W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sw-meaning@w3.org > October 2003

Re: what matters is what's said, not what's meant

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 20:47:34 -0400
Message-Id: <200310100047.h9A0lYju003105@roke.hawke.org>
To: pat hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: public-sw-meaning@w3.org


> 1. If you derive a conclusion from a contradiction, then nobody is 
> responsible for it but you: a derivation from a contradiction adds no 
> weight to the conclusion at all, so if you publish it then that is 
> just like publishing a brand-new assertion; you, the publisher, can't 
> appeal to any other authority.
...
> Im sure there are others, but the first one is enough to handle your 
> case, since if I publish a contradiction, then its not going to be 
> any SW-style use to anyone else: they can't use it to do anything 
> that they couldn't do on their own.

While I agree with that, it doesn't help with my original concern,
which is how the use of a particular URI in an RDF graph affects how a
receiver of that graph might behave.  If imagine you say to me (in the
document "pat"):

     pat:Donny a bio:Dingo.
     pat:Donny a bio:Cat.

I might well follow the bio link, and while I'll be nice and not hold
you to everything bio says, ... what should I make of the fact that
you've said Donny is an instance of two disjoint classes?  Hrm.
Neither "pat" nor "bio" is inconsistent, but the combined set is
(assuming OWL semantics and that bio really used OWL).

It seems to me that as a reader I'm not going to be too happy with
this graph you sent me.  What have I really learned from you about
pat:Donny?  What can I do with what you said?  Not a lot, I think.
Ewwww.

So working back, I end up saying you SHOULD NOT say things like that,
and MUST NOT do so knowingly.

    -- sandro
Received on Thursday, 9 October 2003 20:47:09 GMT

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