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[ontac-forum] Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF reification

To: "Harry Halpin" <hhalpin@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: semantic-web@xxxxxx, Paul S Prueitt <psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, fmanola@xxxxxxx, Adrian Walker <adrianw@xxxxxxxx>, pfps@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Azamat" <abdoul@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 01:23:38 +0300
Message-id: <003501c6537f$6dad8c40$e053960a@homepc>
Harry,    (01)

The whole matter is not thus complicated as you think. The talking point is 
that meanings have several basic aspects or dimensions or quantities: 
extensional, intensional, pragmatic and modal.  Intension is about a primary 
meaning or significance, basic definition and content and all the essential 
implications and relations involved; while extension relates to special, 
child classes or individual entities. Modality implies mental attitudes 
towards states, actions or changes usually indicated by lexical verbs. 
Pragmatics is about sentence utterances in the context of discourse, human 
or machine. Thus additionally to syntactic and semantic aspects, there is a 
pragmatical meaning involving an agent's intentions and communicative acts 
and understanding of communication. As John Sowa defines: 'a sign is an 
entity that indicates (represents) another entity to some agent (a human, 
animal or robot) for some purpose', in [Ontology, Metadata, and Semiotics]    (02)

Being a special binary relation, the pragmatic (meaning) function P will 
designates all possible relationships between an agent and a proposition: P 
(a, p, t), like 'assume, believe, fear, hope, imagine, know, assert, doubt, 
mean, expect, regret, suggest, suppose, think, understand, want, and wish'. 
When making an utterance, expressing its thought, ideas and feelings, a 
cognitive agent (web software or human) both states some facts and performs 
some communicative acts. Returning to my example, ''Galileo knew that the 
earth moves around the sun'' may be described as q = P (a, p, t). 
Alternatively, as a semiotic structure it will be written as:
 Pragmatic  function [of knowing] (a person [Galileo], a proposition [the 
earth move around
 the sun], time of utterance [ ], truth value [ ], modality [ ]).    (03)

Thus there is the sentence meaning, the speaker expressive meaning (or 
hearer understanding) and modality, added with a truth value and 
temporality. Or, once we have a statement, we have to find out its all its 
meaning dimensions, intensional (content), extensional (reference), 
pragmatic, assign a truth value (not trust value) and establish its 
modality, all within one determinant ontological context.    (04)

Thus the main issue is not a formal pragmatics, formal semantics or formal 
logic, but a unifying formal ontology like Standard Upper Ontology or 
Unified Framework Ontology or ONTAC making the largest meaning context (or 
the universe of discourse) as involving basic kinds of entities and 
relationships, also including pragmatic factors: psychological states, 
mental intentions, speech acts and contents, human actions, sociocultural 
A formal theory of meaning, the foundation of semantic web, should be 
constructed as a machine-handled semiotics relied on the comprehensive 
ontological context (SUO or UFO), rather than as a formal semantics based on 
formal logic. For only the field of ontology-based semiotics may formally 
describe the relationships of signs, agents (web and human)  and 
extralinguistic entities, a necessary condition for the Semantic Web 
construction, although not sufficient.    (05)

Azamat Abdoullaev
 http://www.eis.com.cy    (06)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harry Halpin" <hhalpin@xxxxxxxxxxx>
To: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Cc: <semantic-web@xxxxxx>; "Frank Manola" <fmanola@xxxxxxx>; "Adrian Walker" 
<adrianw@xxxxxxxx>; "Peter F. Patel-Schneider" 
<pfps@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; <psp@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "ONTAC-WG General 
Discussion" <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 8:55 PM
Subject: Re: Semantic Layers (Was Interpretation of RDF reification)    (07)

> The "formalization" is not even the problem with pragmatics - it's just
> there's not even good "informal" theories of pragmatics. In linguistics,
> there is so sort-of useful stuff in Searle's speech acts, Grosz's
> attention-belief-intention model, and of course "relevance" theory (and
> we all see how well similar ideas worked out with Cyc) and some rather
> unreadable Habermas. But most of that stuff is only semi-useful to
> computing, and always needs to be formalized - and often is formalized
> in completely orthogonal ways by different implementations.
> So, there's lots of good pragmatic documents. Lots of RFCs, TAG work,
> work from Apache etc. is says very straightforward and useful stuff
> about the pragmatics of particular applications and domains and very
> relevant to the Web. But as far as pragmatics as a distinct subject
> matter and discipline goes, I would go as far to say that there aren't
> even any good second-rate theories, much less first-rate theories. And
> without an even informal theory, one can't formalize (or even vacuously
> formalize), much less standardize in the domain independent way needed
> by the SemWeb and other KR.
> That's a problem with KR in general, not just the SemWeb, and resolving
> that problem lies in the hands of SemWeb application deployment, which
> would vary from context to context. And that appears to be one of the
> problems that led to AI winter.
> John F. Sowa wrote:
>> Harry,
>> As much as I like logic, I admit that the most important
>> questions of life (and of engineering, which is what we're
>> talking about in this round of notes) have never been and
>> probably never will be formalized.
>> > There is, as far as I can tell, no good theories of pragmatics
>> > that are capable of being formalized. "Pragmatics", at least
>> > in linguistics where I come from, is usually a sort of fuzzy
>> > "hand-waving" solution to any hard problem, much as the terms
>> > "world-knowledge" and "common-sense" knowledge are. Whenever
>> > I hear the word pragmatics I want to reach for my axe  :)
>> Fuzzy hand-waving is generally bad, but it can be used to support
>> any topic whatever.  Just because something is covered with a
>> veneer of formalism doesn't mean it's good.  And just because
>> some people have used a term while waving their hands doesn't
>> mean its bad.  (By that criterion, the SemWeb would be bad.)
>> For an example of what good common sense and an intuitive feeling
>> for pragmatics can do, I suggest you compare the sales of Apple's
>> iPod to anything comparable that has come from Sony.
>> For an example of good pragmatics, I recommend John McCarthy's
>> Elephant paper, which I believe should have been required reading
>> for anybody working on the SemWeb:
>>    http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/elephant/elephant.html
>> That paper was one of the inspirations for a paper I published in 2002:
>>    http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/arch.htm
>>    Architectures for Intelligent Systems
>> The Flexible Modular Framework (FMF), which is described in that paper
>> has become the primary platform for developing and deploying everything
>> we're doing in our VivoMind company.  Compared to that, everything
>> I've seen from the SemWeb is legacy stuff that's trivial to deal with
>> by importing it and converting it to usable formats.
>> I'm perfectly happy to let the rest of the world suffer with RDF and OWL
>> because they just kill off any competition we might encounter.
>> John
>     (08)

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