The Semantic Web in a philosophical perspective

Terje Aaberge


The semantic web is a proposal to make a more efficient web. By endowing the computer
‘language’ with a semantic structure defined by ontologies extracted from natural
language, one hopes to facilitate the communication between human operators and
computers and between computers. An ontology is a set of definitions that relate the
terms and predicates of the vocabulary of the description language for a domain. It
imposes a semantic structure that fix the meaning of terms and predicates that are
polysemic in natural language and it serves as a basis for making inferences.
Abstracted from the domain it limits the possible interpretations of the vocabulary.
The extraction of ontologies from the semantic of a description language leans on
Wittgenstein’s metaphysics and picture theory from Tractatus and language games from


philosophy; 20th century philosophy; Wittgenstein Ludwig; Semantic Web; ontology; picture theory; language

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