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  1. The birth of ontology.Barry Smith - 2022 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (1):57-66.
    This review focuses on the Ogdoas scholastica by Jacob Lorhard, published in 1606. The importance of this document turns on the fact that it contains what is almost certainly the first published occurrence of the term “ontology.” The body of the work consists in a series of diagrams called “diagraphs.” Relevant features of this compendium of diagraphs are: 1. that it does not in fact contain the word “ontology,” and 2. that Lorhard himself was not responsible for its content.
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  • To be or not to be informed, that is the question of O/ontology.Luis M. Augusto - 2022 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (3):3-49.
    The relations between ontology and information are many and fundamental, and they help us to understand the present gulf between (formal) ontology and (philosophical) Ontology: We can speak of respectively ontology-driven information and information-driven ontology as the focus on being informed vs. informed being. The question of whether these two (can) coincide is relevant to both fields, and in this article I elaborate on what needs to be addressed first of all to provide us with an answer: The form. This (...)
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  • Entities and their genera: Slicing up the world the medieval way--and does it matter to formal ontology?Luis M. Augusto - 2022 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (2):4-47.
    Genera, typically hand-in-hand with their branching species, are essential elements of vocabulary-based information constructs, in particular scientific taxonomies. Should they also feature in formal ontologies, the highest of such constructs? I argue in this article that the answer is “Yes” and that the question posed in its title also has a Yes-answer: The way medieval ontologists sliced up the world into genera does matter to formal ontology. More specifically, the way Dietrich of Freiberg, a Latin scholastic, conceived and applied strictly (...)
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  • Categories and foundational ontology: A medieval tutorial.Luis M. Augusto - 2022 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (1):1-56.
    Foundational ontologies, central constructs in ontological investigations and engineering alike, are based on ontological categories. Firstly proposed by Aristotle as the very ur- elements from which the whole of reality can be derived, they are not easy to identify, let alone partition and/or hierarchize; in particular, the question of their number poses serious challenges. The late medieval philosopher Dietrich of Freiberg wrote around 1286 a tutorial that can help us today with this exceedingly difficult task. In this paper, I discuss (...)
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  • Mathematics, isomorphism, and the identity of objects.Graham White - 2021 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 2 (2):56-58.
    We compare the medieval projects of commentaries and disputations with the modern projects of formal ontology and of mathematics.
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  • The bridge between philosophy and information-driven science.Barry Smith - 2021 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 2 (2):47-55.
    This essay is a response to Luis M. Augusto’s intriguing paper on the rift between mainstream and formal ontology. I will show that there are in fact two questions at issue here: 1. concerning the links between mainstream and formal approaches within philosophy, and 2. concerning the application of philosophy (and especially philosophical ontology) in support of information-driven research for example in the life sciences.
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  • Universals in ontological investigations.Roberto Pinzani - 2021 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 2 (2):41-46.
    Universals appear to be as central in today's computational-based ontology as they were in medieval ontological investigations. As the author of a recent work on the history of universals (Pinzani, 2018), I was asked for a commentary on Augusto’s article “Bridging Mainstream and Formal Ontology” (Augusto, 2021), which aims at showing that medieval ontological investigations can be relevant for contemporary ontology engineering. In this commentary, I begin by saying something about my way of reading 12th-century logical literature and then offer (...)
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  • Causality as a partitioning principle for upper ontologies.Jobst Landgrebe - 2021 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 2 (2):36-40.
    In his “Bridging mainstream and formal ontology”, Augusto (2021) gives an excellent analysis of Dietrich von Freiberg’s idea of using causality as a partitioning principle for upper ontologies. For this Dietrich’s notion of extrinsic principles is crucial. The question whether causation can and indeed should be used as a partitioning principle for ontologies is discussed using mathematics and physics as examples.
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