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Re: help wanted: RDF issue rdfms-assertion

From: Graham Klyne <Graham.Klyne@MIMEsweeper.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 10:14:51 +0100
Message-Id: <>
To: patrick hayes <phayes@ai.uwf.edu>
Cc: Tim Berners-Lee <timbl@w3.org>, w3c-rdfcore-wg@w3.org

At 11:55 PM 6/11/02 -0400, patrick hayes wrote:
>.... The implication I draw is that I'm not hearing what you are meaning 
>to say, that we aren't communicating properly. (Since I know that quite a 
>lot of people are understanding this kind of talk in roughly the same way 
>I am, I would also suggest that there might be a wider breakdown of 

Following this debate, it seems clear to me that there *is* miscommunication.

I think there are at least three notions of "meaning" being kicked around here:

- social meaning - the default English interpretation.  Roughly, what Quine 
describes as truth of a statement that "a native is prepared to assent to".

- RDF logical meaning - truths of RDF statements that are true by virtue of 
the specified semantics of RDF:  truths that can be calculated by machines 
using only the rules set out in the RDF formal semantics 
specification.  Again appealing to Quine:  RDF statements that are true by 
virtue of their RDF-grammatical structure.

- RDF received meaning - truths that are expressible in RDF, but that are 
grounded in socially normalized intended interpretations.  If certain such 
truths are accepted as axioms, then the logical machinery of RDF allows 
other such truths to be deduced.  I think this is the notion of meaning 
that Tim is trying to promote as "RDF meaning".


(Hoping I've not merely added to the miscommunication.)

Graham Klyne
Received on Wednesday, 12 June 2002 05:23:18 UTC

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