Meaning is Context Relative, Not Identifiers

Phil asked for clarification on a previous post, so hopefully with some sleep in me I can elaborate a bit more. I think I was trying to say that the concept of weight can be modeled in many different ways. This includes different ontological descriptions for weight, where weight can be identified using the same or different URI.

Take, for example, the URI http://example.org/xyz. You can say that:

<http ://example.org/xyz> a :Animal.

and I can say

<http ://example.org/xyz> a :Car.

The context here is Who Said What. What's not up for question is that there is some Resource identified by <http ://example.org/xyz>, and that when we use that identifier, we are talking about the same thing.

For the semantic web to succeed, and this might be your point all along, the environment must be able to cope with the above situation (where you think the thing is an animal, and I think it's a car) . This is difficult because of the Open World assumption, no doubt about it. For all the reasoner knows, something can be a :Animal and a :Car. It's up to the authors of the ontologies to say that :Animal owl:disjoint :Car.

Even though the Open World assumption exists, URI's still identify one thing. Now, whatever meaning you assign to that thing is your own. It's the meaning that is context relative, not the identifier for the thing.
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