[Top] [All Lists]

Re: [ontac-forum] Neutrality Principle

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Smith, Barry" <phismith@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 29 Nov 2005 11:26:54 +0100
Message-id: <>

>On the other hand, I disagree with the second half of the
>following point that Barry made in the same note:
>BS> Certainly, the ontology of ordinary speech acts is itself
> > a good candidate (low-hanging fruit) for what might be included
> > in a ground-level ontology; but not, please, an ontology of
> > those speech acts which are used by a certain very small and
> > very specialized community when it talks about ontologies.
>I doubt that a detailed specification of all the kinds of speech
>acts is really low-hanging fruit,    (01)

I agree -- but there is some low-hanging fruit, there, I think. And 
if we are to make progress we need to start with low-hanging fruit.    (02)

>but what I disagree with is the
>claim that there's a "very small and very specialized community"
>that "talks about ontologies."  Whether they use the word or not,
>the database administrators who choose labels for the tables and
>columns of a relational database are making "ontological commitments"
>(as Quine used to say).  In fact, anybody who chooses labels for
>the columns of a spreadsheet is making an ontological commitment.    (03)

Everyone who uses language, perhaps even every animate being, has 
ontological commitments. But very few people talk about ontologies 
(very few people have ontological commitments to ontologies).    (04)

>A major task for this group is to establish guidelines for making
>those commitments in a principled way and to propose methods for
>relating the commitments by one group to those by another.    (05)

Indeed. But we should not start with our own, very peculiar, and very 
esoteric, commitments. We should start with simple ones, to cats, 
tables, requests, ..., and build up from there.    (06)

BS     (07)

Message Archives: http://colab.cim3.net/forum/ontac-forum/
To Post: mailto:ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Shared Files: http://colab.cim3.net/file/work/SICoP/ontac/
Community Wiki: 
http://colab.cim3.net/cgi-bin/wiki.pl?SICoP/OntologyTaxonomyCoordinatingWG    (08)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>