W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-rdf-logic@w3.org > May 2001

RE: What do the ontologists want

From: pat hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2001 18:17:24 -0500
Message-Id: <v04210116b727679a0774@[205.160.76.173]>
To: Miles Sabin <MSabin@interx.com>
Cc: www-rdf-logic@w3.org
>Leo Obrst wrote,
> > Pat is correct, however, in that the quoted material is really in a
> > different language and as such is syntactically only a string,
> > without known semantics (or only string semantics).
>
>Hmm ... I agree with that. My only quibble with pat centres on his
>statement that quotation, with or without syntactic structure, is of
>limited value. If we want to be able to assign an interpretation it's
>essential.

I agree. I should express myself more carefully. Remember this debate 
arises in the RDF context.  Without reification, RDF consists of 
conjunctions of ground atoms. Not a very expressive language, to put 
it mildly. Somewhere much further along a spectrum of formal language 
richness and utility, reification will probably be very useful. 
However, RDF has a long way to go before reification should be 
needed, and it shouldn't be (mis)using reification to get there. 
Using reification to encode attribution (as in the "Ora says 
(that)..." examples) is a debateable issue; I concede: I think its 
better to think of this as more like a propositional attitude or a 
modality, but maybe reification is workable, if one takes care to 
avoid the Montague difficulties.  But to try to use reification for 
negation or quantifiers is just plain dumb.

Pat Hayes

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Received on Tuesday, 15 May 2001 19:17:29 UTC

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