ONTOLOGY

What is Ontology?

    An ontology is a specification of a conceptualization. (Tom Gruber <gruber@ksl.stanford.edu>)

 

An Annotated Bibliography of the History of Logic

    From: Joseph Bochenski - A history of formal logic - New York: Chelsea Publishing Co.

 

On Drawing Lines on a Map
    Barry Smith , Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, NY 14260-1010 phismith@acsu.buffalo.edu


The Formal Ontology of Boundaries
  Barry Smith / Achille C. Varzi
 

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  Boundary

The Semantics and Metaphysics of Vagueness
 
Michael J. Raven

 

Ontology, a resourse Guide for Phlosophers  

 

Ontologists of the 19th and 20th Century

 

Mereotopology
    A Theory of Parts and Boundaries, by Barry Smith

Department of Philosophy and Member of the Center for Cognitive Science, University at Buffalo. phismith@buffalo.edu

On Drawing Lines on a Map
     Barry Smith

Department of Philosophy and Center for Cognitive Science,
State University of New York at Buffalo, NY 14260-1010
phismith@acsu.buffalo.edu

Abstract
The paper is an exercise in descriptive ontology, with specific applications to problems in the geographical sphere. It presents a general typology of spatial boundaries, based in particular on an opposition between bona fide or physical boundaries on the one hand, and fiat or human-demarcation-induced boundaries on the other. Cross-cutting this opposition are further oppositions in the realm of boundaries, for example between: crisp and indeterminate, complete and incomplete, enduring and transient, symmetrical and asymmetrical. The resulting typology generates a corresponding categorization of the different sorts of objects which (complete) boundaries determine or demarcate. The theory is applied first of all in the areas of geography and of administrative and property law. Indications are then given as to how the typology may be applied also in other fields where physical and fiat boundaries are at work, including the field of cognitive linguistics and the related field of the ontology of truth.
 
 


The Formal Ontology of Boundaries
  
 Barry Smith & Achille Varzi

Abstract

[0] Moving within a realist perspective, we present a general typology of boundaries based primarily on an opposition between bona fide (or physical) and fiat (or human-demarcation-induced) boundaries. Cutting across this opposition are further oppositions in the realm of boundaries, for example between: complete and incomplete, enduring and transient, crisp and indeterminate, symmetrical and asymmetrical. The final part deals with formal aspects: two axiomatic theories of boundaries are presented, and the need for both is examined in some detail. The resultant framework is shown to have application above all for our understanding of contact, division, and separation.


        Boundary

        First published Mon Feb 9, 2004; substantive revision Mon Aug 27, 2007

        We think of a boundary whenever we think of an entity demarcated from its surroundings. There is a boundary (a surface) demarcating the interior of a sphere from its exterior; there is a boundary (a border) separating Maryland and Pennsylvania. Sometimes the exact location of a boundary is unclear or otherwise controversial (as when you try to trace out the margins of Mount Everest, or even the boundary of your own body)


Vagueness

    The Semantics and Metaphysics of Vagueness: A Contextualist Approach by Michael J. Raven

    Abstract. Vagueness is blamed for the Sorites Paradox. But the nature of vagueness is not well understood. Initially characterizing vagueness in terms of Sainsbury's boundary metaphor, I argue that all semantic theories failing to do justice to this boundary metaphor are false. However, it is unclear what kind of semantic theory of vagueness is immune to this charge. I explore the boundary metaphor and find that vague predicates enjoy a peculiar kind of context-sensitivity. This leads to a distinction between m-boundaries and c-boundaries. Vague predicates cannot draw m-boundaries but can draw c-boundaries. This result, along with appreciating the peculiar sense in which vague predicates are context-sensitive, clears the road for a sketch of a solution to the Sorites Paradox: roughly, the conditions for the correct use of vague predicates presuppose c-boundaries, thereby rendering the Sorites Paradox unsound. Finally, the question of whether there is worldly vagueness in addition to representational vagueness is explored. It is found that puzzles purportedly concerning worldly vagueness can be resolved in just the way puzzles involving representational vagueness can.