RE [crm-sig] Have endurance!

Aldo Gangemi a.gangemi at
Fri Apr 1 14:45:50 EEST 2005

Hi all, just a few comments.

IMO, categories (as used in ontology engineering) are not in 
psychology or in nature, but they must be good enough in order to 
construct an efficient ontology for a large variety of tasks. 
Philosophers usually do a different work, which consists in 
challenging every distinction: their work should not be taken as 
definitive. Of course, when biology will tell us more on the nature 
of rationality, we'll measure the biological compliance of an 

Concerning end/perd (object/event), I've just had a long discussion 
with Pat Hayes on the W3C SWBPD OEP list. We arrived at a good 
compromise: endurantism and perdurantism (in their better, 
state-of-art logical formulation) result to be notational variants, 
with different pros and cons from the readability, efficiency, etc. 
viewpoints. For those interested, I can forward parts of the 

Concerning logical basis of categories, I think there is none: logic 
uses its own categories which are detached from any practical 
application of them (they are "neutral"). Then there is no reason to 
choose one category or the other, if logic is the rationale. But if 
we want useful notions that drive our modelling projects, categories 
become relevant.


At 13:07 +0300 1-04-2005, martin wrote:
>Hi Edmund,
>I agree with you completely. My point was however the opposite:
>Practitioners distinguish clearly between things and events, but
>the philosophers seem not to have found so far a clear understanding
>of what the difference between the two is. So some propose not to
>distinguish between both, whereas in the CRM we declare that there is
>no common instance of Persitent Item and Temporal Entity. If two concepts
>are not well-distinguished, one would however expect to find instances in the
>"grey zones" in between. So either they don't exist, or we have not 
>them in the practical scope of the CRM, or the generalization of the
>psychological difference between things and events is based on other essential
>properties than those discussed by the respective philosophers.
>So, either the distinction is real, and our psychology supports it due to
>innate biological experience, or we are deceived by our psychology, 
>and there is no
>difference, or, the nature of the difference is different from the one
>discussed (e.g. "being wholy present at each point in time).
>I would not exclude the case that certain very high abstraction levels
>have no logical justification. I am no philosopher, but I have the impression
>that Aristotle and Feyerabend support this idea, which does not mean that
>this case is already at this level of abstraction.
>I like this discussion for methodological reasons, because the AI and
>Semantic Web community attempts to declare everything logically, which
>poses the question of where the limits of logical explanation are.
>LEE, Edmund wrote:
>>Hello folks,
>>>Anyhow it seems, that practitioners do not have any problem
>>>with the perdurant-endurant distinction, independent of how it puzzles
>>>logic-driven thought. To which degree should an ontology be
>>I've been fascinated by this on an intellectual level, but I think
>>Martin has it exactly right. If practice does not require us to make
>>this distinction, then our tool for conceptualising the world (the CRM)
>>need not be concerned.
>>>Another idea could be, that nature gave us an intuitive understanding
>>>the difference, but not the means to describe it...
>>I'm reminded of theories (of which I know little) that suggest that we
>>(i.e. humans) only put as much effort into perception as will be useful
>>for the task in hand. A car driver will be familiar with the experience
>>of driving a very familiar route and not being able to recall a few
>>minute later what the traffic conditions were at a particular junction
>>although it was crossed without a problem. Compare this to driving in an
>>unfamiliar city, where a much greater level of perception is used.
>>Not really on topic, but I thought I'd chip in
>>Best wishes
>  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
>  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
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Aldo Gangemi
Research Scientist
Laboratory for Applied Ontology
Institute for Cognitive Sciences and Technology
National Research Council (ISTC-CNR)
Via Nomentana 56, 00161, Roma, Italy
Tel: +390644161535
Fax: +390644161513
a.gangemi at

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address, because it is under spam attack

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