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Re: Some DAML clarification

From: Drew McDermott <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 17:47:54 -0500 (EST)
Message-Id: <200204052247.g35Mlse15738@pantheon-po01.its.yale.edu>
To: abcharl@maltanet.net
CC: drew.mcdermott@yale.edu, www-rdf-logic@w3.org

   [Charlie Abela]
      A question that has been haunting me these days is how, if
   possible, to match within an ontology, the premise and its
   conclusion. Inferencing must play a role here, but still there has
   to be some declared form of connection between the two.

   I don't understand this part
   of your e-mail.  Can you

   I mean the following;

   Every rule will have a means of declaring its premises and
   conclusion, as in the example listed earlier.  Now assuming that
   some form of reasoner is going to be used.  And given a premise (
   such as one containing a triple) the reasoner must match with a
   premise/ or premises in a particular rule and infer its
   conclusion. How will this inference come about?  I am not sure how
   this process should be handled. Should there be some property in a
   basic rules ontology that connects a premise to a particular
   conclusion ? Sort of

     Premise A
    Conclusion B

   And in the basic ontology there would be defined in some way that:
   Premise leadsTo Conclusion So inference engine upon given Premise A
   will try to find a rule that matches this Premise and the infer its

   Hope I am not making a mess out of this and have explained more the

It sounds like you have fallen prey to the "Achilles and Tortoise"
fallacy described by Lewis Carroll.  Perhaps someone can post a
pointer to an online copy of it, you can read it, and Enlightenment
will settle over you.

The fallacy is to suppose that because a rule says "From P conclude
Q," there must be another rule somewhere that says "If a rule says
'From P conclude Q', and you have concluded P, then you must conclude
Q."  An infinite regress suddenly yawns before us.

The most remarkable example of the fallacy I ever came across was in
an otherwise good book about programmed cell death and other
biological wonders, where the author made the suggestion that
somewhere deep inside DNA there is a message saying "Reproduce!"

                                             -- Drew McDermott
Received on Friday, 5 April 2002 17:48:08 UTC

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