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Humanist Archives: Nov. 19, 2019, 9:03 a.m. Humanist 33.417 - non-hierarchical concept ontologies

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 417.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2019-11-19 00:09:29+00:00
        From: Dr. Herbert Wender 
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.408: non-hierarchical concept ontologies

Chris and Lian,

Remembering what I learned in the late 1970s about discussions in information
and library sciences, I'm wondering what would be the difference between
forthcoming 'non-hierarchical ontologies' and well-known non-hierarchical
techniques when librarians classify texts? About faceted classifications f.e. I
read just in the opening sentences of the German Wikipedia entry:

"Eine Facettenklassifikation (auch analytisch-synthetische Klassifikation) ist
ein Klassifikationssystem, bei dem die Objekte eines Wissensbereichs nicht in
eine relativ unflexible Baumstruktur eingegliedert werden, wie es bei rein
hierarchischen Systemen der Fall ist. Stattdessen erfolgt die Einordnung eines
Objekts durch Zuordnung mehrerer voneinander unabhängiger Begriffe."

Is there a more than terminological difference between 'aspect-oriented
ontologies' and such a faceted classification?


Do you know of studies in language history comparing such a process of
pluralisation with the transition from plural forms (arts, beauties) to singular
(in german 'Kollektivsingular': die Kunst, die Schönheit)?

Best regards,

-----Ursprüngliche Mitteilung-----
           Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 408.

[1] From: Iian Neill 
    Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.398: non-hierarchical concept
ontologies? (78)

[2] From: Willard McCarty 
    Subject: ontology, ontologies & hierarchy (23)

Date: 2019-11-14 12:13:31+00:00
From: Iian Neill 
Subject: Re: [Humanist] 33.398: non-hierarchical concept ontologies?

Dear Chris,

I don't have any papers to reference on this concept as yet, although I
will be touching on it a forthcoming paper, but in our Codex project we are
exploring the application of something I call "aspect-oriented" ontology to
texts. The name is taken from the use of "aspects" in programming languages
which support attributes applied to classes and methods. Aspects are used
to implement cross-cutting (horizontal) concerns in software -- likewise,
in an "aspect-oriented" ontology there are concepts which can be thought of
as cutting across type classifications. For example, the aspect
"Florentine" may not only apply to persons but to objects, cuisine, schools
of art, etc.

Best regards,


Date: 2019-11-14 08:29:25+00:00
From: Willard McCarty 
Subject: ontology, ontologies & hierarchy

Chris Meister's question about non-hierarchical concept ontologies leads
me to wonder whether the pluralisation of 'ontology' in the late 1940s
by Quine (who was not unfamiliar with digital logic and computing),
followed by the quiet adoption of the term in computer science much
later, provides some insight. Specifically, might it be the case that by
pluralising the term ontological hierarchy is undermined?

I had occasion to look into the history of 'ontology' for a workshop at
Cambridge in 2017, the outcome of which was published in HAU: Journal of
Ethnographic Theory 9.1 (2017): 147-61. See esp. pp. 149-51.

Should anyone know of material related to 'ontology' in CS or elsewhere
that I did not catch, I'd be grateful to know about it.

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

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