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

From: Pdm <editor@content-wire.com>
Date: Sat, 27 May 2006 09:41:42 +0100
Message-ID: <447810C6.6050900@content-wire.com>
To: adasal <adam.saltiel@gmail.com>
CC: semantic-web@w3.org

Adam

I think the first misunderstanding comes from the fact that I was not 
posting to Ontac direcly  by only in cc as a 'reply to all' button
As it looks interesting I ll make sue I ll look up the site, and stick 
to the charter in the future when I post there.

Just to get the rest of our spat into context: I made a simple 
observation whether 'semiotics' would be be more appropriate than 
'semantic' in a given
set of definitions that were being propagated. My post was a brief  
'what if' questions and was not meant to be a complete accurate finite 
sound conclusive piece of philosophical  thinking.  Sorry I am violating 
any posting rules that I am not aware of.

I think if its true the a distinction between semantics and semiotics 
could enhance our ontology (hypothesis) then my question is relvant to 
all knowledge domains.
I will post cc Ontac whenever I have a full paper on that

Hope to have more constructive exchanges in the future


PDM

> Actually I am all for conceptual freedom and lose language, but you 
> know this is like the criticism of Freud's free association: is it 
> really free?
> As to the term inferior philosophy what I meant was doing philosophy 
> badly, not that, in this context, one philosophy is superior to 
> another. But I will stand by the idea that doing philosophy can be 
> done better or worse, my self I am terrible because I am not a 
> philosopher. But I think what is being done here is doing ONTAC badly, 
> should be done as philosophy and hopefully would be done better than 
> what so far seems to me to be of little philosophical promise, but 
> then, what do I know?
> This is the ONTAC charter:-
>
>     • To keep each of its members aware of efforts similar to their
>     own, so as to reduce duplicative effort and rapidly disseminate
>     theoretical and practical knowledge about the creation and use of
>     knowledge classification and representation systems, especially as
>     related to governmental activities.    (2QP5)
>     <http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP5>
>
>
>     • To promote interoperability by identifying common concepts among
>     knowledge classifications developed by different groups, and by
>     creating mappings:    (2QP6)
>     <http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP6>
>
>         * o from individual domain classifications to the common upper
>           or mid-level ontologies;    (2QP7)
>           <http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP7>
>
>         * o from individual domain classifications to other domain
>           classifications.    (2QP8)
>           <http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP8>
>
>     • To identify, create, and share programs that use knowledge
>     classification systems, especially those that may help to evaluate
>     and compare the functionality of classifications.    (2QP9)
>     <http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QP9>
>
>     In support of these activities, the group will:    (2QPA)
>     <http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG#nid2QPA>
>
>     • Maintain, as a community, a common upper ontology and a set of
>     contexts and mid-level ontologies which will provide a mechanism
>     for resolution of questions as to which concepts in which
>     classifications are: identical to; different from but consistent
>     with; or logically incompatible with, those of other classifications;
>
> Perhaps you could explain to me how this investigation via "adaptable 
> boundaries to capture the essence of scientific truth" will lead to 
> any of the above aims and objectives, which seem to me to be quite 
> material goals.
>
>     demonstrated? you mean you want me to demostrate the relevance of
>     philosophy to semantics? I am sure I have got a lot of catching up to
>     do, and so do you
>
>
> There is absolutely no doubt that I would have a lot of catching up to 
> do if that were my aim, but demonstrating the relevance of philosophy 
> to semantics is such a broad goal as to be really ludicrous. It is 
> pretty much the same, by analogy, as demonstrating the relevance of 
> wetness to water - there is a hell of a lot that can be said about it, 
> but at the same time one knows them to be inextricably bound and not 
> needing demonstration.
> But you are avoiding the real issue which is how semantics can be 
> treated algorithmically, and that entails a very restricted sense of 
> semantics.
> From above:-
>
>     the creation and use of knowledge classification and
>     representation systems, especially as related to governmental
>     activities.
>
>
> I do not credit (any) government with great philosophical or 
> metaphysical drive, but I do think there is a job to be done. As I 
> say, show me I am wrong.
>
> You say:-
>
>     I think we should try not to mistake our own ignorance as other
>     people'
>     arrogance, especially when something does not appear relevant
>     to us because we do not understand it and lack the appropriate
>     references.
>
>
> But I think there is an arrogance here. You seem to want to play this 
> both ways. On the one hand I am stiff, formal, seek references and 
> quotes that might stiffle free discussion, and I intimidate, on the 
> other you tell me that actually I am ignorant and that i can't follow 
> what others are saying.
> Well I am telling you, you are failing to explain, you are failing to 
> make yourselves relevant and frankly, I think you are arrogant.
>
> Now, if we are talking philosophy, consider this:-   
>
>     Charlotte asked:  
>     What is Frege's puzzle? Why did he reject the metalinguistic
>     solution and change to reference and
>     sense? What is his second solution and does it work any better
>     than the first?
>     and Alex asked:
>     I'm writing an undergraduate essay about Frege, which is, "Is
>     sense a semantic property of singular
>     terms?" I would greatly appreciate any help on this subject as it
>     is very difficult and I don't understand
>     it!! Thank you.
>
>
> Klempner's answer, delivered with refreshing clarity, a complete lack 
> of guile and a disarming straightforwardness can be found at this link.
> http://www.philosophos.com/Knowledge_base/archives_9/philosophy_questions_913.html
> It is highly relevant to this forum. As I suspect, from the point of 
> view of philosophy the semantic web is absurd because of the reduction 
> of the semantic value of names ( e.g. 'Bruce' or 'Geoffrey' in the 
> reference) to the object to which they refer. As yet, the enterprise 
> entailing "semantics" and machines is philosophically absurd, but i 
> don't think that's the discusion that will forward the aim of ONTAC, 
> nor especially important in the furtherance of those aims.
> Machine "semantics" is not a full bodied semantics, surely we know that?
> Why do I keep on refering to Klempner? Because I am slightly familiar 
> with his work and know he has made a life times work out of making 
> philosophy relevant and available to people, but without shirking 
> either the need for clarity or facing difficult issues.
> I am within my rights to make such an appeal for clarity and facing 
> the issues here as the least I would expect in dealing with this 
> complex subject matter.
> Adam
>  
> On 26/05/06, *Pdm* <editor@content-wire.com 
> <mailto:editor@content-wire.com>> wrote:
>
>
>     Adam!
>     Sorry thate conceptual freedom and loose language  make you
>     unconfortable. They too are necessary to research.
>     I am not aware of any tight dialectic or rigid requirementes to
>     post to
>     this forum, but forgive me if I am mistaken
>     Here I think we are trying to establish what is true, and and what
>     constructs can best represent  that. Not easy.
>     I am not sure I have got the right language, but I did not think
>     someone
>     in this forum could be so stiff /
>     Apols -  PDM.
>
>     /*
>
>     *//*Speculation to the heretic, theology to the orthodox But the
>     **dust
>     of the **rose-**petal **belongs to the heart of the perfume-seller. */
>     Ab_'l Fazl
>
>
>
>
>     (continue not established dialectic)
>
>     I think we should try not to mistake our own ignorance as other
>     people'
>     arrogance, especially when something does not appear relevant
>     to us because we do not understand it and lack the appropriate
>     references. It happens to all of us,.
>     A post in an intersciplinary forum - unless a clear and stated
>     pre-requirement - does not have to adhere to the  specification you
>     describe below to be a relevant contribution.
>
>     >
>     > Is the interlocutor contributing anything new?
>
>     A new perspective? A new idea?A thought?  Is this relevant in your
>     dimension?
>
>     > Are they offering a novel explanation that clarifies things for
>     > people, maybe irrespective of their own level?
>
>     Maybe they are just asking a question, that will in turn lead to an
>     explanation...or is this not allowed ?
>
>     > Do they draw on the accepted work of past experts who have built the
>     > foundations to the field?
>
>     Maybe they will in the next post, if you don not intimidate them too
>     much....
>
>     > Are their contribution pithy and to the point
>
>     Depending what metrics . I dont think yours is, on this occasion.
>
>     > Are they able to highlight explicit technical details in context and
>     > with relevant examples?
>
>     Maybe yes, or maybe no - but they are under no obligation to do
>     so.Maybe
>     if you ask politely......:-)
>
>     >
>     > If one is to speak of the foundations of the field I would expect
>     > learned references to Frege, Russel, Peirce, Wittgenstein, Ayers,
>     > Austin, Dummett, Grice and many others.
>
>     Exactly, many others. How much time have you got? I am rather busy
>     today
>     but maybe next time
>     What about if I just mention the ones that I am familiar with?Problem
>     with that?
>
>     > The point is that this is just not the forum for that, and what
>     comes
>     > across is inferior philosophy
>
>     Are you talking about mine being inferior, or yours?
>
>     > out of context of any established dialectic,
>
>     Established? I do not see anything set in stone yet, sorry. And I
>     do not
>     do dialectics, sorry
>
>     > foisted upon a reluctant audience.
>
>     you dont have to approve of all the posts that you dont  like -
>
>     > I don't think that anyone in this forum has so far demonstrated the
>     > relevance of the philosophical investigation to the activity of
>     > typical participants on this forum.
>
>     demonstrated? you mean you want me to demostrate the relevance of
>     philosophy to semantics? I am sure I have got a lot of catching up to
>     do, and so do you
>
>     > That is not to say it isn't relevant, but to establish this you
>     would
>     > have to adhere to a strict and well thought out regime.
>
>     Strict Regime? Ah, that's what you do, sorry I dont do too strict
>     regimes these days.
>     I think we need adaptable boundaries to capture the essence of
>     scientific truth, but we can talk about it on a separate forum
>     perhaps?
>
>
>     > From that point of view there is a rational behind the BCNGroup.
>     But I
>     > remain sceptical. While Grice cuts to the quick, you may recollect
>     > that he was notorious for a. succinct notation and b. a lack of
>     > algorithms. b. simply wasn't part of his approach since he was
>     > concerned with logical analysis. Unless the case can be made for
>     > machine computation achieved on the basis of a broad logic but
>     without
>     > algorithms that can be reduced to binary logic then there seems
>     to be
>     > no immediate connection between these ruminations and the purpose of
>     > this list. That means 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 no
>     > point.
>     > This is a taste of real philosophical dialectic, but open to
>     anyone to
>     > participate in (obviously a short extract, out of context):-
>     >
>     >     I was hoping that someone with expertise on Islamic philosophy
>     >     would respond 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 of essence in Frege (1848—1925) and the Islamic
>     >     philosopher Avicenna (980—1037). 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 and
>     existence, in
>     >         which the essences of existing entities cannot be
>     explained as
>     >         actualized forms of their material potentialities without an
>     >         existing cause whose existence, while coexistent with the
>     >         caused and perceived essence, is prior in rank.*
>     >
>     >     I have read this extract a dozen times, and still it makes about
>     >     as much sense to me as 'Twas brillig and the slithy toves
>     did gyre
>     >     and gimble in the wabe'. The author of the article, a
>     certain Prof
>     >     Hossein Ziai from UCLA, would evidently be the best person to
>     >     answer Ms Zahedi's question — assuming, of course, that Prof
>     Ziai
>     >     knows somewhat more 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 /concepts/ under which it
>     falls.
>     >     If you take a physical entity, say, an elephant, there is an
>     >     open-ended list of concepts under which it might be classified:
>     >     '_is an elephant', '_weighs over two tons', '_lives at London
>     >     Zoo', '_likes apples' and so on. Suppose that you made up a long
>     >     list. If you showed someone the list, they could still ask,
>     'Does
>     >     this entity which you have described /exist?/
>     >
>     >     Frege, following Kant, denied that existence is a concept under
>     >     which some thing might, or might not fall. Existence is not a
>     >     predicate.
>     >
>     > from http://www.pathways.plus.com/glasshouse/notebook/page72.html
>     >  And about what philosophers expect of one another :-
>     >
>     >     Dummett has thought more deeply than most academic philosophers
>     >     about the fundamental questions of the philosophy of logic
>     and the
>     >     philosophy of language. But his 'rules' theory of concepts is
>     >     wrong (in my view). Since most philosophers' theories are wrong,
>     >     that is the least serious criticism one could make of him as a
>     >     philosopher! The theory itself poses little threat, largely
>     >     because so few persons are able to really understand it! (myself
>     >     included, at least on some days).
>     >
>     >     I did have the opportunity to put my objection to Dummett's
>     >     account of the mechanism of the criticism of concepts in
>     terms of
>     >     changing the 'rules for use' directly to him at a seminar in
>     >     Oxford once. His response 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 a lecture audience packed with dons
>     >     and graduate students) that he could get away with that reply!
>     >
>     > from http://www.pathways.plus.com/glasshouse/notebook/page72.html
>     >
>     > I would say that, by any one's standards, this manner of
>     expression is
>     > open, appealing and intelligible. But it invites a thinking process
>     > that doesn't quite fit in this forum, or any forum I am aware of
>     with
>     > a technical bent.
>     > I do not think, by way of contrast, that the vague, obscure and
>     > impenetrable qualifies for inclusion in this forum just because it
>     > seems to be touching on issues addressed here by way of common
>     > concepts such as ontology and so forth. I think it just
>     qualifies as
>     > bad philosophy with all the arrogance that implies.
>     >
>     > Adam Saltiel
>     >
>     > On 25/05/06, * Pdm* <editor@content-wire.com
>     <mailto:editor@content-wire.com>
>     > <mailto: editor@content-wire.com
>     <mailto:editor@content-wire.com>>> 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.
>     >     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics
>     >     <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiotics>
>     >
>     >     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
>     >     > http://www.eis.com.cy <http://www.eis.com.cy>
>     >     > ----- Original Message -----
>
>     >
>     >
>     >
>     >
>
>
Received on Saturday, 27 May 2006 08:42:01 UTC

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