The Semantic Triangel

About: ontology, metadata, and semiotics

source: John F. Sowa

The triangle in Figure 1 has a long history. Aristotle distinguished objects, the words that refer to them, and the corresponding experiences in the psychĂȘ. Frege and Peirce adopted that three-way distinction from Aristotle and used it as the semantic foundation for their systems of logic. Frege's terms for the three vertices of the triangle were Zeichen (sign) for the symbol, Sinn (sense) for the concept, and Bedeutung (reference) for the object. As an example, Frege cited the terms morning star and evening star. Both terms refer to same object, the planet Venus, but their senses are very different: one means a star seen in the morning, and the other means a star seen in the evening. Following is Peirce's definition of sign:

A sign, or representamen, is something which stands to somebody for something in some respect or capacity. It addresses somebody, that is, creates in the mind of that person an equivalent sign, or perhaps a more developed sign. That sign which it creates I call the interpretant of the first sign. The sign stands for something, its object. It stands for that object, not in all respects, but in reference to a sort of idea, which I have sometimes called the ground of the representamen. (CP 2.228) The terms morning star and evening star are distinct signs that create different concepts or interpretants in the mind of the listener. Both concepts stand for the same object, but in respect to a different ground, which depends on the time of the observation.
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Tags

  1. semiotics
  2. semantic triangle
  3. john sowa
  4. object
  5. concept
  6. meta-world
  7. item 16325
  8. triangle
  9. semiosis

Comments


Seth says
John Sowa was doing the same kind of mentography that i "invented" in the 70s.  Apparently we came upon it independently about the same time.  Later Tim Berners-Lee started using it for RDF later re-branded The Semantic Web.  The distinction between object and meta comes up a whole lot when discussing that technology. 

Seth says
i mentioned this entity on G+

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