Re: [SPAM] Re: [ontac-forum] Semantics and Ontology ? and semiotics?

From the Pragmatism point of view Ontology and "existence" have some
"relativity" features. The ontology itself refers to what humans have agreed
to call "existing" and what can be operated following the same rules as formulated
in our language. We separate mind from matter for communication
purposes - . It is a core in
modern development of the Peirce's ideas. Suppose such new
developments (biosemiotics for example) must be taken into account.

Leonid  Ototsky -

> I think there is a lot of confusion around in what is a complex field.
> But you have to judge a contribution by its quality.
> Is the interlocutor contributing anything new?
> Are they offering a novel explanation that clarifies things for
> people, maybe irrespective of their own level?
> Do they draw on the accepted work of past experts who have built the foundations to the field?
> Are their contribution pithy and to the point?
> Are they able to highlight explicit technical details in context and with relevant examples?

> If one is to speak of the foundations of the field I would
> expectlearned references to Frege, Russel, Peirce, Wittgenstein,
> Ayers,Austin, Dummett, Grice and many others.
> The point is that this is just not the forum for that, and what
> comesacross is inferior philosophy out of context of any
> establisheddialectic, foisted upon a reluctant audience. I don't
> think that anyonein this forum has so far demonstrated the relevance
> of thephilosophical investigation to the activity of typical
> participants onthis forum. That is not to say it isn't relevant, but
> to establish thisyou would have to adhere to a strict and well
> thought out regime. Fromthat point of view there is a rational
> behind the BCNGroup. But Iremain sceptical. While Grice cuts to the
> quick, you may recollect thathe was notorious for a. succinct
> notation and b. a lack of algorithms.b. simply wasn't part of his
> approach since he was concerned withlogical analysis. Unless the
> case can be made for machine computationachieved on the basis of a
> broad logic but without algorithms that canbe reduced to binary
> logic then there seems to be no immediateconnection between these
> ruminations and the purpose of this list. Thatmeans that the
> appropriate place for them is a philosophical forum.
> However, I think that they may well be shot down on such a
> forum.Philosophers work hard at their statements, or else there is
> just nopoint.
> This is a taste of real philosophical dialectic, but open to
> anyone toparticipate in (obviously a short extract, out of context):-
> I was hoping that someone with expertise on Islamic philosophy
> wouldrespond to a question which came in a whole month ago from a Ms
> Zahedi,a PhD student. She wants to know how one might compare the
> problem ofessence in Frege (18481925) and the Islamic philosopher
> Avicenna(9801037). My only clue, from an utterly impregnable
> article in the Oxford Companion to Philosophy is that one of
> Avicenna's 'two best-known formulations' is: 

> the ontological distinction between essence andexistence, in
> which the essences of existing entities cannot beexplained as
> actualized forms of their material potentialities withoutan existing
> cause whose existence, while coexistent with the caused andperceived
> essence, is prior in rank.

> I have read this extract a dozen times, and still it makes about
> asmuch sense to me as 'Twas brillig and the slithy toves did gyre
> andgimble in the wabe'. The author of the article, a certain Prof
> HosseinZiai from UCLA, would evidently be the best person to answer
> MsZahedi's question  assuming, of course, that Prof Ziai knows
> somewhatmore about Frege than I know about Avicenna. 

> But I've a good hunch what this is about. The essence of a thing,
> in Fregean terms, consists in the conceptsunder which it falls. If
> you take a physical entity, say, an elephant,there is an open-ended
> list of concepts under which it might beclassified: '_is an
> elephant', '_weighs over two tons', '_lives atLondon Zoo', '_likes
> apples' and so on. Suppose that you made up a longlist. If you
> showed someone the list, they could still ask, 'Does thisentity
> which you have described exist?

> Frege, following Kant, denied that existence is a concept
> underwhich some thing might, or might not fall. Existence is not
> apredicate. 

> from
> And about what philosophers expect of one another :-

> Dummetthas thought more deeply than most academic philosophers
> about thefundamental questions of the philosophy of logic and the
> philosophy oflanguage. But his 'rules' theory of concepts is wrong
> (in my view).Since most philosophers' theories are wrong, that is
> the least seriouscriticism one could make of him as a philosopher!
> The theory itselfposes little threat, largely because so few persons
> are able to reallyunderstand it! (myself included, at least on some
> days).   
> Idid have the opportunity to put my objection to Dummett's
> account ofthe mechanism of the criticism of concepts in terms of
> changing the'rules for use' directly to him at a seminar in Oxford
> once. Hisresponse was along the lines of, 'I don't know what to say
> about that.'It is a measure of his elevated stature (the 'seminar'
> was more like alecture audience packed with dons and graduate
> students) that he couldget away with that reply! 

> from

> I would say that, by any one's standards, this manner of
> expression isopen, appealing and intelligible. But it invites a
> thinking processthat doesn't quite fit in this forum, or any forum I
> am aware of with atechnical bent.
> I do not think, by way of contrast, that the vague, obscure
> andimpenetrable qualifies for inclusion in this forum just because
> itseems to be touching on issues addressed here by way of common
> conceptssuch as ontology and so forth. I think it just qualifies as
> badphilosophy with all the arrogance that implies.

> Adam Saltiel

> On 25/05/06, Pdm <> wrote:

> Azamat
> thanks a lot for the interesting and detailed exposition below, from
> which I learn

> Maybe because I have studied with a leading semiologist ( Umberto Eco),
> but I would argue that what you refer to in parts of your definition
> below woudl be best called semiotics (science of signes and symbols) and
> not semantics.

> To me semantics is the meaning of words, and semiotis is the meaning of
> non verbal communication, ie signs and symbols
> Please correct me where I am wrong,

> Paola Di Maio

>> Ken,
>> Essentially determining the nature of meaning (and significance), this
>> matter is the core issue not only for a unified computing ontology but
>> also for the machine processed semantics, the key element of the
>> semantic web. For signs (as the words of different languages) must be
>> related to concepts and ontological entities only by a many-to-one
>> relationship: from the words of natural languages (or the symbols of
>> formal ontology languages) to the concepts of the mind (the constructs
>> of knowledge machines) to the categories of ontology (the kinds of
>> things in the world). As an example, consider the class of
>> relationship, which can expressed by as many names as 'connection',
>> 'association', 'link', 'reference', 'regard', 'tie', 'bond'; or
>> indicated by as many verbs as 'to relate', 'associate', link', 'link
>> up', 'connect', 'tie-in', 'colligate', 'refer', pertain', 'concern',
>> 'bear on', etc. Or, take the class of events expressed by as many
>> words as 'happening', 'occurrence', 'occurrent', 'contingency',
>> 'outcome', 'effect', 'issue', 'upshot', 'result', etc. For instance,
>> the process (event) of fire is that significance which the name 'fire'
>> has when it denotes the natural phenomenon. There is a plenty of
>> natural languages using their specific signs for this process,
>> nevertheless having always the same signification, since the concept
>> of fire is the same and the human experience is the same, regardless
>> of its numerous expressions in different natural or artificial
>> languages: 'fire', 'Feuer', 'ogon', etc..
>> So, semantic system may be constructed as a formal semantics or as a
>> more comprehensive and consistent, real world semantics; namely:
>> **
>> *Formal Semantic System = sign (symbol) system (the SW languages, XML,
>> RDF, OWL) + axioms (mathematical or formal logical) + designation
>> rules (the semantic function from the set of language expressions into
>> the collection of constructs)*
>> *Real Semantic System = sign (symbol) system + axioms (ontological,
>> mathematical, formal logical) + designation rules + semantic
>> assumptions (the reference function from constructs to real objects
>> cum the representation function from constructs to the state spaces of
>> the world) (ontological entities).*
>> Thus, unlike the formal Semantic Web, the real Semantic Web includes
>> the correspondence (reification) rules from constructs to real world
>> entities (semantic assumptions), which parallels the semantic systems
>> of natural and social sciences.
>> As a consequence, the Real Semantic Web (or the world wide intelligent
>> Web) as the pinnacle of ontological semantic technology involves a
>> grand trio of knowledge domains making the Knowledge Trinity:
>> 1. The world science of Ontology caring the real entities, underlying
>> constraints, principles, truths, and strategic rules;
>> 2. Semantics managing the whole works of meanings;
>> 3. Syntax doing business with languages, the signs, and the rules of
>> meaningful constructions.
>> As in the Holy Trinity, each member of the Knowledge Trinity has its
>> unique goal and role. The goal of ontology is to formulate the overall
>> patterns and fundamental laws of the universe, while its role is to
>> set the world models, rules, and reasoning algorithms for advanced
>> information technology. Syntax supplies the totality of signs, marks,
>> and expressions as formal or natural languages with their operation,
>> formation and transformation rules. Semantics is aimed to provide a
>> general theory of meaning relations between signs, constructs and
>> things, assigning signification to syntactic structures and meanings
>> to conceptual structures. So, semantics integrates the totality of
>> signs, signals or symbols, the domain of knowledge, and the universe
>> of ontological entities and relationships into a comprehensive
>> knowledge and reasoning context (a unified ontology framework),
>> serving as the world modeling framework for all sorts of emerging
>> intellectual information and communications technologies.
>> Azamat Abdoullaev
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Ken Ewell" < <>>
>> To: "ONTAC-WG General Discussion" <
>> <>>
>> Sent: Monday, May 22, 2006 7:26 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ontac-forum] What should be in an upper-level ontology
>> > JS> Words must be related to ontologies, but that mapping is a complex
>> > many-to-many [or one?] relationship between the words of any natural
>> > language and the categories of an ontology.
>> >
>> > No doubt. Words must be related to ontologies. It is many to many and
>> > one to one. depending only on the given.
>> >
>> >> JS > .any upper level should be as *neutral* as possible. The upper
>> >> levels should have very few axioms.
>> >>
>> > No doubt. I did not offer axioms in the previous post. It does not mean
>> > I do not have them. Consider an axiom that defines a set, named,
>> > appropriately, {self, others} and what falls between.
>> >
>> >> JS > A truly neutral upper level should avoid any commitment to what
>> >> is considered essential vs. what is considered accidental.
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> JS > the upper level is much less important than the mid and lower
>> >> levels. Don't waste more time and money on things that don't matter.
>> >>
>> > I do not know exactly. My experience is that I was given the upper
>> > level while the lower levels, though muddled, were made to experience
>> > and made to fit, as it were. Just the knowledge of the upper level made
>> > things in the lower and middle layers fit -- that, in my mind, may not
>> > have fit before; I learned. I did not alter my way of thinking in that
>> > I adapted to new facts.
>> >
>> > -Ken Ewell
>> >
>> > _________________________________________________________________
>> > Message Archives:
>> > To Post:
>> > Subscribe/Unsubscribe/Config:
>> > Shared Files:
>> > Community Wiki:
>> >



Received on Friday, 26 May 2006 15:10:49 UTC