Re: [ontac-forum] Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF reification)

On Thu, Mar 30, 2006 at 01:37:57PM +0300, Azamat wrote:
> Chris,
> It is a standard account of meaning dimensions from authoritative
> sources, dictionaries and references. 

Well, I wasn't objecting to the dimensions of meaning you identify so
much as the glosses you provided for them.

> But i am very intrigued to read your rendition from 'a great deal of
> the relevant literature.'
> Please find below very instructive works written by Mario Bunge (how to 
> formalize natural language, semantics and pragmatics within a single 
> foundation ontology):
> 1. Semantics I: Sense and Reference, D. Reidel Publishing Co.; Dordrecht, 
> Boston (1974)
> 2. Semantics II: Interpretation and Truth, D. Reidel Publishing Co.; 
> Dordrecht, Boston (1974)
> 3. 'The Relation of Logic and Semantics to Ontology', Journal of 
> Philosophical Logic N3, (1974)

Thank you for the suggestions, Azamat.  It seems to me that if you are
relying upon a single, rather idiosyncratic source like Bunge, it might
explain the disconnect here.  (Of course, you might be relying on
others, but the fact that you only cite Bunge suggests he has influenced
you significantly.)  In fact, I rather admire Bunge's work, especially
his emphasis on the construction of rigorous formal theories but, for
good or ill, he has not been terribly influential, and his ideas are
somewhat outside the mainstream.  I do not intend this to be dismissive
-- perhaps we should all be paying Bunge far more heed.  I am only
trying to explain my claim that your brief account of meaning did not
square well with "a great deal of the relevant literature".  My comments
about modality and intentionality in my response to you were based upon
the huge body of literature on modality, intentionality, intensional
logic, the semantics of natural language, and AI that has accumulated
since Frege, and which has grown exponentially since the development of
"Kripke" (i.e., "possible world") semantics, the culmination of the work
of Prior, Kanger, Hintikka, Dummett, and others in the 50s.  In addition
to Kripke's own work, I have in mind in particular the work of Montague,
Hintikka, Lewis, Kaplan, Stalnaker, Kamp, Putnam, Chisholm, Searle,
Salmon, van Benthem and others.  While it is true that the semantics of
statements involving intentional verbs indicating "mental attitudes
towards states, actions or changes" have been analyzed in terms of
Kripke semantics (e.g., Hintikka's account of belief, and applications
of it to AI by Moore, Halpern and others), there is simply not the sort
of essential connection between modality and the intentional attitudes
that you suggest, and the basic semantics of modal languages itself, as
reflected in the literature noted, has nothing whatever to do with them.
I thought it important to point this out, as your post suggested


Chris Menzel

> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "Chris Menzel" <>
> To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <>
> Cc: "Harry Halpin" <>; <>; 
> <>; "Adrian Walker" <>; 
> <>; "John F. Sowa" <sowa@BESTWEB.NET>
> Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2006 1:58 AM
> Subject: Re: [ontac-forum] Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF 
> reification)
> >On Thu, Mar 30, 2006 at 01:23:38AM +0300, Azamat wrote:
> >>The whole matter is not thus complicated as you think. The talking
> >>point is that meanings have several basic aspects or dimensions or
> >>quantities: extensional, intensional, pragmatic and modal.  Intension
> >>is about a primary meaning or significance, basic definition and
> >>content and all the essential implications and relations involved;
> >>while extension relates to special, child classes or individual
> >>entities. Modality implies mental attitudes towards states, actions or
> >>changes usually indicated by lexical verbs. Pragmatics is about
> >>sentence utterances in the context of discourse, human or machine.
> >>Thus additionally to syntactic and semantic aspects, there is a
> >>pragmatical meaning involving an agent's intentions and communicative
> >>acts and understanding of communication. As John Sowa defines: 'a sign
> >>is an entity that indicates (represents) another entity to some agent
> >>(a human, animal or robot) for some purpose', in [Ontology, Metadata,
> >>and Semiotics]
> >
> >You realize of course that all four of the notions you are describing
> >briefly above are fraught with controversy and, moreoever, that several
> >of your own glosses do not jibe with more or less standard treatments.
> >Notably, vast expanses of the modal landscape have nothing whatever to
> >do with mental attitudes (which are usually dealt with under the rubric
> >of "intentionality" with a "t").  It's all well and good that you have
> >your own account of how everything fits together, but it might be
> >beneficial at least to acknowledge that your account is your own, and
> >that it does not necessarily square with a great deal of the relevant
> >literature.
> >
> >Regards,
> >
> >Chris Menzel

Received on Thursday, 30 March 2006 23:13:34 UTC