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

Good point! The reason why I stressed the community aspect of an ontology is
that it needs commitment by the community necessary for achieving the given
purpose, and that an ontology created by someone in his/her room but *for a
bigger audience* is unlikely to achieve such consensus. 

However, I agree that even a local conceptualization (= personal ontology)
makes a lot of sense, since then you have at least a conceptualization that
can be a starting point for mediation. Fausto Giunchiglia is doing a lot of
work in this direction, see

A personal ontology has full commitment of the target community, which is
solely its creator.

In the continuum of "one ontology for the world" and "one individual
ontology for everyone", I am much more on your side.

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-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Marja Koivunen
Sent: Donnerstag, 12. Jšnner 2006 19:55
Subject: Re: [semanticweb] how to explain to humans the term ontology or the
name of the rose

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.


Received on Thursday, 12 January 2006 19:10:26 UTC