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Re: New version of URI Declarations [Usage scenarios]

From: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Mar 2008 01:01:44 -0400
To: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>
Cc: John Cowan <cowan@ccil.org>, "Booth, David (HP Software - Boston)" <dbooth@hp.com>, "www-tag@w3.org" <www-tag@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20080315050144.GA6240@mercury.ccil.org>

Pat Hayes scripsit:

> Its strange to be on the other side of this debate from where I usually
> am, but it does seem to be that URIs are often treated (and thought of)
> more like NL names than formal identifiers. I don't mean to say this
> is right, only that it is a widespread intuition: and do, violating
> it so blatantly is likely to cause confusion.

You may be right at that.  I for my part find it funny to be on the
"wrong" side of this discussion, for I admit the force of all Kripke's
objections to the defining-properties view of reference -- but it can
be handy in practice.

> How can you possibly do that, when your URI has been (re)used by who
> knows how many other ontologies to refer to the moon?

So much the worse for them, I suppose, to use a URI coined by such an
improvident definer.  But really, I can hardly be held responsible for
the uses other people make of my names, any more than I can be held
responsible for the documents that link to mine.

> You may contradict anything you like. Hopefully, we can come to some
> sort of resolution in time and agree on the facts.

If two-way communication is possible, that is indeed a Good Thing.

> If not, there are several ways to resolve this. One, but only one, is
> for us to coin different URIs. But this is only the best way to proceed
> if it seems that we are in fact talking about different things. If we
> simply stubbornly disagree about the facts, then we should indeed have
> ontologies which stubbornly disagree.

Well, if James insists that the moon is made of unripened ("green")
cheese, and Roger that it is made of rather dark rock, there is a sense
in which the moons of which they conceive are two different things that
share a common appearance.

In any case, whether two people are talking of two things or of the
same thing may itself be a point in dispute, as the case of Southern
Zhuang shows.

> > But if I wanted to, I could, at least in principle, and that in all
> > possible worlds.
> 
> Thats quite a claim. I wouldn't dare say what I could or couldn't do
> in other possible worlds, myself.

That is, I could give n & s conditions valid in all possible worlds,
not that I in all possible worlds could do this.

-- 
John Cowan   http://ccil.org/~cowan  cowan@ccil.org
[P]olice in many lands are now complaining that local arrestees are insisting
on having their Miranda rights read to them, just like perps in American TV
cop shows.  When it's explained to them that they are in a different country,
where those rights do not exist, they become outraged.  --Neal Stephenson
Received on Saturday, 15 March 2008 05:02:21 GMT

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