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Re: URI for language identifiers

From: Miles Sabin <miles@milessabin.com>
Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2003 15:54:57 +0100
To: www-rdf-interest@w3.org
Message-Id: <200304011554.57853.miles@milessabin.com>

Peter F. Patel-Schneider wrote,
[snip: lots of stuff I agree with]
> For example, here is a view that I happen to subscribe to
>
> 	In any formal system, such as RDF, the denotation of a name
> 	(including URI references as a special case) is left unspecified.
> 	Statements in the formal system, including RDF statements, serve
> 	only as constraints on that denotation.  Any agent (including
> 	people) choose to believe certain statements, and thus every agent
> 	can potentially have a different view of the denotation of any
> 	particular name.

Same here ... tho' I'd add (and I'd guess you'd agree) that denotations 
can be imposed externally to the formal system in non-arbitrary ways 
which means that it makes sense (again, externally to the formal 
system) to describe arbitrary reassignments of denotations as 
idiosyncratic. For example reasonable people might differ about whether 
"http://www.w3.org/" denotes an organization, a web site or a web page, 
but asserting that it denotes the first poached egg consumed in Paris 
would be ... umm ... peculiar ;-)

Exactly how those external denotations come about is, of course, an 
interminable puzzle in the philosophy of language ... but as far as I'm 
concerned, any plausible answer has to accomodate both the use of the 
term within a language community and some kind of quasi-causal 
relationship between that use and the referent (ie. something midway 
between Wittgenstein II and Kripke/Putnam).

Cheers,


Miles
Received on Tuesday, 1 April 2003 09:55:04 GMT

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