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

From: Peter F. Patel-Schneider <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 21:25:50 -0400 (EDT)
Message-Id: <20031009.212550.125104040.pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
To: sandro@w3.org
Cc: phayes@ihmc.us, public-sw-meaning@w3.org

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Subject: Re: what matters is what's said, not what's meant 
Date: Thu, 09 Oct 2003 20:47:34 -0400

> 
> 
> > 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.

Why SHOULD I NOT (and MUST NOT knowingly) create an OWL document that when
combined with the OWL documents available at some location that can be
determined from doing some text processing of the names in my document
would produce an inconsistency?  There are lots of good reasons for me
wanting to do this.  I might disagree with the information in these other
documents but still want to make statements about the names in the
documents, for example.  Saying that this is a bad thing to do (SHOULD NOT)
or even an incorrect thing (MUST NOT knowingly) is just stifling legitimate
dissent.

>     -- sandro

peter
Received on Thursday, 9 October 2003 21:26:00 GMT

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