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Re: How does RDF/OWL formalism relate to meanings?

From: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 09 Apr 2004 13:56:18 -0500
To: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, John Black <JohnBlack@deltek.com>, public-sw-meaning@w3c.org
Message-Id: <1081536978.16757.11620.camel@dirk>

On Thu, 2004-04-08 at 19:07, Dan Brickley wrote:
> The causal theory is related to so-called externalist accounts of
> meaning, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twin_Earth_thought_experiment

OK, I followed those pointers and soaked a bunch of that stuff in...

> Backing up a bit, I think the concern here is that often we say "URIs
> are just like names, they work the same way". However, when you actually 
> try (as philosophers have for some time been trying) to pick apart the 
> logical machinery of how naming actually works in human communication, 
> it melts away.

Well, yes; I already said pretty much the same thing, no?

|The only way I know to relate claims like saying your
|name is "Bill Murray" to ... er... actual reality
|is with economics and utilitarian measures.
  -- me, Thu, 08 Apr 2004 16:42:03 -0500

>  Nobody has ever managed to give a good account of the
> referential aspects of meaning. Ever. The fear here is that this is not
> through lack of trying, failure of theory etc., but because the core
> concepts are social fictions, no more amenable to an
> engineering-friendly formalisation than beauty, love or [flamebait] justice.

Why the fear? As MSM said, "If I fail to publish a paper on
gravity, it will still work." I think the webarch audience understands
how symbols take on meaning in communication well enough for
the purpose of the webarch document, which is to get technology
developers to build stuff that helps the web continue to work.

Dan Connolly, W3C http://www.w3.org/People/Connolly/
see you at the WWW2004 in NY 17-22 May?
Received on Friday, 9 April 2004 14:55:47 UTC

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