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Re: Meaning of URIRefs

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@w3.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Oct 2002 16:17:39 -0400 (EDT)
To: "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" <pfps@research.bell-labs.com>
cc: <sandro@w3.org>, <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>, <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.30.0210251610080.21521-100000@tux.w3.org>


On Fri, 25 Oct 2002, Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote:
> It also is extraordinarily difficult to make a distinction between
> definitional and non-definitional information.  For example, it is
> definitional that tigers are mammals?  It is definitional that tigers come
> from India?  It is definitional that tigers are an endangered species?  It
> is definitional that tigers are a symbol of royalty?  Is it definitional
> that tigers are to be revered?  Is it definitional that Tigger is a tiger?

I agree wholeheartedly. There's a huge literature in philosophy and the
cognitive sciences on Natural Kind definitions, categories etc. We really
really don't want to go there. Maybe in version 4.0, if any of us are
still going... ;-) Nah, even then, trying to say of a category which of
its characteristics are considered 'defining' vs 'descriptive' is a recipe
for building brittle systems, since subsequently realising that some
characteristic of a class was incidental rather than essential would
undermine all uses of that class. Some topics are too murky and social to
be worth formalising...

Dan


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Received on Friday, 25 October 2002 16:17:41 GMT

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