10.5 Setting the Definition

What now?

Recall that:

On this page, we will give an example of how to set the definition of a concept type, and also discuss the philosphical underpinnings of this.

Open the contents pane

Open the contents pane for "Man" (if it is currently open, close it first, by clicking the "Close" button.

  1. Navigate to the "Physical" -> "Object" -> "Human" -> "Man" node.
  2. Click on the node to select it.
  3. Right-click the node to bring up the pop-up menu.
  4. Choose "Show Content".

Write the definition

Write the definition as follows:

Click "Set"

Once you have written the definition, click the "Set" button:

This will make your changes permanent. (If you didn't do this, the definition would be lost when you closed the contents pane.)

Everything OK?

If everythin is OK (i.e., you have written the definition correctly), you will get the following message in the debug frame:

If you did not get this message, you need to go back and ensure that you have copied the definition correctly from the above picture.

If that is not the problem, you may not have all the conceptual structures ("Human", "attr", "Sex", "Male") in the ontology. If you don't, please add them as follows, and try again:

  • "Relation" -> "attr"
  • "Universal" -> "Physical" -> "Object" -> "Human" -> "Man"
  • "Universal" -> "Abstract" -> "Schema" -> "Attribute" -> "Sex" -> "Male" (all of these are concept types, so use "Right click" -> "Insert" -> "(Sub)Type").

Close the content pane

Now that you have set the definition CG successfully, remember to close the content pane so that you can set the content of another conceptual structure.


What have we just done?

We have defined what a "Man" is, by saying that he is a "Human" (that is the supertype), and that he has an "attribute" which is "Male" (which is a subtype of "Sex").

This is Aristotle's method of definition:

  1. You specify a genus:

    "[Human: super]"

  2. and then you specify the differentiae:


  3. which make this species ("Man") unique in relation to its genus.

The reason we put "super" after the colon is to tell Amine what the supertype is.

Granted, this could have been computed from its placement in the ontology, but to save Amine some work, we specify it directly in the definition.

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NextLite: 10.6 Try it yourself

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