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  1. Vagueness in Geography.Achille C. Varzi - 2001 - Philosophy and Geography 4 (1):49–65.
    Some have argued that the vagueness exhibited by geographic names and descriptions such as ‘Albuquerque’, ‘the Outback’, or ‘Mount Everest’ is ultimately ontological: these terms are vague because they refer to vague objects, objects with fuzzy boundaries. I take the opposite stand and hold the view that geographic vagueness is exclusively semantic, or conceptual at large. There is no such thing as a vague mountain. Rather, there are many things where we conceive a mountain to be, each with its precise (...)
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  • Quantum Mereotopology.Barry Smith & Berit O. Brogaard - 2002 - Annals of Mathematics and Artificial Intelligence 36 (1):153-175.
    Mereotopology faces problems when its methods are extended to deal with time and change. We offer a new solution to these problems, based on a theory of partitions of reality which allows us to simulate (and also to generalize) aspects of set theory within a mereotopological framework. This theory is extended to a theory of coarse- and fine-grained histories (or finite sequences of partitions evolving over time), drawing on machinery developed within the framework of the so-called ‘consistent histories’ interpretation of (...)
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  • Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
    Human cognitive acts are directed towards entities of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. A categorial scheme for the objects of human cognition should be (1) critical and realistic. Cognitive subjects are liable to error, even to systematic error of the sort that is manifested by believers in the Pantheon of Olympian gods. Thus not all putative object-directed acts should be recognized as having objects of their own. (...)
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  • Applied Ontology: An Introduction.Katherine Munn & Barry Smith (eds.) - 2008 - Frankfurt: ontos.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline which aims to understand how things in the world are divided into categories and how these categories are related together. This is exactly what information scientists aim for in creating structured, automated representations, called 'ontologies,' for managing information in fields such as science, government, industry, and healthcare. Currently, these systems are designed in a variety of different ways, so they cannot share data with one another. They are often idiosyncratically structured, accessible only to those who (...)
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  • A Unified Theory of Granularity, Vagueness and Approximation.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2001 - In COSIT Workshop on Spatial Vagueness, Uncertainty and Granularity. pp. 39.
    Abstract: We propose a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this semantic view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being its extension. We provide a new formulation of these ideas in terms of a theory of granular partitions. We show that this (...)
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  • A Unified Framework for Building Ontological Theories with Application and Testing in the Field of Clinical Trials.Heller Barbara, Herre Heinrich & Barry Smith - 2001 - In IFOMIS Reports. Leipzig: University of Leipzig.
    The objective of this research programme is to contribute to the establishment of the emerging science of Formal Ontology in Information Systems via a collaborative project involving researchers from a range of disciplines including philosophy, logic, computer science, linguistics, and the medical sciences. The re­searchers will work together on the construction of a unified formal ontology, which means: a general framework for the construction of ontological theories in specific domains. The framework will be constructed using the axiomatic-deductive method of modern (...)
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  • Basic Formal Ontology for Bioinformatics.Barry Smith, Anand Kumar & Thomas Bittner - 2005 - IFOMIS Reports.
    Two senses of ‘ontology’ can be distinguished in the current literature. First is the sense favored by information scientists, who view ontologies as software implementations designed to capture in some formal way the consensus conceptualization shared by those working on information systems or databases in a given domain. [Gruber 1993] Second is the sense favored by philosophers, who regard ontologies as theories of different types of entities (objects, processes, relations, functions) [Smith 2003]. Where information systems ontologists seek to maximize reasoning (...)
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  • Aboutness and Negative Truths: A Modest Strategy for Truthmaker Theorists.Arthur Schipper - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3685-3722.
    A central problem for any truthmaker theory is the problem of negative truths. In this paper, I develop a novel, piecemeal strategy for solving this problem. The strategy puts central focus on a truth-relevant notion of aboutness within a metaphysically modest version of truthmaker theory and uses key conceptual tools gained by taking a deeper look at the best attempts to solve the problem of intentionality. I begin this task by critically discussing past proposed solutions to P-NEG in light of (...)
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  • Biodynamic Ontology: Applying BFO in the Biomedical Domain.Barry Smith, Pierre Grenon & Louis Goldberg - 2004 - Studies in Health and Technology Informatics 102:20–38.
    Current approaches to formal representation in biomedicine are characterized by their focus on either the static or the dynamic aspects of biological reality. We here outline a theory that combines both perspectives and at the same time tackles the by no means trivial issue of their coherent integration. Our position is that a good ontology must be capable of accounting for reality both synchronically (as it exists at a time) and diachronically (as it unfolds through time), but that these are (...)
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  • True Grid.Barry Smith - 2001 - In D. Montello (ed.), Spatial Information Theory: Foundations of Geographic Information Science. New York: Springer. pp. 14-27.
    The Renaissance architect, moral philosopher, cryptographer, mathematician, Papal adviser, painter, city planner and land surveyor Leon Battista Alberti provided the theoretical foundations of modern perspective geometry. Alberti’s work on perspective exerted a powerful influence on painters of the stature of Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci and Piero della Francesca. But his Della pittura of 1435–36 contains also a hitherto unrecognized ontology of pictorial projection. We sketch this ontology, and show how it can be generalized to apply to representative devices in (...)
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  • Dispositions and the Infectious Disease Ontology.Albert Goldfain, Barry Smith & Lindsay Cowell - 2010 - In Formal Ontology in Information Systems: Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference (FOIS). IOS Press. pp. 400-413.
    This paper addresses the use of dispositions in the Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO). IDO is an ontology constructed according to the principles of the Open Biomedical Ontology (OBO) Foundry and uses the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as an upper ontology. After providing a brief introduction to disposition types in BFO and IDO, we discuss three general techniques for representing combinations of dispositions under the headings blocking dispositions, complementary dispositions, and collective dispositions. Motivating examples for each combination of dispositions is given (...)
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  • The Cornucopia of Formal-Ontological Relations.Barry Smith & Pierre Grenon - 2004 - Dialectica 58 (3):279–296.
    The paper presents a new method for generating typologies of formal-ontological relations. The guiding idea is that formal relations are those sorts of relations which hold between entities which are constituents of distinct ontologies. We provide examples of ontologies (in the spirit of Zemach’s classic “Four Ontologies” of 1970), and show how these can be used to give a rich typology of formal relations in a way which also throws light on the opposition between threeand four-dimensionalism.
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  • Do Mountains Exist? Towards an Ontology of Landforms.Barry Smith & David Mark - 2003 - Environment and Planning B (Planning and Design) 30 (3):411–427.
    Do mountains exist? The answer to this question is surely: yes. In fact, ‘mountain’ is the example of a kind of geographic feature or thing most commonly cited by English speakers (Mark, et al., 1999; Smith and Mark 2001), and this result may hold across many languages and cultures. But whether they are considered as individuals (tokens) or as kinds (types), mountains do not exist in quite the same unequivocal sense as do such prototypical everyday objects as chairs or people.
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  • Introduction: What is Ontology For.Katherine Munn - 2008 - In Munn Katherine & Smith Barry (eds.), Applied Ontology: An Introduction. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 7-19.
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  • Granular Partitions and Vagueness.Thomas Bittner & Barry Smith - 2003 - In Chris Welty & Barry Smith (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS). New York, USA: ACM Press. pp. 309-320.
    There are some who defend a view of vagueness according to which there are intrinsically vague objects or attributes in reality. Here, in contrast, we defend a view of vagueness as a semantic property of names and predicates. All entities are crisp, on this view, but there are, for each vague name, multiple portions of reality that are equally good candidates for being its referent, and, for each vague predicate, multiple classes of objects that are equally good candidates for being (...)
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  • Persistence and Ontological Pluralism.Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith - 2008 - In Christian Kanzian (ed.), Persistence. Ontos. pp. 33-48.
    We aim to provide the ontological grounds for an adequate account of persistence. We defend a perspectivalist, or moderate pluralist, position, according to which some aspects of reality can be accounted for in ontological terms only via partial and mutually complementary ontologies, each one of which captures some relevant aspect of reality. Our thesis here is that this is precisely the sort of ontological account that is needed for the understanding of persistence, specifically an account involving two independent ontologies, one (...)
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  • Truthmaking and Fundamentality.A. R. J. Fisher - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (4):448-473.
    I apply the notion of truthmaking to the topic of fundamentality by articulating a truthmaker theory of fundamentality according to which some truths are truth-grounded in certain entities while the ones that don't stand in a metaphysical-semantic relation to the truths that do. I motivate this view by critically discussing two problems with Ross Cameron's truthmaker theory of fundamentality. I then defend this view against Theodore Sider's objection that the truthmaking approach to fundamentality violates the purity constraint. Truthmaker theorists can (...)
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