Culture as Mediator for what is Ready-to-hand: A Phenomenological Exploration of Semantic Networks


Upon what philosophical foundation are semantic network graphs based? Does this foundation allow for the legitimization of other semantic networks and ontological diversity? How can we design our computational and informational systems to accommodate this ontological diversity and the variety of semantic networks? Are semantic networks segmentations of larger semantic landscapes? This paper explores semantic networks from a Heideggerian existentialist and phenomenological perspective. The analysis presented uses cultural schema theory to bridge the syntactic and lexical elements to the semantic and conceptual dimensions of semantic network graphs and offers reasons why the viability of such graphs as they are currently constructed are insufficient for creating semantic interoperability for our informationtechnologies. Reconceptualizing semantic networks as cultural landscapes offers us



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David J. Saab
Pennsylvania State University

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