Re: Some questions (and a new ontology)

Bruce Schuman <>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 1995 13:14:37 -0800 (PST)
From: Bruce Schuman <>
To: Andre Valente <>
Cc: ontolingua@HPP.Stanford.EDU,
Subject: Re: Some questions (and a new ontology)
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Hello, Ontolingua.  Thanks for a fascinating glimpse into a very potent 
analytic domain.

On Tue, 3 Jan 1995, Andre Valente wrote:

> There are many other issues about this ontology which I would like to
> discuss later on. Law is a fascinating field for "ontological
> engineering" because it has a very strong commonsense flavour (BTW,
> what is the right list to make this sort of discussion?).

I'd be very interested to monitor the growth of this work, and would 
appreciate being kept informed of new developments,

I'd also like to mention that I have done some original work in related 
areas, involving an attempt to *generalize* the concept of "algebraic 

In a nutshell, this approach involves an isomorphism between the concepts 
of "dimension" and "ordered class".  Both can be seen as an "ordered list 
of values".

This approach opens the way to a linearly recursive (bottomless
decomposition) definition of class and category structure, through which
any conceptual/digital structure can be defined.  Categories, classes, and
concepts can all be defined as composite assemblies of "synthetic
dimensions", and the elements *within* any class/category/concept are also
defined by their values in (synthetic) dimensions.  Thus, the entire
structure -- categories and their contents -- can be built from a single
algebraic primitive, which, in its most basic form, is nothing other than
a "cut", or distinction.  In these terms, the general form of analysis is
the linear fractal decomposition: "a cut on a cut on a cut on a cut...". 
I think this approach leads to a complete algebraic generalization of

An introductory overview of this approach is available on WWW, at

Thanks very much to everybody on this list.  This is certainly one of the 
most intriguing and creative (and important) subject areas in current 
knowledge engineering.

- Bruce Schuman