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Re: [ontac-forum] Semantics and Ontology ? and semiotics?

From: adasal <adam.saltiel@gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 26 May 2006 23:02:46 +0100
Message-ID: <e8aa138c0605261502p69fe07cen1dea18afd5541b79@mail.gmail.com>
To: editor@content-wire.com
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org
Actually I am all for conceptual freedom and lose language, but you know
this is like the criticism of Freud's free association: is it really free?
As to the term inferior philosophy what I meant was doing philosophy badly,
not that, in this context, one philosophy is superior to another. But I will
stand by the idea that doing philosophy can be done better or worse, my self
I am terrible because I am not a philosopher. But I think what is being done
here is doing ONTAC badly, should be done as philosophy and hopefully would
be done better than what so far seems to me to be of little philosophical
promise, but then, what do I know?
This is the ONTAC charter:-

• To keep each of its members aware of efforts similar to their own, so as
to reduce duplicative effort and rapidly disseminate theoretical and
practical knowledge about the creation and use of knowledge classification
and representation systems, especially as related to governmental
activities.    (2QP5)<http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP5>

• To promote interoperability by identifying common concepts among knowledge
classifications developed by different groups, and by creating mappings:
(2QP6)<http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP6>

   - o from individual domain classifications to the common upper or
   mid-level ontologies;
(2QP7)<http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP7>
   - o from individual domain classifications to other domain
   classifications.
(2QP8)<http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP8>

• To identify, create, and share programs that use knowledge classification
systems, especially those that may help to evaluate and compare the
functionality of classifications.
(2QP9)<http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP9>

In support of these activities, the group will:
(2QPA)<http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QPA>
• Maintain, as a community, a common upper ontology and a set of contexts
and mid-level ontologies which will provide a mechanism for resolution of
questions as to which concepts in which classifications are: identical to;
different from but consistent with; or logically incompatible with, those of
other classifications;

Perhaps you could explain to me how this investigation via "adaptable
boundaries to capture the essence of scientific truth" will lead to any of
the above aims and objectives, which seem to me to be quite material goals.

demonstrated? you mean you want me to demostrate the relevance of
> philosophy to semantics? I am sure I have got a lot of catching up to
> do, and so do you
>

There is absolutely no doubt that I would have a lot of catching up to do if
that were my aim, but demonstrating the relevance of philosophy to semantics
is such a broad goal as to be really ludicrous. It is pretty much the same,
by analogy, as demonstrating the relevance of wetness to water - there is a
hell of a lot that can be said about it, but at the same time one knows them
to be inextricably bound and not needing demonstration.
But you are avoiding the real issue which is how semantics can be treated
algorithmically, and that entails a very restricted sense of semantics.
From above:-

the creation and use of knowledge classification and representation systems,
> especially as related to governmental activities.


I do not credit (any) government with great philosophical or metaphysical
drive, but I do think there is a job to be done. As I say, show me I am
wrong.

You say:-

> I think we should try not to mistake our own ignorance as other people'
> arrogance, especially when something does not appear relevant
> to us because we do not understand it and lack the appropriate
> references.
>

But I think there is an arrogance here. You seem to want to play this both
ways. On the one hand I am stiff, formal, seek references and quotes that
might stiffle free discussion, and I intimidate, on the other you tell me
that actually I am ignorant and that i can't follow what others are saying.
Well I am telling you, you are failing to explain, you are failing to make
yourselves relevant and frankly, I think you are arrogant.

Now, if we are talking philosophy, consider this:-

Charlotte asked:
> What is Frege's puzzle? Why did he reject the metalinguistic solution and
> change to reference and
> sense? What is his second solution and does it work any better than the
> first?
> and Alex asked:
> I'm writing an undergraduate essay about Frege, which is, "Is sense a
> semantic property of singular
> terms?" I would greatly appreciate any help on this subject as it is very
> difficult and I don't understand
> it!! Thank you.
>

Klempner's answer, delivered with refreshing clarity, a complete lack of
guile and a disarming straightforwardness can be found at this link.
http://www.philosophos.com/Knowledge_base/archives_9/philosophy_questions_913.html
It is highly relevant to this forum. As I suspect, from the point of view of
philosophy the semantic web is absurd because of the reduction of the
semantic value of names (e.g. 'Bruce' or 'Geoffrey' in the reference)
to theobject to which they refer. As yet, the enterprise entailing
"semantics" and
machines is philosophically absurd, but i don't think that's the discusion
that will forward the aim of ONTAC, nor especially important in the
furtherance of those aims.
Machine "semantics" is not a full bodied semantics, surely we know that?
Why do I keep on refering to Klempner? Because I am slightly familiar with
his work and know he has made a life times work out of making philosophy
relevant and available to people, but without shirking either the need for
clarity or facing difficult issues.
I am within my rights to make such an appeal for clarity and facing the
issues here as the least I would expect in dealing with this complex subject
matter.
Adam

On 26/05/06, Pdm <editor@content-wire.com> wrote:
>
>
> Adam!
> Sorry thate conceptual freedom and loose language  make you
> unconfortable. They too are necessary to research.
> I am not aware of any tight dialectic or rigid requirementes to post to
> this forum, but forgive me if I am mistaken
> Here I think we are trying to establish what is true, and and what
> constructs can best represent  that. Not easy.
> I am not sure I have got the right language, but I did not think someone
> in this forum could be so stiff /
> Apols -  PDM.
>
> /*
>
> *//*Speculation to the heretic, theology to the orthodox But the **dust
> of the **rose-**petal **belongs to the heart of the perfume-seller. */
> Ab_'l Fazl
>
>
>
>
> (continue not established dialectic)
>
> I think we should try not to mistake our own ignorance as other people'
> arrogance, especially when something does not appear relevant
> to us because we do not understand it and lack the appropriate
> references. It happens to all of us,.
> A post in an intersciplinary forum - unless a clear and stated
> pre-requirement - does not have to adhere to the  specification you
> describe below to be a relevant contribution.
>
> >
> > Is the interlocutor contributing anything new?
>
> A new perspective? A new idea?A thought?  Is this relevant in your
> dimension?
>
> > Are they offering a novel explanation that clarifies things for
> > people, maybe irrespective of their own level?
>
> Maybe they are just asking a question, that will in turn lead to an
> explanation...or is this not allowed ?
>
> > Do they draw on the accepted work of past experts who have built the
> > foundations to the field?
>
> Maybe they will in the next post, if you don not intimidate them too
> much....
>
> > Are their contribution pithy and to the point
>
> Depending what metrics . I dont think yours is, on this occasion.
>
> > Are they able to highlight explicit technical details in context and
> > with relevant examples?
>
> Maybe yes, or maybe no - but they are under no obligation to do so.Maybe
> if you ask politely......:-)
>
> >
> > If one is to speak of the foundations of the field I would expect
> > learned references to Frege, Russel, Peirce, Wittgenstein, Ayers,
> > Austin, Dummett, Grice and many others.
>
> Exactly, many others. How much time have you got? I am rather busy today
> but maybe next time
> What about if I just mention the ones that I am familiar with?Problem
> with that?
>
> > The point is that this is just not the forum for that, and what comes
> > across is inferior philosophy
>
> Are you talking about mine being inferior, or yours?
>
> > out of context of any established dialectic,
>
> Established? I do not see anything set in stone yet, sorry. And I do not
> do dialectics, sorry
>
> > foisted upon a reluctant audience.
>
> you dont have to approve of all the posts that you dont  like -
>
> > I don't think that anyone in this forum has so far demonstrated the
> > relevance of the philosophical investigation to the activity of
> > typical participants on this forum.
>
> demonstrated? you mean you want me to demostrate the relevance of
> philosophy to semantics? I am sure I have got a lot of catching up to
> do, and so do you
>
> > That is not to say it isn't relevant, but to establish this you would
> > have to adhere to a strict and well thought out regime.
>
> Strict Regime? Ah, that's what you do, sorry I dont do too strict
> regimes these days.
> I think we need adaptable boundaries to capture the essence of
> scientific truth, but we can talk about it on a separate forum perhaps?
>
>
> > From that point of view there is a rational behind the BCNGroup. But I
> > remain sceptical. While Grice cuts to the quick, you may recollect
> > that he was notorious for a. succinct notation and b. a lack of
> > algorithms. b. simply wasn't part of his approach since he was
> > concerned with logical analysis. Unless the case can be made for
> > machine computation achieved on the basis of a broad logic but without
> > algorithms that can be reduced to binary logic then there seems to be
> > no immediate connection between these ruminations and the purpose of
> > this list. That means that the appropriate place for them is a
> > philosophical forum.
> > However, I think that they may well be shot down on such a forum.
> > Philosophers work hard at their statements, or else there is just no
> > point.
> > This is a taste of real philosophical dialectic, but open to anyone to
> > participate in (obviously a short extract, out of context):-
> >
> >     I was hoping that someone with expertise on Islamic philosophy
> >     would respond to a question which came in a whole month ago from a
> >     Ms Zahedi, a PhD student. She wants to know how one might compare
> >     the problem of essence in Frege (1848—1925) and the Islamic
> >     philosopher Avicenna (980—1037). My only clue, from an utterly
> >     impregnable article in the /Oxford Companion to Philosophy/ is
> >     that one of Avicenna's 'two best-known formulations' is:
> >
> >         *the ontological distinction between essence and existence, in
> >         which the essences of existing entities cannot be explained as
> >         actualized forms of their material potentialities without an
> >         existing cause whose existence, while coexistent with the
> >         caused and perceived essence, is prior in rank.*
> >
> >     I have read this extract a dozen times, and still it makes about
> >     as much sense to me as 'Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre
> >     and gimble in the wabe'. The author of the article, a certain Prof
> >     Hossein Ziai from UCLA, would evidently be the best person to
> >     answer Ms Zahedi's question — assuming, of course, that Prof Ziai
> >     knows somewhat more about Frege than I know about Avicenna.
> >
> >     But I've a good hunch what this is about. The essence of a thing,
> >     in Fregean terms, consists in the /concepts/ under which it falls.
> >     If you take a physical entity, say, an elephant, there is an
> >     open-ended list of concepts under which it might be classified:
> >     '_is an elephant', '_weighs over two tons', '_lives at London
> >     Zoo', '_likes apples' and so on. Suppose that you made up a long
> >     list. If you showed someone the list, they could still ask, 'Does
> >     this entity which you have described /exist?/
> >
> >     Frege, following Kant, denied that existence is a concept under
> >     which some thing might, or might not fall. Existence is not a
> >     predicate.
> >
> > from http://www.pathways.plus.com/glasshouse/notebook/page72.html
> >  And about what philosophers expect of one another :-
> >
> >     Dummett has thought more deeply than most academic philosophers
> >     about the fundamental questions of the philosophy of logic and the
> >     philosophy of language. But his 'rules' theory of concepts is
> >     wrong (in my view). Since most philosophers' theories are wrong,
> >     that is the least serious criticism one could make of him as a
> >     philosopher! The theory itself poses little threat, largely
> >     because so few persons are able to really understand it! (myself
> >     included, at least on some days).
> >
> >     I did have the opportunity to put my objection to Dummett's
> >     account of the mechanism of the criticism of concepts in terms of
> >     changing the 'rules for use' directly to him at a seminar in
> >     Oxford once. His response was along the lines of, 'I don't know
> >     what to say about that.' It is a measure of his elevated stature
> >     (the 'seminar' was more like a lecture audience packed with dons
> >     and graduate students) that he could get away with that reply!
> >
> > from http://www.pathways.plus.com/glasshouse/notebook/page72.html
> >
> > I would say that, by any one's standards, this manner of expression is
> > open, appealing and intelligible. But it invites a thinking process
> > that doesn't quite fit in this forum, or any forum I am aware of with
> > a technical bent.
> > I do not think, by way of contrast, that the vague, obscure and
> > impenetrable qualifies for inclusion in this forum just because it
> > seems to be touching on issues addressed here by way of common
> > concepts such as ontology and so forth. I think it just qualifies as
> > bad philosophy with all the arrogance that implies.
> >
> > Adam Saltiel
> >
> > On 25/05/06, * Pdm* <editor@content-wire.com
> > <mailto:editor@content-wire.com>> wrote:
> >
> >
> >     Azamat
> >     thanks a lot for the interesting and detailed exposition below, from
> >     which I learn
> >
> >     Maybe because I have studied with a leading semiologist ( Umberto
> >     Eco),
> >     but I would argue that what you refer to in parts of your definition
> >     below woudl be best called semiotics (science of signes and
> >     symbols) and
> >     not semantics.
> >     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics
> >     <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics>
> >
> >     To me semantics is the meaning of words, and semiotis is the
> >     meaning of
> >     non verbal communication, ie signs and symbols
> >     Please correct me where I am wrong,
> >
> >     Paola Di Maio
> >
> >     > Ken,
> >     > Essentially determining the nature of meaning (and
> >     significance), this
> >     > matter is the core issue not only for a unified computing
> >     ontology but
> >     > also for the machine processed semantics, the key element of the
> >     > semantic web. For signs (as the words of different languages)
> >     must be
> >     > related to concepts and ontological entities only by a many-to-one
> >     > relationship: from the words of natural languages (or the symbols
> of
> >     > formal ontology languages) to the concepts of the mind (the
> >     constructs
> >     > of knowledge machines) to the categories of ontology (the kinds of
> >     > things in the world). As an example, consider the class of
> >     > relationship, which can expressed by as many names as
> 'connection',
> >     > 'association', 'link', 'reference', 'regard', 'tie', 'bond'; or
> >     > indicated by as many verbs as 'to relate', 'associate', link',
> >     'link
> >     > up', 'connect', 'tie-in', 'colligate', 'refer', pertain',
> 'concern',
> >     > 'bear on', etc. Or, take the class of events expressed by as many
> >     > words as 'happening', 'occurrence', 'occurrent', 'contingency',
> >     > 'outcome', 'effect', 'issue', 'upshot', 'result', etc. For
> instance,
> >     > the process (event) of fire is that significance which the name
> >     'fire'
> >     > has when it denotes the natural phenomenon. There is a plenty of
> >     > natural languages using their specific signs for this process,
> >     > nevertheless having always the same signification, since the
> concept
> >     > of fire is the same and the human experience is the same,
> >     regardless
> >     > of its numerous expressions in different natural or artificial
> >     > languages: 'fire', 'Feuer', 'ogon', etc..
> >     >
> >     > So, semantic system may be constructed as a formal semantics or as
> a
> >     > more comprehensive and consistent, real world semantics; namely:
> >     >
> >     > **
> >     >
> >     > *Formal Semantic System = sign (symbol) system (the SW
> >     languages, XML,
> >     > RDF, OWL) + axioms (mathematical or formal logical) + designation
> >     > rules (the semantic function from the set of language
> >     expressions into
> >     > the collection of constructs)*
> >     >
> >     > *Real Semantic System = sign (symbol) system + axioms
> (ontological,
> >     > mathematical, formal logical) + designation rules + semantic
> >     > assumptions (the reference function from constructs to real
> objects
> >     > cum the representation function from constructs to the state
> >     spaces of
> >     > the world) (ontological entities).*
> >     >
> >     > Thus, unlike the formal Semantic Web, the real Semantic Web
> includes
> >     > the correspondence (reification) rules from constructs to real
> >     world
> >     > entities (semantic assumptions), which parallels the semantic
> >     systems
> >     > of natural and social sciences.
> >     >
> >     > As a consequence, the Real Semantic Web (or the world wide
> >     intelligent
> >     > Web) as the pinnacle of ontological semantic technology involves a
> >     > grand trio of knowledge domains making the Knowledge Trinity:
> >     >
> >     > 1. The world science of Ontology caring the real entities,
> >     underlying
> >     > constraints, principles, truths, and strategic rules;
> >     >
> >     > 2. Semantics managing the whole works of meanings;
> >     >
> >     > 3. Syntax doing business with languages, the signs, and the rules
> of
> >     > meaningful constructions.
> >     >
> >     > As in the Holy Trinity, each member of the Knowledge Trinity has
> >     its
> >     > unique goal and role. The goal of ontology is to formulate the
> >     overall
> >     > patterns and fundamental laws of the universe, while its role is
> to
> >     > set the world models, rules, and reasoning algorithms for advanced
> >     > information technology. Syntax supplies the totality of signs,
> >     marks,
> >     > and expressions as formal or natural languages with their
> operation,
> >     > formation and transformation rules. Semantics is aimed to provide
> a
> >     > general theory of meaning relations between signs, constructs and
> >     > things, assigning signification to syntactic structures and
> meanings
> >     > to conceptual structures. So, semantics integrates the totality of
> >     > signs, signals or symbols, the domain of knowledge, and the
> universe
> >     > of ontological entities and relationships into a comprehensive
> >     > knowledge and reasoning context (a unified ontology framework),
> >     > serving as the world modeling framework for all sorts of emerging
> >     > intellectual information and communications technologies.
> >     >
> >     > Azamat Abdoullaev
> >     > http://www.eis.com.cy <http://www.eis.com.cy>
> >     > ----- Original Message -----
> >     > From: "Ken Ewell" <mitioke@readware.com
> >     <mailto:mitioke@readware.com> <mailto: mitioke@readware.com
> >     <mailto:mitioke@readware.com>>>
> >     > To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <ontac-forum@colab.cim3.net
> >     <mailto:ontac-forum@colab.cim3.net>
> >     > <mailto: ontac-forum@colab.cim3.net
> >     <mailto:ontac-forum@colab.cim3.net>>>
> >     > Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 7:26 AM
> >     > Subject: Re: [ontac-forum] What should be in an upper-level
> ontology
> >     >
> >     > > JS> Words must be related to ontologies, but that mapping is a
> >     complex
> >     > > many-to-many [or one?] relationship between the words of any
> >     natural
> >     > > language and the categories of an ontology.
> >     > >
> >     > > No doubt. Words must be related to ontologies. It is many to
> >     many and
> >     > > one to one. depending only on the given.
> >     > >
> >     > >> JS > .any upper level should be as *neutral* as possible. The
> >     upper
> >     > >> levels should have very few axioms.
> >     > >>
> >     > > No doubt. I did not offer axioms in the previous post. It does
> >     not mean
> >     > > I do not have them. Consider an axiom that defines a set, named,
> >     > > appropriately, {self, others} and what falls between.
> >     > >
> >     > >> JS > A truly neutral upper level should avoid any commitment
> >     to what
> >     > >> is considered essential vs. what is considered accidental.
> >     > >>
> >     > >>
> >     > >>
> >     > >> CONFUSING STATEMENTS
> >     > >>
> >     > >> JS > the upper level is much less important than the mid and
> >     lower
> >     > >> levels. Don't waste more time and money on things that don't
> >     matter.
> >     > >>
> >     > > I do not know exactly. My experience is that I was given the
> upper
> >     > > level while the lower levels, though muddled, were made to
> >     experience
> >     > > and made to fit, as it were. Just the knowledge of the upper
> >     level made
> >     > > things in the lower and middle layers fit -- that, in my mind,
> >     may not
> >     > > have fit before; I learned. I did not alter my way of thinking
> >     in that
> >     > > I adapted to new facts.
> >     > >
> >     > > -Ken Ewell
> >     > >
> >     > >
> _________________________________________________________________
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> >     <
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> >
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> >
> >
> >
> >
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>
Received on Friday, 26 May 2006 22:03:02 UTC

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