Some Thoughts on Primitives, Predicates and the Meaning of Terms in Ontologies and in General Vocabulary

Krzysztof Bogacki


The article deals with two terms: “primitives” and “predicates” found in technical reports on ontology, on natural languages and in programming languages. The way they are used seems to confirm the Latin phrase: Si duo dicunt idem non est idem. However, one must attenuate this supposition which is due to the fact that the descriptions of ontologies, of the programming code and of the natural language texts are made in formal language. The obtained descriptions have two aspects: ‘formal’ and ‘lexical’ or ‘semantic’. Both predicates and primitives appear in linguistics and computer science on the formal level, and not on the ‘lexical’ one. A glance at the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union as the base-text used to develop a micro-ontology leads to the conclusion that the authors introduce the concept of dignité humaine ‘human dignity’ by an arbitrary stipulative definition rather than by reporting one. The meaning assigned to this term does not coincide with any of the registered meanings of this expression in the standard language


ontology; predicates; primitives; terms in ontologies; natural language vocabulary


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Roczniki Humanistyczne · ISSN 0035-7707 | eISSN 2544-5200 | DOI: 10.18290/rh

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