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

From: Adrian Walker <adrianw@snet.net>
Date: Thu, 12 Jan 2006 20:46:32 -0500
Message-Id: <5.0.2.1.2.20060112195806.034e5030@pop.snet.net>
To: Asankhaya Sharma <asankhaya@yahoo.com>
Cc: semantic-web@w3.org, phismith@buffalo.edu

Hi All --

At 11:39 AM 1/12/2006 -0800,  Asankhaya Sharma wrote:
>it's impossible to express the thoughts unless we share the common language.

The playwright Tom Stoppard has an entertaining take on this.  He 
has  short play, based loosely on Wittgenstein and "language as 
use".  During the play, the audience learns an entirely new semantics of 
English by observing the action on stage.

That may not sound like comedy, until you hear that, in the new semantics, 
you can insult someone by calling them "bicycle!".  A mortal insult is 
"tricycle!".

While this aspect of language may sound a bit trivial, it could also have 
rather deep implications for writing and using ontologies.  The US National 
Center for Ontological Research is part rooted in the philosophy department 
at SUNYAB -- perhaps Professor Barry Smith would care to comment?

                                        -- Adrian



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Received on Friday, 13 January 2006 01:46:54 UTC

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