Ownership of Names (was Re: Public identifiers and topic maps)

Sam Hunting sgmlsh at CAM.ORG
Wed Sep 30 16:19:25 BST 1998

> So let me stress my key point again: there is no such thing as a "public
> topic" with no resource. If authors of topic maps need to refer to things
> as topics that are outside of their maps, there must be a mapping from the
> name of the topic to its definition. If this mapping doesn't already exist,
> then the topic map author must provide it, in the ways I've shown in this
> post and in others.

This "must" is a question whose answer should be left to the topic map
designer, since it is a question on which philosophers (that
includes all of us) disagree and that probably cannot be resolved. 

(Wittgenstein would, I think, call your mapping a kind of "ostensive
definition" -- a theory of language that he made it his later life's work,
if not to refute, at least to enrich.)


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