Pluralities, Collectives, and Composites

In Boyan Brodaric & Fabian Neuhaus (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems - Proceedings of the 11th International Conference, {FOIS} 2020, Cancelled / Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, September 14-17, 2020. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications 330. pp. 186-200 (2020)
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Forests, cars and orchestras are very different ontological entities, and yet very similar in some aspects. The relationships they have with the elements they are composed of is often assumed to be reducible to standard ontological relations, like parthood and constitution, but how this could be done is still debated. This paper sheds light on the issue starting from a linguistic and philosophical analysis aimed at understanding notions like plurality, collective and composite, and propos- ing a formal approach to characterise them. We conclude the presentation with a discussion and analysis of social groups within this framework.
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