W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > October 2002

Re: Semantics of non-datatyped literals: Rationale (version 2)

From: Jos De_Roo <jos.deroo.jd@belgium.agfa.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Oct 2002 00:09:29 +0200
To: "Brian McBride <bwm" <bwm@hplb.hpl.hp.com>
Cc: Sergey Melnik <melnik@db.stanford.edu>, RDF Core <w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org>, w3c-rdfcore-wg-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OF3B9E3FC0.DB41E759-ONC1256C47.007787C9-C1256C47.0079B84D@agfa.be>


[...]

>entails
>
>    <jenny> foo:age      _:l .
>    <film>  foo:shoeSize _:l .

>I believe we all agree this entailment holds.
>
>
>>apparently meaning that Jenny's age is the same as John's shoe size.
>
>'Apparently' being the key word.  But your argument seems to contain the
>logical fallicy that you have taken an abstract token (well two actually,
>"age" and "shoesize") that name an abtract logical thing and inserted them

>directly into a natural language sentence and are then suggesting
>inconsistency.   That is too easy a game to play:
>
>   <John> foo:isa foo:girl.
>
>apparently saying that John isa girl.
>
>There is a famous paper I recall reading, by Drew McDermott I think, (I
>don't have a reference to hand) which makes the point that one must be
>careful about reading things into the text names we give things that are
>not really there in the logic.  Neither FOL nor a machine interprets the
>tokens "age" or "shoesize" as having anything to do with time or feet.
>
>It is a useful test in cases like this, to replace those terms that might
>be suggestive to a human, with meaningless terms:
>
>   <a> <b> _:l .
>   <c> <d> _:l .
>
>and see if your argument still holds.

Brian, this is hitting the nail and as Pat wrote

[[[
A good exercise for anyone dealing with a formal ontology
is to replace every 'word' by a meaningless string, and
then try to understand the assertions in the ontology.
Because the ontology means *exactly the same* as far as
any software is concerned.
]]]
-- http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/www-archive/2001Dec/0091.html

and that was for me a real lesson

-- ,
Jos De Roo, AGFA http://www.agfa.com/w3c/jdroo/
Received on Thursday, 3 October 2002 18:10:46 EDT

This archive was generated by hypermail pre-2.1.9 : Wednesday, 3 September 2003 09:52:22 EDT