don't even enter the realm of knowledge.


  Semantics allows us to agree on word usage and document/data formats, so we can explicitly describe things to each other across communities-so we can clearly elaborate distinctions between our beliefs and hypotheses.  Doesn't "knowledge" require more than that--actually justifying which of these beliefs and hypotheses are right and actionable?  Aren't the requirements for knowledge beyond what we're doing here?


  As an example, I'm hoping my concern with the use of the word "knowledge" is *not* just semantics; I hope I'm raising a legitimate issue, and not just drawing in a term from an ontology parallel and possibly incommensurable with the one used here.  This is important as the next phase of web development should go beyond just understanding how words and data relate to each other.  We need to move into the knowledge domain and establish standards of a different kind that allow us to catalog statements, not just according to what we understand them to mean, but by whether or not they are true (or at least sufficiently justified to entitle us to use them in making decisions).


  As another example, Aida's hadron scheme states quite clearly a hypothesis about the possible relations between agreed upon objects.  It doesn't get at whether this is the correct hypothesis--or how we would tell.  What observations should count as data in establishing the truth of this hypothesis?  Even if we have ways to justify this particular hadron scheme, we still need to be able to locate competing hypotheses to compare with this scheme.  And we need to be able to rank the whole set of ideas that people have come up with according to how well each is justified.  


  All this seems somewhat beyond "semantics".  I'm still not getting the perspective that most of you seem to share that would entitle us to use the word "knowledge" in the name of this valuable semantic web standard.  Just organizing the list of hypotheses (both right and wrong) and data (both relevant and irrelevant) doesn't capture the critical relation between them that generates knowledge.  Even if you prefilter the set of hypotheses so you only include those hypotheses that qualify as "known-to-be-true", the correct statements are not the knowledge-what justifies them is--otherwise you haven't captured essential elements that would allow you to apply them as knowledge.


  Howard Burrows

  Supporting Research

  Durham, NH, USA

Received on Friday, 7 November 2008 08:24:52 UTC

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