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Program Semantics: available ontologies, taxonomies AND logics?

From: David Sallach <sallach@uchicago.edu>
Date: Mon, 01 Apr 2002 13:42:22 -0600
Message-Id: <200204011953.g31JrYV28756@allman.src.uchicago.edu>
To: cg@cs.uah.edu
Cc: SUO <standard-upper-ontology@IEEE.org>, Ontoweb <seweb-list@cs.vu.nl>, W3C Web Ontology WG <www-webont-wg@w3.org>, RDF <www-rdf-interest@w3.org>, protege-discussion <protege-discussion@smi.stanford.edu>, cg@cs.uah.edu
At 01:24 PM 4/1/02 -0500, John F. Sowa wrote:
>
>The preface of the best available book on knowledge representation
>discusses the following 3-way subdivision:
>
>    Knowledge representation is a multidisciplinary subject that applies
>    theories and techniques from three other fields:
>
>    1. Logic provides the formal structure and rules of inference.
>
>    2. Ontology defines the kinds of things that exist in the application
>       domain.
>
>    3. Computation supports the applications that distinguish knowledge
>       representation from pure philosophy.
>
	I hope it will not be disruptive for a long-time lurker to ask a question.
 Are 1) logic and 2) ontology as separable as the above subdivision
suggests?  That is, while I agree that formal structure and rules of
inference are highly desirable, it is less clear that logic itself has
reached a final, stable form.  Rather, while better defined than ontology,
logic may still be evolving as well and, in fact, may coevolve with
putative ontologies, in which case, the initial subdivision may be misleading.

	The particular initiative I have in mind is situation theory (and related
frameworks such as relevant logic and dynamic logic).  Because natural
language is one of the primary domains of situation theory, it addresses
many of the issues discusssed in the Program Semantics thread.  However, it
also attempts to extend predicate calculus by adding existential as well as
syntactic assertions and constraints.  We cannot yet know the ultimate
contributions of these movements, but is it not possible that some vexing
problems may be addressed most effectively by the emergence of novel
ontologies combined with innovative formalisms?

David Sallach
Received on Monday, 1 April 2002 14:49:36 GMT

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