Illuminated

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rili...@gmail.com

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Dec 31, 2020, 12:44:55 PM12/31/20
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Hello all,

This may be trivial, but I am unsure how to handle this in BFO.  The domain is light and illumination.  I can say that a lamp has a function of being a light source, and a process of light emission realizes that function. Now if the lamp is located in a room, I'd like to say that if the light emission is occurring then the room is illuminated.  

The question is: what kind of entity is "illuminated"?  Is it a quality of the room?  Is it a disposition? What's a good way to handle this?

Thank you,

Roman.


petosa...@gmail.com

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Dec 31, 2020, 2:36:44 PM12/31/20
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First, we need to establish the meaning of “illuminated”. Here is what the Oxford English Dictionary states (see: https://www.oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/illuminated):

 

Illuminated: (def) Lit with bright lights

 

If you accept this definition, then there is a distinction between being “lit” and being “illuminated”, as the latter requires “bright lights”. Given “bright” is qualitative, then one first needs to interpret this term quantitatively. For example, one may decide to express “brightness” in terms of “lumens”, or, perhaps, there is a documented standard for “brightness” or a collection of such documents that vary for different countries’ standards of “brightness”.

 

I would not say that a room (or any material object for that matter) is disposed to be illuminated. Rather a material object is disposed to reflect and absorb various frequencies within the visible light spectrum. Given your example, a lamp has a function to illuminate, which realizes an illumination process. The room is disposed to reflect/absorb visible light in varying amounts and at varying frequencies.

 

In my opinion, this is an example of where dictionary definitions and Ontology (Realist Ontology) do not mix. To say that something is illuminated easily can be “understood” linguistically, as it paints a particular mental picture where something is brightly lit. However, there is no ontological precision in such a definition. In needs to be reformulated in accordance with ontological realism, and BFO offers a good mechanism for doing so.

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Pierre Grenon

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Dec 31, 2020, 3:02:24 PM12/31/20
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This is quite interesting. It might depend on what you are trying to do and the context --- it is not self evident that 'illuminated' is an entity.

That the room is illuminated seems rather contingent and by that which is illuminated, in general, you may mean 'whatever is exposed to light'. This sounds like a story to explain in terms of process and participant, not necessarily in terms of states and properties of the participants. (the Cornucopia paper had variants of participation to address such roles) 

The illumination nevertheless results from light emission and it is tempting to say there is an illuminated state of the room (maybe a property). In general, the room (whatever that is) is a site and the site could be given some sort of illuminated or obscured state, say. I think there are domain ontologies that follow BFO and just end up doing stuff like this for convenience. In general, what a state is, what it is to be in such state, and what distingusihes different states are issues that are left entirely open by these domain ontologies.

 There could be cases in which that which is illuminated would deserve a role (à la dependent continunant). Suppose you are describing an artistic installation and the room is playing that role of being that which is illuminated. This goes beyond mere happenings and involves plans and intention. It seems to be a particular case though. 

Take analogies. The garden is watered using a hose. Is 'watered' an entity? The wine in the glass is contaminated by the coughing of a non mask wearing token. Is 'contaminated' an entity? It is always convenient to have an attribute and say X has this attribute, for representation. But these usually are definitional shorthands for a little bit more complicated stories. When the definitions are clear, we might want to categorise these things if it is forthcoming from the definition. It seems to be rarely the case that we do this, though. 

Anyway, rambling aside, how about simply representing the illuminated state of the room saying there is an illumination process and using a relation such as 'illuminated object in' (some specialisation of participates in). What would be missing?

With many thanks and best regards,
Pierre 


Pierre Grenon

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Dec 31, 2020, 3:24:10 PM12/31/20
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I'm skipping the linguistic stuff because it just means "éclairé" and everything is simply self evident when expressed in French.

I agree the disposition talk would probably show up in a more detailed explanation of mechanistic processes but it sounds fishy to have a disposition to be éclairé(e). It'd be a bit like having a disposition to be rained on when stepping outside, it doesnt come across as a diaposition rather than matter of course --- by analogy, getting wet when rained on (reflecting light when illuminated) could be handled talking about dispositions.  

Best wishes,
Pierre


petosa...@gmail.com

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Dec 31, 2020, 4:38:47 PM12/31/20
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To be clear the disposition is not for a room to be “illuminated”; the disposition is for the room (let’s view it as a material entity at this level of ontological zooming) to reflect/absorb visible light. More specifically, a room’s surfaces are disposed collectively to reflect/absorb visible light. From an ontological perspective there is no meaning in saying a “room is illuminated” without expanding the material entities and processes that engage in some illumination process.

Pierre Grenon

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Dec 31, 2020, 6:19:51 PM12/31/20
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I thought your proposal was clear, apologies if I confused the issues. I meant to agree that it seems, in first analysis at least, that there is no dispo to be illuminated (so agree with the way you have it) and that there could be more background dispositions as you have it. 

I don't see that there is a need for illuminated things to have any reflective property, disposition or other, nor even be visible in whole or parts as result of illumination (as they may not be reflective); so I'm not convinced an account, perhaps admittedly superficial, cannot be given without a thorough treatment of the entities involved. Arguably, this may change if we start talking about the quality of illumination. 

That independence is why, depending on purpose, it seems a straightforward account in terms of process and participation in process appears enough. It may not be thorough but it would remain meaningful (you may disagree) -- perhaps, only with a possibly dense amount of assumptions that in practice may be impractical to unfold (you may disagree again). 

Cheerio,
Pierre

petosa...@gmail.com

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Dec 31, 2020, 9:35:23 PM12/31/20
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Greetings and Happy New Year.

 

> I don't see that there is a need for illuminated things to have any reflective property, disposition

> or other, nor even be visible in whole or parts as result of illumination (as they may not be reflective)

Agree, which is why I was careful to state that a material object must be disposed to reflect and/or absorb visible light in varying parts of the visible light spectrum. That, for instance, is how we perceive an object’s color. I also agree ontologically that an object is “illuminated” in so much as its brightest is perceived in its trans-ontological 3D/4D (i.e., BFO Continuant/BFO Occurrent) relation to some illumination process.

 

Here, again, the distinction is that a material object is not disposed to be illuminated; it is disposed to reflect/absorb varying frequencies in the visible light spectrum with some degree of intensity (luminosity?) during the course of its participation in some illumination process.

Hunter, Larry

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Dec 31, 2020, 9:46:30 PM12/31/20
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Dear BFOntologists,

Happy New Year all!  

I feel feel that the issue with “illumination” actually reflects a deeper issue with BFO regarding fields (in the physics sense) generally.  From an ontological perspective, optical fields are much like gravitational fields.  The interaction between a field and a material entity is not one of function or disposition.  I’ve always found it disappointing that I cannot state the laws of physics in BFO terms.

Larry

petosa...@gmail.com

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Jan 1, 2021, 1:12:59 PMJan 1
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That’s an interesting point, although it may not necessarily impact this discussion for the simple reason that the ontological representation depends upon ontological zooming. Perhaps if you provide more detail regarding the “interaction between a field and a material entity”, there may be a way to represent this finer-grained level of reality using BFO. A similar argument applies, I suppose, for representing reality at the quantum level.

Hunter, Larry

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Jan 1, 2021, 2:04:43 PMJan 1
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Interactions between fields and material entities is the topic of most of physics, and are important at all levels of granularity. Perhaps the simplest to understand is a charged particle in a magnetic field: F=q v B \sin \theta
Where F is the force exerted by the field on the particle, q & v are the charge and velocity of the particle, B is the magnetic field, and theta is the angle between the particle and the field.  The problem is that the magnetic field is neither a continuent nor an occurrent.  For example, it has infinite spatial extent.  

Or, from a perhaps more ontological perspective:  An apple is on a table.  Earth’s gravitational field exerts force that keeps the apple from wandering off. There’s no temporal bound on the gravitational field, so it’s not an occurrent.  There’s no spatial bound on the field, so its not an independent continuent. The force is not present unless both the field and the apple are present, so it is not dependent on either one.  What is it?

Larry
 

Barry Smith

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Jan 1, 2021, 2:16:23 PMJan 1
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We are working on the task of translating more of physics into BFO. As concerns fields, one approach -- which I illustrate in relation to quality but which may be extended also to dispositions -- is to take seriously the idea that a quality can be expressed in different ways at different points across a continuum. Thus what we call your temperature (that which is measured by a thermometer and yields as result a temperature measurement) is in fact a quality field, which would yield different measurement values in different regions of your body.


Hunter, Larry

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Jan 1, 2021, 3:46:47 PMJan 1
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Barry,

I very much appreciate the effort to “translate” physics into BFO.  I have a question about the quality approach:  In what continuent does the quality inhere?  It seems to me that, e.g. in the case of gravity, it has to be a quality of multiple masses together, not a quality of either one individually.

Larry

ape...@optonline.net

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Jan 1, 2021, 3:55:02 PMJan 1
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> The problem is that the magnetic field is neither a continuent nor an occurrent.

A magnetic field is a BFO Continuant. Here is how BFO presents Continuant.

 

Continuant: (elucidation) A continuant is an entity that persists, endures or continues to exist through time while maintaining its identity.

Examples: A human being, a tennis ball, a cave, a region of space, someone’s temperature.

 

This means you can extend a field from Continuant in a material domain for physics. Granted, Continuant is extremely broad in scope.

 

Building on Dr. Smith’s comment, you may wish to include BFO Relational Quality in your search for a solution to describing a magnetic fields (or physics domain fields in general). A “field” would extend from Continuant. The Relational Quality would specifically depend upon the two Material Objects participating in the manifestation/enacting of the field (e.g., the gravitational field’s influence on the “attraction” that exists between the apple and earth in your example). Note, with respect to gravity, you may wish to formulate such ontological relations within the context of both Newtonian Physics and General Relativity.

 

Relational Quality: (def) b is a relational quality = (def.) b is a quality and there exists c and d such that b and c are not identical, & b s-depends on c & b s-depends on d [057-BFO]

 

EXAMPLES: A marriage bond, an instance of love, an obligation between one person and another.

 

Notionally, an ontological representation for “gravitational field” within a BFO context would involve the following:

 

  • Continuant and its material domain “physics field type” extensions
  • Material Objects and their material domain extensions of the things with spatial extent involved in the “physics field type”
  • Process and its material domain extension(s) that represents the trans-ontological relationship(s) of the Material Objects that specifically depend upon the Material Objects extensions

 

I am not sure how you would tie in the Continuant “physics field type” material domain extension.

Hunter, Larry

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Jan 1, 2021, 4:21:44 PMJan 1
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Notionally, an ontological representation for “gravitational field” within a BFO context would involve the following:
 
  • Continuant and its material domain “physics field type” extensions
  • Material Objects and their material domain extensions of the things with spatial extent involved in the “physics field type”
  • Process and its material domain extension(s) that represents the trans-ontological relationship(s) of the Material Objects that specifically depend upon the Material Objects extensions

Seems like a reasonable start, at least for classical physics, although there’s a lot hiding in “physics field type extensions to continuent."  Gravity changing the shape of space-time (general relativity) seems like even a tougher lift.  But I am heartened to hear that BFO considers modeling physics an important problem.

So, in answer to the OP, it sounds like you think illumination is going to be one of those “physics field type” extensions that relationally depends on the light source and the room.  Is there a list somewhere of the “physics field types” that BFO is contemplating?

Larry 

Barry Smith

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Jan 1, 2021, 4:37:30 PMJan 1
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On Fri, Jan 1, 2021 at 3:46 PM Hunter, Larry <LARRY....@cuanschutz.edu> wrote:
Barry,

I very much appreciate the effort to “translate” physics into BFO.  I have a question about the quality approach:  In what continuent does the quality inhere?  It seems to me that, e.g. in the case of gravity, it has to be a quality of multiple masses together, not a quality of either one individually.

In the case of the temperature case the quality(-field) would inhere in your whole body. (You automatically get a perfect fit.) In the case of the gravity-field -- in first approximation the bearer would be the whole universe. To deal with the magnetic attraction (-field) between two bodies we might appeal to the BFO category of a relational quality and see this as a relational quality*(-field) linking the two bodies in question.

* Force, though, is properly better dealt with as a disposition.  
  

ape...@optonline.net

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Jan 1, 2021, 5:02:03 PMJan 1
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> So, in answer to the OP, it sounds like you think illumination is going to be one of those “physics field

> type” extensions that relationally depends on the light source and the room.

Only if you plan to represent “illumination” in terms of a physical field type. Again, “illumination” is a highly qualitative term, and I am sure you can arrive at better terms in the scientific literature that relate to this qualitative term. Personally, I would not use “illumination” or “illuminated” unless, as described in this thread, you quantify it through something measurable like “lumens”.

 

> Is there a list somewhere of the “physics field types” that BFO is contemplating?

To be clear I did not suggest that BFO defines any “physics field type”, nor should it. BFO is a formal ontology, which means its universals are agnostic to any material domain. This is why I suggest you extend the BFO Continuant formal ontology universal into a “field” Physics material (a.k.a., ‘domain’) ontology universal and further extend “field” into “magnetic field”, “gravitational field”, etc.

 

From: bfo-d...@googlegroups.com <bfo-d...@googlegroups.com> On Behalf Of Hunter, Larry
Sent: Friday, January 1, 2021 4:21 PM
To: bfo-d...@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: [bfo-discuss] Illuminated

 

Notionally, an ontological representation for “gravitational field” within a BFO context would involve the following:

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