RE [crm-sig] Have endurance!

Aldo Gangemi a.gangemi at istc.cnr.it
Fri Apr 1 17:00:42 EEST 2005


At 15:11 +0300 1-04-2005, martin wrote:
>Hi Aldo,
>
>Aldo Gangemi wrote:
>>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.
>
>OK. So are they constructed, and then from what? BTW "psychology" I meant
>structures in our mental states. I'd argue that some are "built-in" in
>our mind and some constructed. At least I read such arguments about the
>"boot-strapping" of a new-born's mind?

I'm a cognitive scientist, and believe that some invariants exist 
which underlie our rational processes ... the problem is how to 
objectify such invariants in a way that practical ontological 
categories can be derived from them. An interesting investigation we 
are making is on "cognitive schemata" proposed by people like Lakoff, 
Talmy, Langacker, etc. For example Rob Roy at MIT is trying to use 
them in his  research in robotics. As far as ontology is concerned, a 
complex machinery is needed to formalize such schemata, and deploy 
them appropriately in ontological engineering.
Another route is designing psychological experiments on the use of 
different sets of categories, but the few studies are quite 
unsatisfactory until now.

The reason why we endorse more or less the same set of categories 
(object, event, quality, space region, situation, context, agent, 
etc.) probably deals with the impressive cultural history behind 
them: philosophy, mathematics, AI, linguistics, social sciences, etc. 
have contributed so much work, and (specially Western) natural 
languages are so much organized around similar distinctions (again, 
probably due to the work of scientists, lexicographers, etc.), that 
we are practically obliged to think that way. But once we stress the 
distinctions by combining them and critizing, comparing, etc., we 
often realize that different settings are just different 
representations of a common rationale ... for which we do not have 
the vocabulary (or even the cognitive ability) to describe (from a 
different vantage point).

>
>>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 
>>ontology.
>>
>>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 
>>discussion.
>
>Yes, please forward some of the discussion.

See separate email
--A

>>
>>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.
>
>I like that.
>
>Best,
>
>Martin
>
>>
>>Best
>>--Aldo
>>
>>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 encountered
>>>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.
>>>
>>>Cheers,
>>>
>>>Martin
>>>
>>>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
>>>>>non-logic?
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>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
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>of
>>>>
>>>>>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
>>>>
>>>>ed
>>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>--
>>>
>>>--------------------------------------------------------------
>>>  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
>>>  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
>>>                                |  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr |
>>>                                                              |
>>>                Center for Cultural Informatics               |
>>>                Information Systems Laboratory                |
>>>                 Institute of Computer Science                |
>>>    Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)   |
>>>                                                              |
>>>  Vassilika Vouton,P.O.Box1385,GR71110 Heraklion,Crete,Greece |
>>>                                                              |
>>>          Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl               |
>>>--------------------------------------------------------------
>>
>>
>>
>
>
>--
>
>--------------------------------------------------------------
>  Dr. Martin Doerr              |  Vox:+30(2810)391625        |
>  Principle Researcher          |  Fax:+30(2810)391638        |
>                                |  Email: martin at ics.forth.gr |
>                                                              |
>                Center for Cultural Informatics               |
>                Information Systems Laboratory                |
>                 Institute of Computer Science                |
>    Foundation for Research and Technology - Hellas (FORTH)   |
>                                                              |
>  Vassilika Vouton,P.O.Box1385,GR71110 Heraklion,Crete,Greece |
>                                                              |
>          Web-site: http://www.ics.forth.gr/isl               |
>--------------------------------------------------------------


-- 



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 istc.cnr.it

*******************
!!! please don't use the old gangemi at ip.rm.cnr.it
address, because it is under spam attack



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