Classifying Processes: An Essay in Applied Ontology

Ratio 25 (4):463-488 (2012)
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Abstract

We begin by describing recent developments in the burgeoning discipline of applied ontology, focusing especially on the ways ontologies are providing a means for the consistent representation of scientific data. We then introduce Basic Formal Ontology (BFO), a top-level ontology that is serving as domain-neutral framework for the development of lower level ontologies in many specialist disciplines, above all in biology and medicine. BFO is a bicategorial ontology, embracing both three-dimensionalist (continuant) and four-dimensionalist (occurrent) perspectives within a single framework. We examine how BFO-conformant domain ontologies can deal with the consistent representation of scientific data deriving from the measurement of processes of different types, and we outline on this basis the first steps of an approach to the classification of such processes within the BFO framework.

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Barry Smith
University at Buffalo

References found in this work

SNAP and SPAN: Towards dynamic spatial ontology.Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith - 2004 - Spatial Cognition and Computation 4 (1):69–103.
Logical Foundations of the Unity of Science.Rudolf Carnap - 1991 - In Richard Boyd, Philip Gasper & J. D. Trout (eds.), The Philosophy of Science. MIT Press.
Four ontologies.Eddy M. Zemach - 1970 - Journal of Philosophy 67 (8):231-247.

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