W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > September 2001

Re: Dealing with changing referents (was: Re: Working on glossary)

From: Jeremy Carroll <jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Sep 2001 12:28:02 +0100
To: <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <JAEBJCLMIFLKLOJGMELDEECKCCAA.jjc@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Pat:
> The RDF model theory as it stands simply does not support the notion
> of an URI meaning 'the current weather report'. There is no notion of
> 'current'  or 'now' or 'at the time of accessing' in the semantics.

I have tried to keep out of a discussion that seems to me to be a red
herring.

All human communication suffers from the problems being discussed here.

In a more mathematical setting, such as the model theory, we tend to gloss
over some of those problems, by making, generally false, assumptions, such
as time-invariance.

Saussaure and others have made the well-known division of the sign into the
signifier and the signified, and we seem to be struggling over well worn
paths.

For me this boils down to:

RDF makes statements using URI refs as its words, Resources are the things
referred to by these words. All languages that try to refer to a wide range
of things there are philosophical problems with how such reference happens.
In practice, these problems should be ignored (except by professional
philosophers). As in all languages, more or less anything can be referred to
using a URI ref. RDF does not restrict the act of reference in any way. As
in all languages, words that are intended to refer to inappropriate concepts
will be found to be less than useful, but are not illegal.
A concept that is practically useful is appropriate one that isn't useful is
not appropriate.

Pragmatically

Jeremy
Received on Thursday, 13 September 2001 07:28:05 EDT

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