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RE: [WN] Endurant Objects?

From: John McClure <jmcclure@hypergrove.com>
Date: Wed, 2 Nov 2005 13:54:16 -0800
To: "Aldo Gangemi" <aldo.gangemi@istc.cnr.it>, "Alan Rector" <rector@cs.man.ac.uk>
Cc: <public-swbp-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <MGEEIEEKKOMOLNHJAHMKIEEADPAA.jmcclure@hypergrove.com>

As [1] says, "enduring and perduring entities ... [are] a distinction still
strongly debated both in the philosophical literature and within ontology
standardization initiatives."  My use of these terms as adjectival qualifiers
seems at odds with [2] where is said "an exclusive use of these **nouns** seems
to reflect an exclusive interest in quality-bearers ..." Nevertheless I do feel
that, given a resource is merely a reflection of its qualities and quantities,
then the notion of an enduring or perduring object is therefore derived from the
extent to which its attributes are enduring or perduring.

But is this endurant/perdurant distinction actually useful as I construct the
LegalXHTML ontology? My answer: it depends on if the design of the ontology's
subclass hierarchy distinguishes between them...  DOLCE is a fine example of
such a model... but a better approach for Legal XHTML is to (eventually) type
its classes with metaclasses like PhysicalEndurant, NonAgentiveSocialObject, and
AbstractRegion. In other words, I suggest it most effective to link concrete
classes with these soft constructs by using <rdf:type>, rather than

I want my subclass hierarchies as flat as possible so as to easily refactor
later, based on user feedback. The subclass hierarchies need to be as simple as
possible for commercial users (who likely don't care about endurant v
perdurant). Classifying LegalXHTML terms with ontological and grammatical
metaclasses (coupled with associated class annotations pointing at operative
properties related to the metaclasses) seems a strategy that can meet the needs
of skillful reviewers like yourselves without sacrificing the simplicity needed
in commercial environments.

At the same time, please note that LegalXHTML defines the text attribute
<asOf>date</asOf>. This attribute applies to any LegalXHTML resource and to any
LegalXHTML object attribute. This attribute is the device for identifying one
snapshot versus another, of any resource or of any resource attribute, whether
perdurant or endurant. [BTW, I do believe that <asOf> at a minumum represents a
darn basic 'best-practice' itself.]

Aldo said:
>Consider that LegalXHTML is in OWL-Full, defines a kind of type
>theory, some metaclasses are for grammatical categories, and
>redefines notions like subClass, ISA, etc. This approach complicates
>the discussion, because not only have we to negotiate the intended
>meaning of classes and properties, but also of their formal semantics.

I didn't realize that LegalXHTML is redefining notions like subClass, ISA, etc
(where?) and I don't know how LegalXHTML "defines a kind of type theory".
Definitely I appreciate any suggestions how to un-complicate the discussion. My
goal is to be as vanilla (un-controversial) as possible.

>>Interesting. Specially your design pattern for states and
>>qualities. Your use of rdf typing to relate conceptual and natural
>>language syntactic information is creative, while I don't see the
>>point in using metaclasses for end/perd events.

My use for the EndurantEvent and PerdurantEvent metaclasses is to present
separate lists of acts v activities. I'm happy to change from EndurantEvent to
ActionClass and PerdurantEvent to ActivityClass. Incidentally I can't use
'Process' because UNCEFACT already catalogs (business) processes -- one
objective I have is to decompose their processes into activities, and activities
into acts and sub-activities.

Thanks -
John McClure

[1] http://wonderweb.semanticweb.org/deliverables/documents/D18.pdf
[2] http://hem.passagen.se/ijohansson/information2.PDF
Received on Wednesday, 2 November 2005 21:52:30 GMT

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