Re: CG: Re: Top level ontology

John McCarthy (jmc@Steam.Stanford.EDU)
Sun, 7 Dec 1997 17:13:20 -0800 (PST)

1. Maybe polysemy can be divided into accidental polysemy and
essential polysemy. The distinction between a river bank and a
financial institution is accidental. Different languages won't have
the same accidental polysemies. However, it seems to me that either
concept may give rise to polysemies in a systematic way. For example,
someone may refer to banking a boat meaning to approach the bank of
the river and to bank money meaning putting it in the bank. AI will
involve itself in an endless chase if it proposes to tie down all
these polysemies in advance. I suppose they can be avoided for
systems that don't have to tolerate human ad hoc invention of

2. John Sowa writes at the end.

What makes logic hard is that you cannot cheat. In order to
translate anything else into logic, you must be explicit
about every implicit detail.

I'm thinking about how to use approximate concepts in logic so as
not to need to be explicit about every implicit detail.