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Re: [semanticweb] how to explain to humans the term ontology or the name of the rose

From: Marja Koivunen <marja@annotea.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 13:54:36 -0500
Message-ID: <43C6A5EC.7090503@annotea.org>
To: semantic-web@w3.org
CC: semanticweb@yahoogroups.com

For a long time I have talked about the value of "personal ontologies" 
in addition to having more standard widely agreed upon ontologies and 
let people define their own concepts (they will do it anyway) until they 
are ready to share them with larger groups and/or try to learn the more 
standard concepts and what they mean in each person's own reality and 
link from their concepts to the standard concepts.

This is all because in my reality this makes sense and I readily accept 
that it may not make sense in some other people's reality and that's 
fine. My reality is not only dependent on my abilities to see things, 
hear things, feel things, smell and taste things and understand things 
based on the current wiring in my brain (with all my cultural bias) but 
also what I think is important for my current goals. I often like to 
simplify the reality when it makes sense. However, in addition I also 
would like to know and understand the exact reality with all the bits 
and pieces in their place, and so do a lot of other researchers who 
unfortunately have only come up with several models, none of which 
explains everything, some of which do fit  together and some of which  
are simplified to make their use easier as they are close enough in most 
of the cases.

So what's an ontology? I don't really know exactly, I just have my own 
approximations. Is it impossible to say "personal ontology" as I have 
been told many times? I have already said it many times so it was not 
totally impossible although it has created many discussions during the 
years. Now I'm starting to like the folksonomy concept for describing 
what I called "personal ontology" because in my reality it makes sense 
but most probably that's totally wrong too in some other realities.

Marja
Received on Thursday, 12 January 2006 18:55:03 UTC

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