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Re: [ontac-forum] Problems of ontology

To: ONTAC-WG General Discussion <ontac-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Charles D Turnitsa <CTurnits@xxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 18 May 2006 22:32:29 -0400
Message-id: <OFDA3BA660.01D215E8-ON85257173.000DF5E5-85257173.000DF5F6@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Azamat, John,

I believe that there is something important to be sorted out in the exchange quoted below that the two of you had.  First the quote, then my comments

AA> For without a common standard ontology as a common code of meanings
> and rules, there is no base and foundation for the whole enterprise
> of ontological semantic technology, or intelligent applications...

JS> No!  Absolutely not!  That is the ultimate goal, not the starting
> point.  The best we can say is that every attempt to design a
> unified theory of everything has failed.  Yet somehow the genus
> Homo has survived for about two million years without it. Perhaps
> we may have a better foundation in another million years or so.

Okay, here is what I see.  First, there *is* already some unified way of looking at the perceivable universe and organizing it.  There must be, for every human being who is capable of perception already performs this, even if at a subconscious level.  Second, what I think is lacking is a way to describe that process, and more importantly, to explicitly state the result of that process (the organization of everything, complete with identity and relation of all parts - in short, an ontology).

I think that what we in the ontology community (whether our targets are high, medium or low, or our languages refer to 3d or 4d, or whatever other distinctions we might have from each other) are trying to do is to somehow come closer to expressing the process of organizing the universe, and also describing the product of that process.  Since this is so difficult (as seen by all the expressed inadequacies with any ontology thesis proposed), it may be the limitation of our current language to reflect what is going on.


Charles Turnitsa
Project Scientist
Virginia Modeling, Analysis & Simulation Center
Old Dominion University Research Foundation
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Suffolk, Virginia 23435
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