Re: [Q]: ontologies examples & definition(s) ? (Paul van der Vet)
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 94 13:29:17 +0200
From: (Paul van der Vet)
Message-id: <>
Subject: Re: [Q]: ontologies examples & definition(s) ?
In-reply-to: Mail from ' (Fritz Lehmann)'
      dated: Fri, 22 Jul 94 02:19:21 CDT
Precedence: bulk

Fritz Lehmann writes:

>      Let me add that a substantial minority of  A.I.
> researchers in the knowledge representation area
> consider that the word "ontology" is being abused by
> the rest of us, because we use it for rather specific
> concept-systems far removed from the traditional,
> philosophical high-level meaning of "ontology".  (For
> this reason I've called my master-list of them a list of
> "concept systems" rather than "ontologies" -- I
> promulgate this list by email now and then).  I can imagine
> the distress of philosophers who hear about "the
> ontology of Microsoft Word".

But then, the word "ontology" didn't make many philosophers
enthusiastic lately ... The idea is that what the world consists of is
a question to be answered by physicists and chemists, not by
philosophers. But it makes sense to try to systematise and explicitate
the physical/chemical worldview. With a slight abuse of the term you
could call that an ontology (as Bunge has done). In my Ph.D. thesis
(1987) I pedantically proposed "ontography" as a better term. I now
use "ontology". After all, since the Middle Ages we're all
nominalists, aren't we? (I'll resist the temptation to quote

Paul van der Vet                   Phone +31 53 89 36 94 / 36 90
Knowledge-Based Systems Group      Fax   +31 53 33 96 05
Dept. of Computer Science          Email
University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE  Enschede
The Netherlands