W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org > November 2001

Re: Provenance and reification

From: Pat Hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Date: Tue, 13 Nov 2001 20:08:39 -0600
Message-Id: <p05101046b8178239e670@[]>
To: fmanola@mitre.org
Cc: w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org
>Pat Hayes wrote:
>>  >Following today's teleconference, I was thinking some more about
>>  >provenance (statements like document X says Y, possibly with other
>>  >qualifications).
>>  >
>>  >The question raised was whether the statement (Y) referenced in an
>>  >assertion of provenance was a statement token, or some
>>  >lexically-based value, or an interpretation of (meaning of) the
>>  >statement.
>>  >
>>  >Consider the case of a contract written in a foreign language.  My
>>  >lawyer may tell me that "the contact with abc, dated dmy, that I am
>>  >about to sign commits me to pay P pounds in return for some good Q".
>>  >This is a statement of provenance, but it is useless to me if it
>>  >simply quotes the content of the contract -- I want to know the
>>  >meaning (expressed in some language that I understand) of the
>>  >content of the contract.
>>  >
>>  >My point is that there is a clear argument for suggesting that
>>  >assertions of provenance should reference the meaning of the
>>  >referenced statements, not their lexical form.
>>  Good point. On the other hand, you do want to say it was that
>>  particular document you signed, right, not some other document that
>>  just happened to mean the same thing (still less, *all* other
>>  documents that mean the same thing.) So I think that in a case like
>>  this we need at least two notions: the physical (token) document you
>>  actually signed, and the content (interpretation) of that token.
>How would this distinction work out in practice, given that even if you
>want to refer to the meaning, you still need to refer to some concrete
>representation of it (use a different property perhaps)?  After all, the
>point of signing the contract in the first place was to express your
>agreement with its meaning, as opposed to your approval, say, of the
>artistic way the words were arranged on the piece of paper (is this an
>example of the kind of distinction you want?).

True, but I would advise against signing two checks for $100 and then 
trying to say that it was really just two tokens with the same 
*meaning*, and that you only therefore only have to pay out $100 


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Received on Tuesday, 13 November 2001 21:08:37 UTC

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