from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun The branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of being.
from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The theory of being; that branch of metaphysics which investigates the nature of being and of the essence of things, both substances and accidents.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.
- noun That department of the science of metaphysics which investigates and explains the nature and essential properties and relations of all beings, as such, or the principles and causes of being.
- noun (Computers) A systematic arrangement of all of the important categories of objects or concepts which exist in some field of discourse, showing the relations between them. When complete, an
ontologyis a categorization of all of the concepts in some field of knowledge, including the objects and all of the properties, relations, and functions needed to define the objects and specify their actions. A simplified ontology may contain only a hierarchical classification (a taxonomy) showing the type subsumption relations between concepts in the field of discourse. An ontologymay be visualized as an abstract graph with nodes and labeled arcs representing the objects and relations.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- noun uncountable, philosophy The branch of
metaphysicsthat addresses the nature or essential characteristics of beingand of things that exist; the study of being quabeing.
- noun countable, philosophy The
theoryof a particular philosopher or school of thought concerning the fundamental types of entityin the universe.
- noun logic A
logical systeminvolving theory of classes, developed by Stanislaw Lesniewski (1886-1939).
- noun computer science, information science A
structureof concepts or entities within a domain, organized by relationships; a system model.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- noun (computer science) a rigorous and exhaustive organization of some knowledge domain that is usually hierarchical and contains all the relevant entities and their relations
- noun the metaphysical study of the nature of being and existence
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
Often, the term ontology is used to cover both ABox and TBox statements (which, I argue, only makes the understanding of the 'ontology' concept more difficult).
So, what does all of this have to do with my starting diatribe about the term ontology?
The term "metaphysics" (q.v.) was given a wider extension by Wolff, who divided "real philosophy" into general metaphysics, which he called ontology, and special, under which he included cosmology, psychology, and theodicy.
And in this paradigm, he argues that the ontology is one of nominalism, programs do not exist in the abstract but only in the concrete.
Without tracing the history of the notion of rights, or exploring their uncertain ontology, let me simply note here that the current concept arises from the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
This paper discusses the development of a new information representation system embodied in ontology and the Semantic Web.
I think that differences in ontology, methodology and/or axiology cause a great deal of confusion in these discussions.
Or, an 150-term ontology to annotate the scientific content of your literature archive?
The metaphor I employ to illustrate this ontology is "Author/Story".
Inside Factual's Santa Monica office, a couple dozen engineers train computers using principles from an academic field called ontology, which is the science of categorizing words and phrases.