I Find Karma (
Thu, 28 Aug 1997 04:21:36 -0700 (PDT)

Does this not sound like a castle-mongering k-loving cabal?
(I know, I know, don't use your alliteration on me... :)
Still, it points out how painfully unaware of so many aspects
of knowledge representation I am... All I know is,
ontology recapitulates phylogeny. The rest is the work of man.
-- Adam

The 1997 Bolzano International Schools in Cognitive Analysis

Ontological Perspectives in Knowledge Representation

Bolzano, Italy, Maretsch Castle, 15-19 September 1997

JOHN SOWA, Knowledge Representation: Logical, Computational,
and Philosophical Foundations
MAURICE GROSS, Lexically-based Semantics: The Interrelations
Between Lexicons and Grammars
DAVID WOODRUFF SMITH, Systematic Ontology: Varieties of
Category Schemes
ROBERTO POLI, Dimensions of the Ontological Analysis

General information:
1. Attendance to the school will be limited to about 30 participants.
2. A hotel list will be sent upon notification of acceptance. Hotel costs
in Bolzano range between 70,000 and 250,000 Italian Liras per day,
full board.
3. Each speaker will give 4 lectures, with ample time for discussion.
4. All lectures will be in English.
5. The lectures will be given at Castel Maretsch, downtown, starting
September 15, at 9 a.m.
6. A small number of boursaries are available to qualified students
to meet the costs of participation.

BISCA's board of directors includes: L. Albertazzi (Trento), R. Langacker
(La Jolla), J. Petitot (Paris), R. Poli (Trento) and L. Talmy (Buffalo)

People wishing to participate should write to Roberto Poli, Department
of Sociology and Social Research, 26 Verdi st., 38100 Trento, Italy
(call: (++39) 461 881 403; fax: (++39) 461 881 348), or send an e-mail
message to:

For those willing to present their research work, an informal workshop will
be held on September 17, Wednesday afternoon. Send please an e-mail request
containing a two pages abstract to Aldo Gangemi:

Information about the past BISCAs -- Bolzano International Schools
in Cognitive Analysis (Previously: Bolzano International Schools in Philosophy
and Artificial Intelligence (1988 - 1995))


John Sowa,


1. Principles of knowledge representation. Knowledge representation is
the application of logic and ontology to the task of building computable
models of some domain for some purpose. This lecture introduces the
problems, issues, and applications of conceptual analysis to
linguistics, artificial intelligence, and the task of constructing
theories and models in science and engineering.

2. Ontology. The subject of ontology is the study of the categories of
things that exist or may exist. The product of such a study, called an
ontology, is a catalog of the types of things that are assumed to exist
in some domain of interest from the perspective of a person who uses
some language (natural or artificial) for the purpose of talking about
that domain. The types in the ontology represent the predicates, word
senses, or concept and relation types of the language used to discuss
topics in the domain.

3. Processes. A continuant is an object that retains its identity over
an extended period of time; an occurrent is an ever-changing process
whose stages evolve from, but are not identical to one another. This
distinction may seem clear in the abstract, but as Heraclitus observed,
no physical object can remain unchanged over any extended interval. This
lecture discusses processes, procedures, and histories, the related
notions of times, events, situations, actions, and fluents, and the
methods of representing them in natural and artificial languages.

4. Purposes, contexts, and agents. A context is a selection of a
manageable chunk of the world by some agent for some purpose. These
three concepts, which are fundamentally interdependent, cannot be
defined except in relation to one another. In Peirce's terms, they are
manifestations of an irreducible Thirdness. This lecture surveys various
attempts to define these concepts separately. Then it shows how Peirce's
categories of Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness provide a unifying
framework for analyzing and representing them in AI and natural language

Maurice Gross
(University Paris 7, Laboratoire d'Automatique Documentaire et Linguistique)


The different aspects of semantic representations and of knowledge
representation that will be presented in this series of lectures share
an empirical basis. Systematic descriptions of French and other
languages have been undertaken using a common methodology: Zellig
S. Harris' transformational theory. In this framework, we developed
highly formalized dictionaries (including flexional morphology), a
lexicon-grammar that describes the syntactic properties of unary
sentences (i.e. elementary sentences with one verb) and local grammars
whose domains have been defined by a combination of syntactic and
semantic criteria.

This linguistic basis is the starting point for a discussion of semantinc
and knowledge representations.

We will present the following topics :

1. Dictionaries of simple words:grammatical categories and semantic markers.
2. Lexicon-grammars of elementary sentences: distributional properties and
semantic classes of nouns and of sentences.
3. Metaphors and frozen utterances: idiomatic forms, phrasal and sentential
4. Correspondance between syntactic forms and semantic predicates. Rules of
5. Extending synonymy: support verbs and derivational morphology.
6. Local grammars: case studies (Stock Exchange reports, Adverbials of Time:
dates, durations, frequency).
7. Levels of formalization: application to the computer analysis of large

David Woodruff Smith
(University of California, Irvine, Department of Philosophy and Ontek


Lecture 1. Aristotelian and Tractarian categories: from Substance to
State-of-Affairs. Aristotle's categories: Substance (Primary,
Secondary), Quality, Quantity, etc. Wittgenstein's logico-ontological
categories (in the Tractatus): Fact or State of Affairs, Object,
Relation. The picture theory: representation via (logico-ontological)

Lecture 2. Husserlian categories: from traditional categories to ranks
of categories. Husserl's distinction between formal and material
ontology. Formal categories: State of Affairs, Individual, Essence &
Relation. Material categories: Nature, Culture (Geist),
Consciousness. Intentionality: formal or material in category?

Lecture 3. Whiteheadian categories: from Substance to
Process. Whitehead's ranks of categories (simplified). The category of
the ultimate: Becoming (Concrescence, Process). Categories of existence:
Actual Entity (Occasion), Prehension (Relatedness), Nexus
(Togetherness), Subjective Form [Apprehension], Eternal Object (Platonic
Form), Multiplicity (Diversity), Contrast (Patterned Entity).

Lecture 4. New categories: from prior schemes to Being and Basis. The
ur-categories Being and Basis: beings or entities versus their basis in
modes. Pre-Socratic ontology: Anaximander, origins, one-and-many, ... .
Being and modes in Meinong, Ingarden, Heidegger, modal
logic. Ontological systematics and ontological genesis. (Contrast
logical atomism.) The Ontek PACIS project. A new category scheme: Being
and Basis, ... . Intentionality in the new scheme.

Roberto Poli
(University of Trento, Department of Sociology and Social Research)


Lecture 1. Introductory notes. Ontology in philosophy and in the theory
of basis of data. An Aristotelian problem: Categories vs
Metaphysics. Esternal or classificatory categories

Lecture 2. Internal categories. The layered structure of
reality. Layers, levels and echelons. Dependences of the bearer/borne
type vs dependences of the carrier/carried type. Laws of dependence
among layers. Laws of authonomy among layers

Lecture 3. Overall architectonic and an example of ontological
categorization. General, Regional, Domain and Application Ontology. The
case of artifacts

Lecture 4. An overview and a comparison with other ontological projects.
Cyc. Generalized Upper Model. Kosmos. Kactus

Roberto Poli
Department of Sociology and Social Research
26, Verdi street
38100 Trento -- Italy
Tel. ++39-461-881-403
Fax: ++39-461-881-348


Mohandas Gandhi's Seven Blunders of the World: Wealth without work;
Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce
without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice;
Politics without principle.