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Pandora's Box and Portia's Choice

From: Jon Awbrey <jawbrey@att.net>
Date: Mon, 06 Aug 2007 15:46:50 -0400
Message-ID: <46B77AAA.F223C52C@att.net>
To: SemWeb <semantic-web@w3.org>, Ontolog <ontolog-forum@ontolog.cim3.net>

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PH = Pat Hayes

Let us examine the following thesis, which I think is the nub,
or one of the rubs, of many discursive tensions both recent
and ancient.

PH: Exchanging terms defined using an assertional language at least
    holds out the hope of allowing information to be separated from
    the processes which use it, which seems to be a prerequisite for
    useful information exchange.

I was going to dub (drub?) this thesis with some such title as
"the fundamental error of impractical semantics", but on second
thought decided to be more diplomatic and sub [assumption/error],
and on third thought opted to be as consummately diplomatic as
possible and clothe my dagger in allusive cloakery.

By "impractical semantics" I should have meant the notion that
one can detach semantics from pragmatics so radically that it
is possible to treat them as separate modules, in effect, to
"hold out the hope of allowing information to be separated
from the processes which use it".

I think it makes sense to do this as much as possible,
but the hope of making an absolute separation is what
I would consider a delusive hope.

Jon Awbrey

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Received on Monday, 6 August 2007 19:47:18 GMT

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