How can I create a Metaclass?

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Re: How can I create a Metaclass?

Vaclav
The problem is that the contract can be treated differently depending on what
is required.

When we're dealing with a question of fact, it must be answered by reference
to evidence. This is where a contract is a document (a deed).

Then, there is a distinct question of law, which must be answered by
applying relevant legal rules. This is where a contract is a source of law.

So, we have two classes: Facts and SourcesOfLaw and Contract is a subclass
of both of them.

The classes Facts and SourcesOfLaw should be disjoint because we use them
for very different reasons.

Any subclass of the class SourcesOfLaw can be regarded as a fact though, as
you have to refer to it somehow. E.g., a statute was passed by a particular
legislator on some particular date, etc.

I'm building my ontology from scratch, so there's really nothing to share,
sorry.




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Re: How can I create a Metaclass?

Vaclav
Contract is a concerted action done by its parties, which makes it a fact.
Contract as an action may not have any temporal duration as it's concluded
at some particular moment as it's provided by law or agreed by the parties
(e.g., at the time of signing the document).

Then it becomes a set of legally binding rules for the parties, which makes
it a source of law even if a temporary one. These particular rules can't be
subclasses of the class Facts, as they're not actions, they are requirements
which belong to a parent class SourcesOfLaw. This is what I can't wrap my
mind around.
Thank you!


 




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Re: How can I create a Metaclass?

Michael DeBellis-2
In reply to this post by Vaclav
I know nothing about the law domain but for what it's worth here are my thoughts. 

>So, we have two classes: Facts and SourcesOfLaw and Contract is a subclass
>of both of them.  

So Facts and SourcesOfLaw are the two classes you think should be disjoint and Contract is the class you think needs to be a subclass of both? First, keep in mind (I think you know this but thought it was worth emphasizing to be sure) that simply by the basic definitions this can't be true. The meaning of saying two classes X and Y are disjoint is that no Individual can be both an X and a Y. So if it is really the case that instances of Contract are both Facts and SourcesOfLaw then by definition those two aren't disjoint. The fact that they are different kinds of things doesn't necessarily mean they have to be disjoint. 

As an example consider the following simple model to represent a voting population (each level of indentation represents a new subclass level):

Person
   Gender
       Male
       Female
    PoliticalPersuasion
        Conservative
        Liberal 

Now it is certainly the case that Gender and PoliticalPersuasion are two completely different concepts. But I can't make them be disjoint because I want to describe people by both their Gender and PoliticalPersuasion (Liberal Men, Conservative Women, etc.). Note that Male and Female should be modeled as disjoint and Conservative/Liberal but not their superordinate classes.

My best guess is that you have the same situation here, that you have two different concepts (Facts and SourcesOfLaw) but they aren't disjoint because they are different ways to describe contracts. 

Or another way perhaps would be to create two different classes for Contract. I alluded to this in an earlier message when I was talking about the Bill of Rights and the difference between a legal document as an actual document (with things like version control, etc.) and a legal document as an abstract concept that defines a law or agreement between different parties. If you took this approach you would have something like a FactsContract class and a SourcesOfLawContract class and properties to connect each individual. E.g., hasFacts that connects a SourceOfLawContract to it's appropriate  FactsContract   and the inverse property isFactOfContract. 

Based on my limited understanding my intuition is that the first approach, just not making them disjoint, is probably the way to go. 

BTW, have you tried searching for existing legal ontologies? I did a google search and found that there seems to be some. This paper looked interesting: http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-321/paper3.pdf  

Hope that helps

Michael




On Fri, Apr 26, 2019 at 1:29 AM Vaclav <[hidden email]> wrote:
The problem is that the contract can be treated differently depending on what
is required.

When we're dealing with a question of fact, it must be answered by reference
to evidence. This is where a contract is a document (a deed).

Then, there is a distinct question of law, which must be answered by
applying relevant legal rules. This is where a contract is a source of law.

So, we have two classes: Facts and SourcesOfLaw and Contract is a subclass
of both of them.

The classes Facts and SourcesOfLaw should be disjoint because we use them
for very different reasons.

Any subclass of the class SourcesOfLaw can be regarded as a fact though, as
you have to refer to it somehow. E.g., a statute was passed by a particular
legislator on some particular date, etc.

I'm building my ontology from scratch, so there's really nothing to share,
sorry.




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Re: How can I create a Metaclass?

Vaclav
Thanks Michael, your thoughts are really appreciated.
Yes, I understand that a class can't be a subclass of two disjoint classes,
but that's what appeared to me to be the case. I'll just drop the two other
definitions of the class and stick to one where Contract is a subclass of
SourceOfLaw.
The paper seems to be interesting, thanks.
The problem with papers in the legal ontologies engineering is that they're
predominantly theoretical not giving any practical guidelines to as how to
go about creating an ontology in this field. How to treat logical errors
that are numerous in statutes, deal with gaps and legal fiction, etc. As to
my goals, I'm building a model ontology for a web service that's supposed to
infer ontologies from students' test answers.
Thank you!



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Re: Modeling "contract"

samsontu
Hi,

[Change subject of message: It’s bad practice to take over another message thread for unrelated discussion]

Perhaps the way to think about Contract is that it can play the *roles* of Fact and of SourceOfLaw. Fact and SourceOfLaw may be disjoint, but they are roles that can be played by the same entity. This is fairly common in organizational modeling. For example, PatientRole and CareProviderRole are roles such that in a hospital encounter they are not played by the same individual. However, a person may play either role at different times.

Re: Person example. I wouldn’t make Gender and Political Persuasion subclasses of Person. Instead, I’d, for example, define ConservativePerson as  (Person and hasPoliticalPersuasion some Conservative)

With best regards,
Samson


On Apr 26, 2019, at 1:21 PM, Vaclav <[hidden email]> wrote:

Thanks Michael, your thoughts are really appreciated.
Yes, I understand that a class can't be a subclass of two disjoint classes,
but that's what appeared to me to be the case. I'll just drop the two other
definitions of the class and stick to one where Contract is a subclass of
SourceOfLaw.
The paper seems to be interesting, thanks.
The problem with papers in the legal ontologies engineering is that they're
predominantly theoretical not giving any practical guidelines to as how to
go about creating an ontology in this field. How to treat logical errors
that are numerous in statutes, deal with gaps and legal fiction, etc. As to
my goals, I'm building a model ontology for a web service that's supposed to
infer ontologies from students' test answers.
Thank you!



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