Appel: FOIS-2004 Workshop on the Potential of Cognitive Semantics for Ontologies, Extended deadline

Thierry Hamon thierry.hamon at LIPN.UNIV-PARIS13.FR
Wed Sep 1 11:58:34 UTC 2004

Date: Tue, 31 Aug 2004 17:29:34 +0200
From: "Jos Lehmann" <joslehmann at>
Message-ID: <009e01c48f6f$5a83deb0$f0419296 at Lehmann>

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FOIS-2004 Workshop on the Potential of Cognitive Semantics for


Extended deadline for paper submissions:

15 September 2004


Workshop on the Potential of Cognitive Semantics for Ontologies

Torino, Italy, November 3rd, 2004

Held in conjunction with FOIS 2004, the International Conference on
Formal Ontologies in Information Systems

Featured Speakers

  a.. Peter Gärdenfors, Lund University Cognitive Science,

  b.. Joseph Goguen, University of California at San Diego, Computer
  Science and Engineering,

Workshop Theme

What do ontologies, as used in the semantic web and elsewhere, have to
do with meaning? In particular, where do their predicates get their
meanings? Semantics, no matter what formalisms are applied to it, is
ultimately a cognitive phenomenon: it refers to the meaning that
symbols have for human beings. It is determined by individual and
cultural factors, involving a human mind aware of the conventions of a
language community. Yet, the mental interpretation processes are not
accessible and the conventions of information communities are rarely
meaningful to agents in other communities. Ontology engineers
therefore face the problem of capturing enough of the cognitive as
well as the social contexts of information. However, information
system ontologies typically consist of networks or hierarchies of
concepts to which symbols can refer. Their axiomatizations are either
self-referential or point to more abstract, rather than more
meaningful symbols. So, how do the ontologies become meaningful?

Cognitive semantics, in its various flavors, is asking similar
questions for natural languages and symbol systems in general. It
studies, among other issues, what the embodied nature of language can
tell us about how we construct meanings, or what its socially situated
nature says about the constraints on language use. Cognitive
scientists have developed innovative and powerful notions that are
potentially useful for ontologies. Among them are:

  a.. image schemas
  b.. prototypes and radial categories
  c.. basic level concepts
  d.. primes and universals
  e.. language games
  f.. metaphors and metonymies
  g.. idealized cognitive models
  h.. mental spaces and conceptual blendings
  i.. conceptual spaces
  j.. frame semantics
  k.. affordances
  l.. conceptual similarity measures.
So far, there is only sparse work on information system ontologies
  that takes any of these notions seriously, and even less that
  formalizes and applies them fruitfully. This workshop will take
  stock of such approaches and establish a research agenda for
  ontology design inspired and informed by cognitive semantics. It
  will bring together researchers in information system or natural
  language semantics w ith a formal or cognitive background or both.

Position Papers

Anybody with an interest in the questions raised above is invited to
submit a position paper. Participation at the workshop is open to all
position paper authors who also register for the FOIS
conference. Extended abstracts of 800 - 1500 words should be sent by
Email to kuhn at on or before August 31, 2004. They will
be made available on the workshop web site, unless their authors
instruct us otherwise. Authors will be notified by September 15, 2004
whether their position papers have been selected for presentation
during the workshop. Authors are invited to submit revised versions of
their position papers to a post-workshop review process, leading to a
book or journal special issue on research directions to make
ontologies more meaningful.


Werner Kuhn, Martin Raubal, Florian Probst, Krzysztof Janowicz

Muenster Semantic Interoperability Lab (MUSIL)

Institute for Geoinformatics, University of Muenster, Germany

Further information

An introduction to the workshop topic with recommendations for further
reading is posted at It may be
updated occasionally.

All workshop communication will be by Email and through the workshop
web site at

Do not hesitate to contact kuhn at with any questions
about the workshop.

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