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Re: article on URIs, is this material that can be used by the

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2007 17:49:13 -0500
Message-Id: <p06230915c2937e809735@[10.100.0.28]>
To: ht@inf.ed.ac.uk (Henry S. Thompson)
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>, www-tag@w3.org

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>Pat Hayes writes:
>
>>>Hmm?  What _does_ a thumbnail of an JPEG (of a) photograph of the
>>>Eiffel tower depict, if not the Eiffel tower?
>>
>>  It *depicts* the Eiffel tower. That does not make it a
>  > *representation* of the Eiffel tower, necessarily. It might be being
>>  used to represent almost anything.
>
>OK, so further to this and your previous response, care to define
>'represent', 'depict' and 'describe' as you would like to see them
>used in this kind of discourse?

'Describe' relates a textual or symbolic document to what it, well, 
describes. Its the basic relation between a symbolic text and some 
part of the (or a possible) world, aka a situation, aka an 
interpretation structure. It presumes that the describer has a 
symbolic, parsable, structure to which meaning can be attached. So in 
a game, for example, the Eiffel tower jpeg might be a symbol for a 
goal state the players are racing to attain.

'Depict' relates an image to what it is an image of. "Image" here can 
be construed broadly, to include audio "images" (sound tracks) for 
example. Cameras and recorders create depictions, but they can also 
be made by artists of course. Typically, depictions are not 
constructed from symbols, they have no syntax, and they represent by 
being in some sense similar to (a projection of) the thing they 
depict. In the literature often called a "direct" representation.

(Maps (in the cartographic sense) are an interesting border case. I 
think they are basically descriptive, symbolic, but they represent 
spatial location by a form of depiction. There are other border 
cases: labanotation, ASL - which uses arm gestures as partly 
depictive, partly symbolic. And real spoken language can often be 
used depictively, as in mimicry.)

'Represent' is an overarching term meaning any relationship between 
some information-bearing object and the thing or things it bears 
information about. It encompasses both the above and probably other 
things as well.

I think tag-represent is a very narrow, special case of depiction, in 
this scheme of things.

Pat


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Received on Monday, 11 June 2007 22:49:26 UTC

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