On-site & Online Conference TOTh 2021
3-4 Juin 2021, University of Savoie, Chambéry, France
Opening talk: Events and their names
Nicola Guarino, former director of the ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology
Abstract: In a famous book, Jonathan Bennett claimed that the semantics of event names (mainly verbs and their nominalizations) ultimately depends on “local context and unprincipled intuitions”. Yet, terminologists presuppose some systematic connection between terms and reality, so they must face the hard task of verb semantics.
Contra Bennett, i will show in this talk that a systematic connection between events and their names exists (at least for a large class of verbs), although it is not always immediate. To understand it, I will first introduce a new proposal for an ontology of events that is independent of the properties we ascribe to them, abandoning Kim’s view of events as property exemplifications. Then I will show how cognition selects relevant clusters of simple events, and how the lexicon provides systematic principles for individuating such clusters, classifying them into kinds, and imposing a figure/ground structure on them.
Biography: Nicola Guarino is a retired research associate at the Institute of Cognitive Sciences and Technologies of the Italian National Research Council (ISTC-CNR), and former director of the ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology (LOA) based in Trento. He has been playing a leading role in the ontology field, developing a strongly interdisciplinary approach that combines together Computer Science, Philosophy, and Linguistics. Among the most well known results of his lab, the OntoClean methodology and the DOLCE foundational ontology. He has been founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Applied Ontology journal, founder and former president of the International Association for Ontology and its Applications (IAOA), and editorial board member of Int. Journal of Semantic Web and Information Systems and Journal of Data Semantics. He is also fellow of the European Association for Artificial Intelligence (EurAI).
On the theoretical side, his current research interests are focusing on the ontological foundations of knowlege representation and conceptual modeling and specifically the ontology of events and relationships, while on the application side he is focusing on enterprise modeling, services, and manufacturing.