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Re: Mapping SKOS into BFO

From: Peter Ansell <ansell.peter@gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Apr 2011 15:19:30 +1000
Message-ID: <BANLkTi=pSDDhVjqy1wZ3ZAUmkZnsERrPvQ@mail.gmail.com>
To: Jim McCusker <james.mccusker@yale.edu>
Cc: Simon Spero <ses@unc.edu>, public-esw-thes@w3.org
On 7 April 2011 14:56, Jim McCusker <james.mccusker@yale.edu> wrote:
> On Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 12:23 AM, Simon Spero <ses@unc.edu> wrote:
>> I'm not sure if this is likely to be a simple affair - welding the
>>  nominalist or conceptualist  metaphysics of KOSs into the realism of
>> Barry's Favourite Ontology may lead to confusion
>> For some of the possible problems, see the recent debate between Gary
>> Merrill and Barry Smith & Werner Ceusters in "Applied Ontology" - ( Merrill
>> 2010a. Smith and Ceusters 2010; Merill 2010b).
>> (all articles are open access)
> I'm familiar with many of these arguments, and my goal isn't to
> provide some sort of mapping between mass-the-concept and
> mass-the-quality. They are two different things. Related, sure, but
> occupying different parts of the hierarchy. My point is simply that
> concepts have a place in realist ontologies. If a person does not
> subscribe to that sort of ontology, they are free to ignore that
> placement. Nevertheless, concepts, in addition to how they are treated
> in KOSs, are also particulars that exist in the real world (albeit
> particulars that are dependent on some sort of substrate), and as
> such, any given concept can have an assigned class from a realist
> ontology. SKOS views concepts as individuals, which is right and
> proper in my mind, and happens to align with the idea that the class
> of things skos:Concept, being a thing in the real world (an idea) has
> a place in a realist ontology.

Its place may be as a superclass rather than a subclass though. If you
place skos:Concept in BFO as a subclass, you want to be sure that
every user will follow your extended contract, even if they produced
their SKOS datasets before they knew about the contract. If
skos:Concept is a superclass of something in BFO, then you are
allowing for the possibility that not all skos:Concept's will follow
the scientific realism definition of Concept.

If ontologies are going to be useful to wide groups (even if they are
specialised), per the goals for BFO, they probably shouldn't enforce
things that users don't naturally enforce prior to and outside of
their interactions with the ontology.


Received on Thursday, 7 April 2011 05:19:58 UTC

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