Ontolog Forum

Session Planning
Duration 1.5 hour
Date/Time Sep 20 2017 16:00 GMT
9:00am PDT/12:00pm EDT
6:00pm CEST/5:00pm BST
Convener KenBaclawski

Ontology Summit 2018 Second Research Session

Abstract and Agenda

In this session, JohnSowa will be presenting on the IKL formal system developed from the IKRIS work in circa 2005. The slides are at Representing and Reasoning about Contexts. Pat Hayes' website for IKL GUIDE is

The meeting was recorded as is available at: Video Recording

Conference Call Information

  • Date: Wednesday, 20-September-2017
  • Start Time: 9:00am PDT / 12:00pm EDT / 6:00pm CEST / 5:00pm BST / 1600 UTC
  • Expected Call Duration: ~1.5 hours
  • Video Conference URL:
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  • Chatroom:
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  • This session, like all other Ontolog events, is open to the public. Information relating to this session is shared on this wiki page.
  • Please note that this session may be recorded, and if so, the audio archive is expected to be made available as open content, along with the proceedings of the call to our community membership and the public at-large under our prevailing open IPR policy.



[15:15] TerryLongstreth: sorry i've been missing these

[15:16] TerryLongstreth: today i've a dr appt

[11:32] BobbinTeegarden: Starting at 8:30 or 9:00 pdt?

[11:55] DouglasRMiles: Video Conference URL:

[11:58] KenBaclawski: @BobbinTeegarden we are starting at 9am PDT which is Noon EDT.

[11:59] John Sowa: what is the telephone number & code for dialing in?

[12:00] John Sowa: I can't get Bluejeans to give me the number & code.

[12:01] John Sowa: Has everybody downloaded the slides from

[12:01] John Sowa: Please tell me the number for dialing in...

[12:03] AlexShkotin: +1.408.740.7256

[12:03] AlexShkotin: 443227#

[12:03] John Sowa: Alex thanks. and what is the code?

[12:03] KenBaclawski: @John Sowa: Try this number +1.408.740.7256 access code 443227

[12:04] SteveRay: Actually, the slides seem to be at

[12:16] JoshLieberman: One slide behind in shared screen

[12:16] ToddSchneider: We're on slide 4.

[12:17] ToddSchneider: We're on slide 5.

[12:18] JoshLieberman: Now on 6

[12:19] BoNewman: For some reason Bluejean is not connecting to the current session showing me as the only participant in Ontolog 2018\

[12:21] BoNewman: I'll try to catch the recording and get my connection working by next session

[12:26] ToddSchneider: On slide 11?

[12:30] BobbinTeegarden: Is is possible that context can be captured by some relevant subset of who what when where why and how? It's a contextual pattern we might recognize... What's missing?

[12:39] ToddSchneider: How is context(s) related with or to the notion of 'truth maker'?

[12:42] AndreaWesterinen: @Bobbin I think that who what where when establishes the situation, but you need background knowledge and motivation to establish "why" and then a plan or process for "how". And then, there are always multiple "how"s.

[12:46] SteveRay: Tarski's metalanguage construct sounds like what the Meta Object Facility (MOF) work approximated with 4 levels.

[12:48] ChristiKapp: In the platypus example, part of the context was a visual signal/input into the brain (mother *saw* the toys 'sitting and eating') - so does context need to also include inputs from senses?

[12:50] BobbinTeegarden: @Andrea yes,excellent, but if you can get 'enough' of these (knowing some parts, as John says, are 'infinite') is it the best we can do about modeling context?

[12:52] David Whitten: Does anyone have working code that represents Situation Theory?

[12:53] David Whitten: John Sowa is talking about someone. ?Tomlin?

[12:54] Fran Lightsom: Devlin?

[12:54] AliHashemi: Keith Devlin

[12:55] BobbinTeegarden: @John URL to Hayes IKL slide 23: not found

[12:55] David Whitten: Thank you. So Keith Devlin is a logician about situation theory.

[12:55] janet singer: Devlin is a mathematician

[12:55] David Whitten: I wonder why John feels IKL is a network Logic.

[12:57] David Whitten: So the network is not the kind of logic, but IKL is able to be used across a human/web network.

[12:58] David Whitten: IKL is a self-contained network that preserves disambiguations.

[12:58] janet singer: IKL seems very useful for further development to handle contexts. Have there been any concerns or criticisms raised re limitations of IKL?

[12:58] CsongorN: If we have time I would like to hear some explanation about slide 27-29 (and whatever is needed to introduce those), as it goes more to the topic of the talk

[12:58] CsongorN: "ist" and "taht"

[12:58] CsongorN: ("that")

[12:59] David Whitten: John? Am I right?

[13:00] RaviSharma: Ken Sorry I joined late.

[13:01] DouglasRMiles: Quantified over Contexts as well right?

[13:01] David Whitten: If you have a (That something is true) used with two different meanings for terms in the "that" statement, do you use the same reference to the the "that" statement or duplicate it with the different meanings ?

[13:01] DouglasRMiles waves at David and Gavin

[13:02] AndreaWesterinen: I can't get to the Hayes06.ppt. I get a 404.

[13:03] David Whitten: : grins at DouglasRMiles.

[13:03] CsongorN: Maybe it is this:

[13:04] DouglasRMiles: David, I do use IKL now as the official language of LogicMOO

[13:05] David Whitten: John, I have a followup question, CsongorN has a question and DouglasMiles has a clarifying question

[13:05] ToddSchneider:

[13:06] David Whitten: 12:57] David Whitten: So the network is not the kind of logic, but IKL is able to be used across a human/web network.

[12:58] David Whitten: IKL is a self-contained network that preserves disambiguations.

[13:06] David Whitten: is this right?

[13:08] David Whitten: So if IKL quantifies over ontologies, then is this the same as quantify over contexts that Doug asked.

[13:09] DouglasRMiles: I suppose my question about "Quantifying over Contexts" can be seen "Can we quantify over Situations" since situations have an assumed imported Contexts

[13:10] David Whitten: "that" is a very useful way to quote/reify a proposition, so I'm glad it is in LogicMOO

[13:10] Ralph Schaefermeier: If the term "Context" refers to both background knowledge necessary to understand a situation and draw the right conclusions as well as to constraints that imply conditions on the truth value of a proposition (truthmakers), are the two equivalent or should a distinction between these two kinds of context be made?

[13:11] ToddSchneider: Pat Hayes has posted to Ontolog Forum about today's slides.

[13:14] David Whitten: so (that (Married Bill Sue)) is opaque to who is Bill & Sue in the current context? And what relation is referred to by "Married"

[13:17] DouglasRMiles: Iguess we can get genlMt as (iff (genlMt ?Mt1 ?Mt2) (if (ist ?Mt1 ?Prop) (ist ?Mt2 ?Prop)))

[13:20] janet singer: Thanks Todd - I see Pat Hayes Ontolog post does raise issues re IKL approach (though better may be the enemy of good enough here)

[13:21] RaviSharma: Todd - can you provide the URL as there are two postings, one in HTML and another PDF.

[13:22] ToddSchneider: Ravi, URL for what?

[13:23] RaviSharma: Todd for Pat Hayes posting today of Ontolog Forum.

[13:23] RaviSharma: on

[13:24] ToddSchneider: Ravi, it is/was an email to the Ontolog Forum mailing list; I received it at 12:19 Eastern.

[13:24] DouglasRMiles:

[13:25] RaviSharma: ok

[13:25] RaviSharma: thanks Todd

[13:27] DouglasRMiles: plus HETs

[13:27] David Whitten: I wonder if we can ask the DoD to share what they collected from the IKRIS project. It might include more than John Sowa found.

[13:27] DouglasRMiles:

[13:27] David Whitten: I saw something about ICL on Pat's website, I think. I wonder what it is?

[13:28] KenBaclawski: Here is the Pat Hayes post: Regarding the IKL logic (and other context logics, as developed by John MCarthy and his students and colleagues), the foundational idea is to NOT give a definition of context. Contexts are whatever satisfy the logical sematnic conditions and perhaps axioms that are being used to describe them. (This kind of definitionally-neutral stance is normal for dealing with logical descriptions, by the way.) The very same logic can be used, it is claimed, to reason about contexts' which are time-intervals, points of view, works of fiction, geographical locations, historical epochs, styles of fashion, publications, personal beliefs and many other kinds of thing. That was McCarthys position, at any rate. I am not so sanguine about there being a single logic of all these various topics, but that is an on-going debate. (See the last section of for some remarks on this, backed up by some actual mathematics.) I would say that any attempt to define context is bound to fail, because this is, like rubbish or background', a term which can only be defined negatively. There is no actual topic singled out by the word context. Context is whatever stuff that might be relevant to meaning or communication, but is not handled explicitly by the current theory under consideration. It is all the rest, whatever that might be. One cannot give a definition of such a term, and to insist on doing so is to miss the essential point. For more on this, see my short 1977 paper contexts in context

[13:28] RaviSharma: thanks Ken and Todd I got them.

[13:30] David Whitten: Thank you John Sowa. This is a heady talk with a lot of implications. I hope I do as well with my talk next week. (I'm still working on the slides)

[13:30] David Whitten: Do you want to put off my talk so we can talk about this?

[13:30] Nancy Lawler:

[13:31] RaviSharma: John - we appreciate these postings as these will provide the background.

[13:31] David Whitten: Because 'Contexts for Medical Decision Making' is a new bag of worms.

[13:32] JoshLieberman: Very interesting and thought-provoking but not sure that I found yet a succinct concept of context as a result. More reading!

[13:32] KenBaclawski: The meeting is adjourned. However, the discussion continues at ConferenceCall_2017_09_20/Followup

Additional Resources

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