W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-sw-meaning@w3.org > April 2004

How does RDF/OWL formalism relate to meanings?

From: John Black <JohnBlack@deltek.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Apr 2004 20:34:45 -0400
Message-ID: <D3C8F903E7CC024C9DA6D900A60725D9057C260E@DLTKVMX1.ads.deltek.com>
To: "Pat Hayes" <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: <public-sw-meaning@w3c.org>

> From: Pat Hayes [mailto:phayes@ihmc.us]
> Sent: Tuesday, April 06, 2004 1:22 PM
> To: John Black

> The entire business of 
> handling formal ontologies and asking about their meaning is quite 
> unlike the business of communication between speakers of a natural 
> language. If its like anything, it would be more like a kind of 
> primitive telepathy but between intellects about the size of a 
> dormouse.
> Pat Hayes

I'm not getting this.  How do you use this formalism to make 
statements about particular things?  Does the formalism get 
involved here?  If I want to make assertions about my specific 
company and its employees, and have my assertions understood to 
refer to them and none other, how do I go about that?  Isn't it 
true that until an association is made between the URIs in a 
document and some real (or abstract) things, that the formalism 
is not about anything? except perhaps logical forms?  If I want 
to use RDF to assert that a particular employee is strong, not 
the English word but the concept of that property, how do I get 
a URI to serve as my sign for that concept and have it received 
that way so the final interpreter acts on the same concept?  How 
do I make my URIs stand for my meanings?  Or when I receive a 
document, does the formalism help me to interpret the URIs? to 
determine what they signify?

My questions are only a bit rhetorical, mostly I would really like
to know if I have missed something important about the model theory.

John Black
Received on Tuesday, 6 April 2004 20:34:47 UTC

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