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Re: Can there be a URI for the concepts "I", "you", "this", "it", "here", "there", "now", etc.?

From: Bernard Vatant <bernard.vatant@mondeca.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2006 10:31:33 +0100
Message-ID: <45865FF5.7050806@mondeca.com>
To: John Black <JohnBlack@kashori.com>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org

Hi John

John Black a écrit :
> Are the following URI allowable according to web and semantic
> web standards?
As long as you have not given any formal description of their referent, 
all one can say is that they are well-formed :-)
> Are they ambiguous?
So far, no, since no meaning has been defined. :-D
> Are they useful?
OK, seriously now. If you have forged them, I suppose you have some use 
case(s) in mind. Could you give hints about such use cases?
> In each case,
> the referent would depend on the context of the use[1] of the URI.
> <http://kashori.com/ontology/indexicals.owl#I>
<http://kashori.com/ontology/indexicals.owl#now>I've been thinking about 
this question of URI referents for a while. In a semiotic approach of 
URIs and RDF descriptions, I've come up so far with the following:

The URI is the signifier.
The RDF description (of the resource identified by this URI) is the 
signified.
The thing identified by the URI, and/or described by a RDF description, 
is the referent.

Do you propose to have a context-dependent referent for the same 
signifier/signified? That's I guess you have in mind when looking for a 
formal ontology  including those URI.
I imagine for example having
http://kashori.com/ontology/indexicals.owl#I      rdf:type       foaf:Agent
Followed by some formal description of "I" being a speaker in the 
utterance context, such description being context-independent.

 From a linguistic/semiotic viewpoint, that makes sense. From a SW 
viewpoint, I' not sure, because nowhere in SW specifications, AFAIK, is 
clearly defined the semiotic triangle I  propose above, and if it were, 
I'm not sure what the Semantic Web architecture would recommend about 
signifiers and referents. So far what I see as "allowable" is

Having different signifiers for the same signified, using owl:sameAs, 
owl:equivalentClass ...
Having different signified for the same signifier : ambiguity and 
inconsistency are expected in an open world ...

But there is quite a silence about the referent, although my hunch is 
that there is some implicit assumption that the same signifier/signified 
(URI + RDF description) has a context-independent referent.
In this case, your URIs would not be allowable. But I'm curious about 
other opinions on this.

Cheers

Bernard


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*Bernard Vatant
*Knowledge Engineering
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Received on Monday, 18 December 2006 09:31:45 UTC

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