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post-structuralistm and (formal) ontologies

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hpl.hp.com>
Date: Mon, 04 Feb 2008 12:37:20 +0000
Message-ID: <47A70700.2050800@hpl.hp.com>
To: Owl Dev <public-owl-dev@w3.org>

I am looking for pointers for thinking about whether some ontological 
constructs, maybe owl:complementOf, are patriarchal.

I am wondering whether work by people like Foucault or say some 
feminists could be used as a basis for this.

A sample argument, in sketch form, would be that a political affirmative 
definition of gender would be by positive qualities of 'feminine' and 
positive qualities of 'masculine', without an assertion of the 
disjointness, or the definition of say female as not male.

In contrast, social structures constructed by the powerful, define the 
powerful in-group (us) and then define the out-group as (not us).

To illustrate the point relating to sexism, at least traditionally, the 
concept of man has being associated with a number of attributes e.g. 
(strong, heterosexual) - with woman defined as not-man, then we see a 
homosexual male being called 'a woman' in a derogatory fashion - which 
is insulting to both homosexuals and women, as well as simply being an 
error. (Although the error, as hypothesised is in the classification 
system, the T-Box, rather than the A-Box)

I wonder whether the underlying primitives we use to construct our 
categories (e.g. the constructs used to build the T-Box) are implicated, 
and could do with critical review.

Any pointers appreciated.

Received on Monday, 4 February 2008 12:38:00 UTC

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