VWS Talk 3: Context and Supercontext  
     The VWS Project      How a VWS Works      How to Join a
VWS      How to Give a
VWS      Relevant
Information      The VWS
Programme      People
Virtual Worldwide Seminar Project

Context and Supercontext

R.A.Young, University of Dundee1
February 8, 1999


Think of a context as expressed in a language which an agent, at some time, is learning to apply (or is even able to apply) to some aspect of the world. Think of the language as having a model whose domain consists of components of that aspect. Thus the language has a local model (Giunchiglia et al 1998). The context may be defined in terms of that local model.

The agent is an autonomous intentional agent (Young 1994,1996). An agent of this kind

  • can learn/develop its own autonomous concepts of the world,
  • lacks concepts which others may have acquired,
  • lacks a language of complete description of the world,
  • can learn to extend its language by interaction with others.
In contrast, many philosophers discuss semantics as if (in principle) there is some complete language of description for the world and its associated set of scientifically possible worlds. Or, at least, there is some complete language of base description - e.g. a language for describing micro physical properties (higher-order properties, e.g. macro-physical, functional and semantic, are dependent - "supervene" - on these base properties). The complete language for describing the base might be identified with the language of a final theory of physics. This talk
  • offers a critique of the view that there is even in principle a final theory of physics.,
  • sketches a view, based on local models semantics, of how to think of semantics in a world in which there is not, even in principle, a complete language of base description
  • sketches an account of ontology for this world.


KR'98 paper by Fausto Giunchigla and Chiara Ghidini

R.A.Young, "Mentality of Robots", Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, 1994

R.A.Young,"Embodied agents as interactive agents". AAAI Fall Symposium on Embodiment, 1996


Slides (2/7/99)


1 R.A.Young, University of Dundee
Philosophy Department,
University of Dundee

Top of this page

 Contact: Virtual Seminar Coordinators
Last modified: Wed Feb 3 14:29:31 PST 1999