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Re: Mapping SKOS into BFO

From: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 14:14:08 +1000
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=Wsx7+4xTtMHW0mKB+N6wvKwSz-Q@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jim McCusker <james.mccusker@yale.edu>
Cc: public-esw-thes@w3.org
On 7 April 2011 13:02, Jim McCusker <james.mccusker@yale.edu> wrote:
> The Basic Formal Ontology is commonly used in biomedical semantics
> through OBO. I would like to propose a mapping of skos:Concept into
> BFO as a subclass of "generically dependent continuent". I believe
> this will help further the ongoing discussion surrounding definitions
> for the term "concept", and will also provide an ontological home for
> it in relation to non-conceptual ontologies. I chose "generically
> dependent continuent" for the following reasons:
>
> The definition of "generically dependent continuent" is: "Definition:
> A continuant [snap:Continuant] that is dependent on one or other
> independent continuant [snap:IndependentContinuant] bearers. For every
> instance of A requires some instance of (an independent continuant
> [snap:IndependentContinuant] type) B but which instance of B serves
> can change from time to time."
>
> This refers to entities that exist in relation to something, but it
> doesn't matter what, exactly, that something is. Ideas (and therefore
> concepts) have this property - an idea can exist in my head, I can
> write it down, someone else can read it, and in that process the idea
> is dependent on my brain, the media I write it down on, and then brain
> of the person who reads it.
>
> A concept is not an occurrent (definition: "An entity [bfo:Entity]
> that has temporal parts and that happens, unfolds or develops through
> time. Sometimes also called perdurants."). While a concept can have a
> lifetime in which it is imagined, changed, and forgotten, in BFO this
> is considered distinct from the entity itself.
>
> A concept is not an independent continuent (definition: A continuant
> [snap:Continuant] that is a bearer of quality [snap:Quality] and
> realizable entity [snap:RealizableEntity] entities, in which other
> entities inhere and which itself cannot inhere in anything.") These
> are things that exist in and of themselves, without any need for a
> substrate.
>
> A concept is not a specifically dependent continuent (definition: "A
> continuant [snap:Continuant] that inheres in or is borne by other
> entities. Every instance of A requires some specific instance of B
> which must always be the same.") Concepts do not need some specific
> instance for it to be borne by, but can exist all the same in any
> suitable substrate.
>
> That leaves generically dependent continuent. A concept needs to have
> some substrate to exist, but it doesn't have to be any one particular
> substrate.
>
> Additionally, in the Information Artifact Ontology, "information
> content entity" is a subclass of generically dependent continuent. An
> information content entity is "an entity that is generically dependent
> on some artifact and stands in relation of aboutness to some entity".
> Some concepts are about particular things (universal classes and
> properties, for instance), which would make them information content
> entities, and therefore generically dependent continuents.
>

If SKOS:Concept was a child of BFO:GenericallyDependentContinuant,
then you are restricting the published definition for SKOS:Concept.
SKOS:Concept is deliberately defined subjectively as an open ended
class that can be used to classify any unit of thought, whether it
intimately relates to a single physical entity or otherwise.

It may be more appropriate to define BFO: DependentContinuant as a
subclass of SKOS:Concept.

Cheers,

Peter
Received on Thursday, 7 April 2011 04:14:35 GMT

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