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Trust, Socrates and the Semantic Web

Date & Time:
15:30:00 - 17:00:00,
Tuesday 8 March, 2005


Socrates never wrote anything, and confined his philosophy to spoken debate. The important issues for Socrates were trust and control: he felt the radical decontextualisation that resulted from the portability and stasis of written forms would obscure the author’s intentions, and allow the misuse of the written outside of the local context.

Trust has once more become a central problem, both politically and epistemologically, but since Socrates’ day, various technologies have undermined his distinction, making the relationship between trustworthiness and linguistic mode more complex. In the context of Socrates’ arguments, this paper reviews recent developments in Semantic Web technologies, showing:

  • How developers and authors attempt to establish trust in their websites, web services or e-commerce processes

  • How new work in dynamic content creation further blurs the spoken / written and global / local distinctions

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  • Name: Dr Kieron O’Hara
  • Affiliation: Senior Research Fellow, Electronics and Computer Science Dept, University
    of Southampton
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