Knowledge representation, the World Wide Web, and the evolution of logic

Synthese 182 (2):269-295 (2011)

Christopher Menzel
Texas A&M University
It is almost universally acknowledged that first-order logic (FOL), with its clean, well-understood syntax and semantics, allows for the clear expression of philosophical arguments and ideas. Indeed, an argument or philosophical theory rendered in FOL is perhaps the cleanest example there is of “representing philosophy”. A number of prominent syntactic and semantic properties of FOL reflect metaphysical presuppositions that stem from its Fregean origins, particularly the idea of an inviolable divide between concept and object. These presuppositions, taken at face value, reflect a significant metaphysical viewpoint, one that can in fact hinder or prejudice the representation of philosophical ideas and arguments. Philosophers have of course noticed this and have, accordingly, sought to alter or extend traditional FOL in novel ways to reflect a more flexible and egalitarian metaphysical standpoint. The purpose of this paper, however, is to document and discuss how similar “adaptations” to FOL—culminating in a standardized framework known as Common Logic —have evolved out of the more practical and applied encounter of FOL with the problem of representing, sharing, and reasoning upon information on the World Wide Web.
Keywords first-order logic  World Wide Web  knowledge representation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11229-009-9661-2
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 39,626
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Action, Emotion And Will.A. J. P. Kenny - 1963 - Ny: Humanities Press.
Quality and Concept.George Bealer - 1982 - Oxford University Press.
Semantics and Property Theory.Gennaro Chierchia & Raymond Turner - 1988 - Linguistics and Philosophy 11 (3):261 - 302.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Toward a Philosophy of The Web.Alexandre Monnin & Harry Halpin - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (4):361-379.
Conceptual Frames Revisited.Pawel Garbacz - 2015 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 25 (4):287-307.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The World Wide Web and the Web of Life.A. T. Nuyen - 2001 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 15 (1):47-57.
Informal Logic.Leo Groarke - 1996 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
SCL: A Logic Standard for Semantic Integration.Christopher Menzel & Patrick Hayes - 2003 - Semantic Integration, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, Vol. 82 (2003).
Agency and the Semantic Web.Christopher Walton - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Designing Visual Languages for Description Logics.Brian R. Gaines - 2009 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 18 (2):217-250.
Philosophy and the World Wide Web.Edward N. Zalta - 1995 - American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Computer Use in Philosophy 94 (2):29-33.
Sense and Reference on the Web.Harry Halpin - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (2):153-178.
A Sense-Based, Process Model of Belief.Robert F. Hadley - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (3):279-320.


Added to PP index

Total views
128 ( #53,866 of 2,325,926 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #271,520 of 2,325,926 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes

Sign in to use this feature