A KR Terminology

  • Michael K. Bergman


For Peirce, the triadic nature of the sign—and its relation between the sign, its object, and its interpretant—was the speculative grammar breakthrough that then allowed him to better describe the process of sign-making and its role in the logic of inquiry and truth-testing (semiosis). We begin our analysis of a speculative grammar suitable to knowledge representation with the relevant ‘things’ (nouns) that populate our world and how we organize them. We then expand our discussion of relations to include actions and perceptions (verbs) between these things, as well as how we talk about or describe those things. Peirce’s concept of prescission captures the most fundamental expression of a hierarchical relationship, stated as the relation, prescind. When paired with the lessons of prior chapters, we end up with an expressive grammar for capturing all kinds of internal and external relations to other things. Attributes are the intensional characteristics of an object, event, entity, type (when viewed as an instance), or concept. External relations are actions or assertions between an event, entity, type, or concept and another particular or general. Representations are signs and the means by which we point to, draw attention to, or designate, denote, or describe a particular object, entity, event, type, or general. We now know that attributes are a Firstness in the universal categories; that Secondness captures all events, entities, and relations; and that Thirdness provides the context, meaning, and ways to indicate what we refer to in the world.


Knowledge representation Hierarchies Intensions Extensions 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael K. Bergman
    • 1
  1. 1.Cognonto CorporationCoralvilleUSA

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