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Re: Yorick Wilks on Semantic Web & httpRange-14

From: Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net>
Date: Tue, 15 May 2012 14:42:31 +0200
Message-Id: <2BBC4101-8EAC-44D8-A86E-279D15E06FC6@bblfish.net>
To: Jonathan A Rees <rees@mumble.net>, "www-tag@w3.org List" <www-tag@w3.org>

On 15 May 2012, at 14:35, Jonathan A Rees wrote:

> On Mon, May 14, 2012 at 2:11 PM, Henry Story <henry.story@bblfish.net> wrote:
>> On 8 May 2012, at 19:43, Larry Masinter wrote:
>>> I saw the notice of a talk (abstract below) on the philoweb list. The issues raised seem quite related to the difficulties I have had with the use of URIs as the means by which assertions expressed in the semantic web are grounded in the world so that they become assertions about the real world; the difficulty is with " agreed meanings for terms".  These difficulties (IMO) underlie the controversies around previous W3C TAG "findings" on "the range of HTTP".
>>> Lately, I've been trying to argue that we will make more progress on issues of pressing concern around web security, provenance, trust, certificates, and other issues, if we move away from talking about "meaning" and instead focus a model in which trust, belief, identity, persistence are explicit.
>> I think those two are not at all incompatible.
>> It is true that meaning is one of those concepts that many philosophers have had trouble with, not
>> least Willard Van Orman Quine who thought talk of meaning was  talk of ghostly entities and who rejected
>> such talk outright. A number of answers to his scepticism were presented, not least the by his very well
>> known students Donald Davidson and David Lewis. Donald Davidson argued that sentences about meaning
>> could be replaced by theories of truth conditions a la Tarksi, and the building of theories of interpretation
>> for a Language.
>> David Lewis' made meaning much more real by remapping them in terms of possible worlds (or if you feel
>> those to be to weird, sets of coherent sentences). Possibilities are never far behind talk of meaning.
>> I go into those in a bit more detail in my "Philosophy of the Social Web"
>> http://bblfish.net/tmp/2010/10/26/
>> One can also just accept that we have some concept of meaning, and move on as you suggest to other
>> themes such as provenance, trust etc... Those require one to take into account more carefully the
>> speaker (or the publisher) and so these bring in speech acts, for which Searle has recently produced
>> a book which I mention in the presentation mentioned above where he argues that speech acts are
>> the corner stone of human civilisation.
> to which book do you refer?

Slide 32, "Making the social world: the structure of human civilisation"

> Jonathan
>> Provenance and Trust are indeed very important, and would be extremely useful for the Web. I put
>> forward a presentation recently at the European IDentity Conference on how linked data can
>> provide the tools to build this. "WebID and eCommerce" which had some very nicely positive
>> reactions from the IETF TLS mailing lists
>> http://bblfish.net/blog/2012/04/30/
>> Here trust is built by seeing:
>>  1) that institutions form social networks (as explained by Searle)
>>  2) that one can build such distributed nation/commerce/legal/institutional
>>   social networks with linked data
>>  3) that one can anchors one's trust in such a social network in very
>>   flexible ways, without requiring a central Trust agency.
>> Henry
>>> Thanks,
>>> Larry
>>> --
>>> http://larry.masinter.net
>>> ====================
>>> from https://lists-sop.inria.fr/sympa/arc/philoweb/2012-05/msg00000.html
>>> ==================
>>> The Semantic Web: meaning and annotation
>>> Yorick Wilks
>>> Florida Institute of Human and Machine Cognition.
>>> The lecture discusses what kind of entity the Semantic Web (SW) is, in terms of the relationship of natural language structure to knowledge representation (KR). It argues that there are three distinct views on the issue: first, that the SW is basically a renaming of the traditional AI knowledge representation task, with all the problems and challenges of that task. If that is the case, as many believe, then there is no particular reason to expect progress in this new form of presentation, as all the traditional problems of logic and representation reappear and it will be no more successful outside the narrow scientific domains where KR seems to work even though the formal ontology movement has brought some benefits. The paper contains some discussion of the relationship of current SW doctrine to representation issues covered by traditional AI, and also discusses issues of how far SW proposals are able to deal with difficult relationships in parts of concrete science.
>>> Secondly, there is a view that the SW will be the WorldWideWeb with its constituent documents annotated so as to yield their content or meaning structure more directly. This view of the SW makes natural language processing central as the procedural bridge from texts to KR, usually via a form of automated Information Extraction. This view is discussed in some detail and it is argued that this is in fact the only way of justifying the structures used as KR for the SW.
>>> There is a third view, possibly Berners-Lee's own, that the SW is about trusted databases as the foundation of a system of web processes and services, but it is argued that this ignores the whole history of the web as a textual system, and gives no better guarantee of agreed meanings for terms than the other two approaches. The lecture also touches on the basic issues of how the above viewpoints relate to the basic issue of how elements of the SW gain meaning, and the views of Halpin and others are discussed. There are also some reflections of the origins of the SW in Berners-Lee's own thinking and whether the SW was what he intended all along when the WWW was first set up.
>> Social Web Architect
>> http://bblfish.net/

Social Web Architect
Received on Tuesday, 15 May 2012 12:43:28 UTC

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