[Humanist] 28.856 an argument & belief system

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Fri Mar 27 07:24:08 CET 2015

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 856.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

  [1]   From:    Dominic Oldman <doint at oldman.me.uk>                       (11)
        Subject: Re:  28.852 an argument & belief system

  [2]   From:    Desmond Schmidt <desmond.allan.schmidt at gmail.com>        (146)
        Subject: Re:  28.852 an argument & belief system

        Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2015 07:22:07 +0000
        From: Dominic Oldman <doint at oldman.me.uk>
        Subject: Re:  28.852 an argument & belief system
        In-Reply-To: <20150326062950.B0ABFCBA at digitalhumanities.org>

CRMInf isn't an AI system. It is a knowledge representation system. It represents arguments to a certain degree of generalization in an attempt to make sense of what is a highly fragmented an uncoordinated digital humanities world. 

It addresses, to my mind, some (not all) of the trajectories (McCarty, 2007) and in particular No. 3  

“1. A world‐wide, semi‐coordinated effort to create
large online scholarly resources; 2. Out of this activity, the slow development
of new genres in something like a digital Library; 3. Analytic modelling, to
raise the epistemological question of how we know what we somehow know; 4.
Synthetic modelling, to reconstruct lost artefacts from fragmentary evidence,
blurring gradually into a 5.  Modelling
for possible worlds”. 


        Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2015 19:21:42 +1000
        From: Desmond Schmidt <desmond.allan.schmidt at gmail.com>
        Subject: Re:  28.852 an argument & belief system
        In-Reply-To: <20150326062950.B0ABFCBA at digitalhumanities.org>

Hi Dominic,

my original query was prefaced by "My understanding is that" so please
excuse any misfiring and take it as an honest query. Though it is
perhaps an understandable "mistake" to assume that a formal ontology
that advertises itself as "intended to facilitate the integration,
mediation and interchange of heterogeneous cultural heritage
information" might be about museum objects. But I see now that CRMInf is
something different. It is an ontology about reasoning and more general
propositions that may cover textual elements and annotations. But to me
naively it seems to require a lot of effort to apply CRMInf to a poem,
or is there some automated way to make use of it? And I think this was
what Martin was hinting at: simply how do you actually use it in practice,
how much effort is it, and what would you get out of it? I think an actual
example, unless already available online, would be overkill.

Desmond Schmidt
Queensland University of Technology

On Thu, Mar 26, 2015 at 4:29 PM, Humanist Discussion Group <
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk> wrote:

>                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 28, No. 852.
>             Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
>                        www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist
>                 Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
> --[1]------------------------------------------------------------------------
>         Date: Wed, 25 Mar 2015 11:04:30 +0000
>         From: Dominic Oldman <doint at oldman.me.uk>
>         Subject: Re:  28.844 an argument & belief system
>         In-Reply-To: <20150324061245.003D3CA0 at digitalhumanities.org>
> Firstly with regard to Desmond's comment that his understanding is that
> CIDOC CRM only deals with museum objects. This is a common misunderstanding
> and a very common belief adoption. If we were using a digital argument and
> belief system we could trace a vast and connected set of similar belief
> adoptions back to an original observation and determine the weight of the
> proposition within. This is the point. Many arguments go on for long
> periods
> of time and are forgotten resulting in duplicated work and mistakes. I am
> aware of threads of academic work that have been built up over long periods
> of time that are then exposed as incorrect because of gaps in the academic
> discourse. I make similar mistakes myself perhaps simply because I haven't
> read a particular journal article.
> The email is therefore a useful example and I could say this (and encode
> it):
> Desmond has an argument about the nature of the CIDOC CRM and its purpose
> with a belief proposition derived from, “CIDOC CRM and any inference
> system based on it would be a way of thinking/reasoning about metadata of
> whole museum objects”. This belief could have been arrived at by reading
> and interpreting the CIDOC CRM reference (an observation) or adopting the
> belief of someone else. It could also be an assertion that is unqualified.
> In the former (observation) he may make an inference from his proposition
> and conclude that the CRM cannot represent the meaning of literary text or
> indeed text.
> i.e. "CIDOC CRM deals with objects and I infer through simple deductive
> logic (in conclusion) a belief that is doesn't deal with more conceptual
> things.
> In the latter (adoption) he may also conclude the same belief but the
> inference logic may be that he trusts the opinion of the person(s) from
> which he adopted the belief, as an expert in this particular area.
> Note: We can of course date Desmond's belief and record attribution so that
> the belief is recorded for all time since forming a belief is a form of
> activity to which we can sensibly attach temporal qualities and
> participating actors.
> My own belief is that Desmond's initial proposition is in fact false (the
> same proposition but with a different belief value). I can add my own
> propositions, for example, I can say that I believe the scope note of the
> entity E73 Information Object is True, and do this with many other
> non-physical entities within the CRM that, within a certain scope, address
> text, including poems, sonnets and so on.I can therefore conclude a new
> belief that the CRM deals with more than physical museum objects. In actual
> fact it deals with vastly more that this.
> However, this is an aside because the original note wasn’t about CIDOC CRM
> which is a bit of a diversion. It was about a different ontology CRMInf.
> (However, the fact that CRMInf is a specialisation of CIDOC CRM dealing
> with
> propositional and information entities I could have used this as another
> proposition to support my the previous argument and negation of Desmond's
> belief). The CRMInf ontology deals with the specific problem of how to
> create a digital provenance of facts (facts used in the wider sense of the
> word) derived from the work of academics – and doesn’t really mention
> physical objects.
> Surely I can make an argument about anything, including chains of symbols,
> that I can clearly identify! The question is how best is this knowledge
> represented from a computational point of view.
> It is true that Martin has selected a use case that may not have been in
> the
> forefront of the mind of the creators (the main authors being an
> archaeologist and a nuclear physicist by background). However, this matters
> not as it was not designed for a particular narrow thing. If you agree in
> principle that argumentation theory can be used to talk about text, then
> any
> feedback about the relative pros and cons and other approaches which have
> different agendas to the CIDOC CRM, are all very welcome. We can contribute
> to a further development of this.  It is true that the CRM has a particular
> agenda regarding the harmonization of information (through generalisations)
> that may effect the extent to which it deals with this aspect, but this is
> a
> feature not a fault.
> In the museum world curators, who are also researchers and academics,
> albeit
> in the realm of the real world, have been quite successful at
> interpretation. The CIDOC CRM is designed primarily to deal with reality
> and
> therefore, within CRMInf, a proposition (a line of literary text) should
> not
> be taken as a proposition regarding reality. However, if this is clear, I
> don’t see why CRMInf cannot be applied (in so far as it goes) to a sonnet.
> But let's see.
> A sonnet represents an interesting use case (partly because it is already
> highly structured - right -  :-)  ).
> My question to Martin is, given the example above: What argument do you
> want
> to make about sonnet 116? I note that there are many beliefs and arguments
> documented in narrative, but as this is your domain and expertise it should
> be your belief and argument which can be your own observation or adopting a
> belief from someone else. So...
> Do you want to make a new observation about the whole sonnet or individual
> lines, etc? Do you want to adopt the beliefs of others? CRMInf would
> consider a citation as an adoption of someone else’s belief. Do you want,
> from an original premise (the sonnet) and other observations and belief
> adoptions, to conclude a particular belief (an interpretation). The only
> real limitation is that you make “honest propositions” (I quote from the
> scope note of for I2 Belief) which as a minimum would require either
> reading
> sonnet 116.
> I am happy to give it a go and if it doesnt provide a satisfactory result
> (one that moves things along a bit) then it would be good to discuss
> further
> requirements and develop this further.
> D

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