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Re: Can we agree on triples ?

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Fri, 6 Apr 2001 18:21:15 -0700
Message-Id: <v0421010cb6eff38b97c4@[130.107.66.237]>
To: "Seth Russell" <seth@robustai.net>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>From: "Drew McDermott" <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>
>
> > There is no problem with considering triples as S-expressions.  The
> > problem is considering them as S-expressions *and* as a formal
> > descriptive language simultaneously.
> >
> > Suppose someone suggests the use of Unicode as a formal language, along
> > the following lines.  Let the letter "l" stand for "lives in."  Let
> > "W" stand for George W. Bush.  Let "D" stand for Washington, D.C.
> > Let "T" stand for Tony Blair, and "L" for London.  Let "t" stand for
> > `taller than.'  And so forth.  Make sure every printing character is
> > assigned a meaning.  Now take any string and divide it into groups of
> > three characters, and assign to "pqr" the meaning "the relation
> > denoted by p holds between the object denoted by q and the object
> > denoted by r."  The whole string then stands for the conjunction of
> > the propositions denoted by the letter triples.  So the string
> > "lWDlTLtTW" means "George W. Bush lives in Washington, D.C., Tony
> > Blair lives in London, and Tony Blair is taller than George W. Bush."
> > Call this scheme URF, for "Unicode Representation Format."
>
>There is a word for that concept ... "supervenience"  ... see Chalmers [1].

That isn't really quite right. Supervenience refers to a relation 
between theories which has a rather complicated philosophical 
definition (it is like being translateable to, except that the 
translation can vary from moment to moment, eg the notion of 
temperature is supervenient on molecular motion.). Drew is talking 
about something much simpler, which is assigning an interpretation to 
a language. It doesnt make sense to say that something supervenes on 
a language.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Saturday, 7 April 2001 03:30:08 GMT

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