Applied Ontology by Katherine Munn, Barry Smith

By Katherine Munn, Barry Smith

Ontology is the philosophical self-discipline that goals to appreciate how issues on this planet are divided into different types and the way those different types are comparable. this can be precisely what info scientists goal for in developing based, automatic representations, known as ontologies, for coping with info in fields such as technological know-how, executive, undefined, and healthcare. at the moment, those structures are designed in numerous other ways, so they can not proportion info with each other. This quantity indicates, in a non-technical manner and utilizing examples from drugs and biology, how the rigorous software of theories and insights from philosophical ontology can increase the ontologies upon which info administration relies.

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Rather, when intuition provides us with the representations of concrete things and locations in space and time, it has already introduced its own forms. According to Kant, the pure forms of intuition are space and time. Kant’s distinction between the formal and material content of experience can be understood in the following way. In order to achieve knowledge about any given thing, we must first establish a relation to that thing. We need to relate to it by means of some of its properties, by looking at it, by pointing to it, or by using its proper name.

This choice of topics certainly derives from Aristotle’s Metaphysics and such works as the Metaphysical Disputations (1597) by Francisco Suárez. We can gather some additional facts about the early use of the term ‘ontologia’ by considering the first known appearance of the corresponding adjective in the Lexicon Philosophicum (1613) by Rudolph Goclenius. A foray into his use of ‘ontological’ will provide insight into how the term came to be used as it today; but, as we will see, there are some important respects in which his usage differs from contemporary usage (and, thus, from the usage in this volume).

If we refer to an object by means of its position in space and time, we cannot possibly find out that it has or does not have this position. In this sense, we know a priori, before looking, that the thing in question, if it exists, occupies this position. This peculiar feature of empirical objects, that they are necessarily located at some certain position in space and time, is not something that we can learn from experience. Rather, according to Kant, we know this before we ever experience any such object since we must know it in order to experience any empirical object whatsoever.

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