Re: Another view on analysis and ER

From: Jan Hidders <>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 10:33:09 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <>

On 9 dec, 22:10, JOG <> wrote:
> On Dec 9, 5:20 pm, Jan Hidders <> wrote:
> > On 9 dec, 04:04, JOG <> wrote:
> > > Now in ontology, it is generally accepted that an
> > > object, or entity, is nothing more than a compressence of a collection
> > > of properties - i.e. (attribute, value) pairs.
> > [....]
> >
> > I'm also not comfortable with the usage of "is" here. I'd agree that
> > this is how entities can be described, but saying that they "are"
> > these descriptions seems wrong to me.
> Why are you uncomfortable with that. An entity is nothing more and
> nothing less than the 'compressence' of its _full_ set of all its
> attributes.
> > After all, different descriptions may describe the same entity.
> Well, I haven't talked about describing entities, rather we're
> defining them. This is an entity as our model sees it, not how it is
> seen in the real world (obviously there are concessions, given the set
> of possible attributes is probably infinite).

But that is what I'm saying, isn't it? These sets of properties are part of your model of a piece of reality and as such *represent* entities that are part of that reality, Saying that they *are* these entities is sloppy use of language and confuses the map with the territory. If I didn't know any better I'd almost think you could be accused of muddled thinking. :-)

I'm afraid I have to leave it at that today because duty is calling. I picked this point because it seemed important and yet something we might soon agree on. If you want you can indicate which point you'd like me to address first after this one.

  • Jan Hidders
Received on Mon Dec 10 2007 - 19:33:09 CET

Original text of this message