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Re: Cross-ontologies reasoning

From: Jonathan Borden <jonathan@openhealth.org>
Date: Fri, 02 Jan 2004 14:22:53 -0500
Message-ID: <3FF5C50D.7090102@openhealth.org>
To: Jim Hendler <hendler@cs.umd.edu>
Cc: Drew McDermott <drew.mcdermott@yale.edu>, www-rdf-logic@w3.org

Jim Hendler wrote:

>
> Ontology 1:
>  beginTime(human) = conception.
>  necessarilybefore(conception, birth).
>
> Ontology 2:
>  beginTime(human) = birth.
>  necessarilybefore(conception, birth).

Aren't these simply two different definitions of something? You *could* 
try to equate them, but wouldn't that simply be a contradiction?

> or, perhaps
>
> KidsOntology
>  IsReal(Santa).
>
> AdultOntology
>  IsConceptual(Santa)
>  IsReal disjoint IsConceptual.

I guess that real people (as opposed to conceptual people) are just 
terrific at dealing with all sorts of incosistencies in the world 
(real+conceptual). Most real people don't know how to deal with 
mathematical logic, so, for them, this is no problem :-)

>
> Or, go back to the one I use in many of my talks -- there exists (or 
> used to exist) a web page claiming the number of cows in texas was 
> zero because they had been replaced with alien entities.  There are 
> other pages which claim the number is in the 100s of millions.  Both 
> agree with some partial axiomization of what a cow is, but surely any 
> naive merging of these would be inconsistent
>
Again, isn't this simply a contradiction? I say the cows in texas are 
real, and you say they are aliens -- we are using the term "cows in 
texas" to speak about entirely different "things", so to get this back 
to the "business entity" and "transactions discussion", suppose you 
purchase a (live) texas cow, to be delivered by Fedex, and it arrives -- 
are you pissed that it isn't an alien? Can you sue? Do ontologies have 
anything to help us here ... most courts would be perfectly amused by 
such a suit without any need for formal logic to assist :-)

Jonathan
Received on Friday, 2 January 2004 14:26:35 GMT

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