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« Writing on the Clouds | Main | A Unique Copy of a Rorschach Test Interpretation Tool (1947)? »


Frank Wilhoit

The meat of the letter is the 2d and 3d grafs on the first page. Here we see an individual, an unwitting pioneer, beginning to think through what would be involved in building an ontology. He came to it bottom-up: he had a local problem to solve. He knows that it is (at least potentially) an instance of a universal problem of supreme importance. There may have been others pursuing the ontology concept from the top down, but he has no way of contacting them or even of becoming aware of their work. Now for the punchline (and a gut punch it is): 68 years on, a human lilfetime, we are still *beginning* to think through what would be involved in defining an ontology. It is still a universal problem, it is still of supreme importance, and it is still intractable. I assert that its intractability is not intrinsic but extrinsic, and I cite this letter in support. Dispute me who will.

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