Shared ontologies
Message-id: <>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 91 16:02:28 EDT
Subject: Shared ontologies

Thanks for the comment.  I have had arguments with some people about
whether it was appropriate to use the plural in speaking of "ontologies."
Your willingness to admit multiple ontologies is reassuring.

I also agree that two modules must share at least some common
categories in order to communicate.  Wittgenstein made that point
in a comment "If a lion could speak, we could not understand him."
As more evidence of dolphin language accumulates, we are still far
>From being able to decode it, probably because their "form of life,"
as Wittgenstein put it, is so very different from ours.

But some of the most useful kinds of communication may occur between
modules that only share a limited number of common categories.  A domain
expert and a knowledge engineer have very different areas of expertise,
for example.

And perhaps I will send a letter on those points to AI Magazine.