Ontology questions definition

Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existencebeingbecomingand reality. It includes the questions of how entities are grouped into basic categories and which of these entities exist on the most fundamental level.

Ontology is traditionally listed as a part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. The compound word ontology 'study of being' combines.

While the etymology is Greek, the oldest extant records of the word itself, the New Latin form ontologia appeared. The first occurrence in English of ontologyas recorded by the Oxford English Dictionary[3] came in through Archelogia philosophica nova Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is the only one of the great philosophers of that century to have used the term ontology. Ontology is closely associated with Aristotle's question of 'being qua being': the question of what all entities in the widest sense have in common.

Various such classifications have been proposed, they often include categories for substancespropertiesrelationsstates of affairs or events. Within ontology, there is a lack of general consensus concerning how the different categories are to be defined. Particulars or individuals are usually contrasted with universals. Universals can be present at various distinct locations in space at the same time while particulars are restricted to one location at a time.

Furthermore, universals can be fully present at different times, which is why they are sometimes referred to as repeatables in contrast to non-repeatable particulars. They can solve the problem of universals by explaining the commonality through a universal shared by both entities.

They have to resort to other notions to explain how a feature can be common to several entities, for example, by positing either fundamental resemblance-relations between the entities resemblance nominalism or a shared membership to a common natural class class nominalism.

Many philosophers agree that there is an exclusive and exhaustive distinction between concrete objects and abstract objects. Popular suggestions include defining the distinction in terms of the difference between 1 existence inside or outside space-time, 2 having causes and effects or not and 3 having contingent or necessary existence.

An entity ontologically depends on another entity if the first entity cannot exist without the second entity. Ontologically independent entities, on the other hand, can exist all by themselves. It is often important to draw a distinction between two types of ontological dependence: rigid and generic.

For example, electricity generically depends on there being charged particles, but it does not depend on any specific charged particle. This way a hierarchy is introduced into the world that brings with it the distinction between more and less fundamental entities.

Identity is a basic ontological concept that is often expressed by the word "same". For example, consider two children with identical bicycles engaged in a race while their mother is watching.

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The two children have the same bicycle in one sense qualitative identity and the same mother in another sense numerical identity. The two senses of sameness are linked by two principles: the principle of indiscernibility of identicals and the principle of identity of indiscernibles.

The principle of indiscernibility of identicals is uncontroversial and states that if two entities are numerically identical with each other then they exactly resemble each other. The problem of identity over time concerns the question of persistence : whether or in what sense two objects at different times can be numerically identical.Natalya F.

Stanford University, Stanford, CA, Ontologies have become common on the World-Wide Web. The ontologies on the Web range from large taxonomies categorizing Web sites such as on Yahoo! Many disciplines now develop standardized ontologies that domain experts can use to share and annotate information in their fields. Medicine, for example, has produced large, standardized, structured vocabularies such as snomed Price and Spackman and the semantic network of the Unified Medical Language System Humphreys and Lindberg Broad general-purpose ontologies are emerging as well.

An ontology defines a common vocabulary for researchers who need to share information in a domain. It includes machine-interpretable definitions of basic concepts in the domain and relations among them.

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Why would someone want to develop an ontology? Some of the reasons are:. For example, suppose several different Web sites contain medical information or provide medical e-commerce services. If these Web sites share and publish the same underlying ontology of the terms they all use, then computer agents can extract and aggregate information from these different sites.

The agents can use this aggregated information to answer user queries or as input data to other applications. Enabling reuse of domain knowledge was one of the driving forces behind recent surge in ontology research. For example, models for many different domains need to represent the notion of time.

Epistemology vs Ontology

This representation includes the notions of time intervals, points in time, relative measures of time, and so on. If one group of researchers develops such an ontology in detail, others can simply reuse it for their domains. Additionally, if we need to build a large ontology, we can integrate several existing ontologies describing portions of the large domain.

Making explicit domain assumptions underlying an implementation makes it possible to change these assumptions easily if our knowledge about the domain changes.

Hard-coding assumptions about the world in programming-language code makes these assumptions not only hard to find and understand but also hard to change, in particular for someone without programming expertise. In addition, explicit specifications of domain knowledge are useful for new users who must learn what terms in the domain mean. Separating the domain knowledge from the operational knowledge is another common use of ontologies.

We can describe a task of configuring a product from its components according to a required specification and implement a program that does this configuration independent of the products and components themselves McGuinness and Wright We can then develop an ontology of PC-components and characteristics and apply the algorithm to configure made-to-order PCs.

Analyzing domain knowledge is possible once a declarative specification of the terms is available. Formal analysis of terms is extremely valuable when both attempting to reuse existing ontologies and extending them McGuinness et al.

Often an ontology of the domain is not a goal in itself. Developing an ontology is akin to defining a set of data and their structure for other programs to use. Problem-solving methods, domain-independent applications, and software agents use ontologies and knowledge bases built from ontologies as data.

For example, in this paper we develop an ontology of wine and food and appropriate combinations of wine with meals. This ontology can then be used as a basis for some applications in a suite of restaurant-managing tools: One application could create wine suggestions for the menu of the day or answer queries of waiters and customers.

Another application could analyze an inventory list of a wine cellar and suggest which wine categories to expand and which particular wines to purchase for upcoming menus or cookbooks. Some ontology-design ideas in this guide originated from the literature on object-oriented design Rumbaugh et al.

However, ontology development is different from designing classes and relations in object-oriented programming. As a result, a class structure and relations among classes in an ontology are different from the structure for a similar domain in an object-oriented program.Ontology and epistemology are two terms we often encounter in the field of research.

It is these two components that help us to decide our research methods and methodology. However, it is always good to know the exact difference between ontology and epistemology before undertaking any research projects. Ontology is concerned with the nature of reality whereas epistemology is concerned with the general basis of that reality, including different methods of gaining knowledge.

This is the main difference between ontology and epistemology. Both ontology and epistemology act as the foundation for our approach to a research question. Both can also range from positivist stances to interpretivist stances.

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Ontology is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with existence and reality. In other words, it deals with the nature of reality or truth. It is concerned with how we gain knowledge or how we get to know something and different methods of gaining knowledge.

Epistemology also deals with the relationship between the reality and the researcher, i. Read more about Epistemology here. Given below are some common approaches to research research paradigms and the ontology and epistemology related to them. Reality is constantly negotiated and interpreted in different situations. Ontology is concerned with what is true or real, and the nature of reality. Epistemology is concerned with the nature of knowledge and different methods of gaining knowledge.

She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.

View all posts. Epistemology — How do we know Reality?Ontology is a system of belief that reflects an interpretation by an individual about what constitutes a fact. In other words, ontology is associated with a central question of whether social entities should be perceived as objective or subjective.

The table below illustrates the ontology of four major research philosophies related to business studies:. Identification of ontology at the start of the research process is critically important as it determines the choice of the research design. The figure below illustrates the consequent impact of ontology on the choice of research methods via epistemology, research approachresearch strategy and methods of data collection and data analysis.

Impact of research philosophy on the choice of research method. You can address ontology part of methodology chapter of your dissertation in the following manner:. Firstly, you can provide a formal definition of ontology, followed by explanation of ontology in simple terms.


See example at the beginning of this page. Secondly, you have to specify whether you are adopting objectivism or constructivism view. This should be followed by explanation of rationale for your choice.

Thirdly, you have to discuss implications of your ontological choice on the choice of epistemology, research approach, and research strategy and data collection method. Is objective.

Exists independently of human thoughts and beliefs or knowledge of their existence realistbut is interpreted through social conditioning critical realist.Send us feedback. See more words from the same year Dictionary Entries near ontology ontological argument ontologism ontologize ontology on top on top of one's game onto something.

Accessed 11 Feb. Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible. Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free! Get to know them. We're intent on clearing it up 'Nip it in the butt' or 'Nip it in the bud'? We're gonna stop you right there Literally How to use a word that literally drives some pe Is Singular 'They' a Better Choice?

A new year of words of the day quizzes! Test your visual vocabulary with our question Login or Register. Save Word. Definition of ontology. Keep scrolling for more. Examples of ontology in a Sentence Recent Examples on the Web One way to help machines understand an abstract concept is by building an ontologyor a graph representing the knowledge of that concept.

First Known Use of ontologyin the meaning defined at sense 1. Learn More about ontology. Time Traveler for ontology The first known use of ontology was in See more words from the same year.

ontology questions definition

Dictionary Entries near ontology ontological argument ontologism ontologize ontology on top on top of one's game onto something See More Nearby Entries. Statistics for ontology Look-up Popularity.

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Difference Between Ontology and Epistemology

We'll get on with it. The awkward case of 'his or her'. Take the quiz Name That Thing Test your visual vocabulary with our question Play the game.Ontology is the philosophical study of the nature of beingbecomingexistenceor reality.

It is part of the major branch of philosophy known as metaphysics. Ontology deals with questions about what things exist or can be said to exist, and how such entities can be grouped according to similarities and differences. Some philosophers, of the Platonic schoolsay that all nouns including abstract nouns refer to actual entities. Other philosophers contend that nouns do not always name entities.

ontology questions definition

They think some are a kind of shorthand for a collection of either objects or events. In this view, mindinstead of referring to an entity, refers to a collection of mental events experienced by a person. Society refers to a collection of persons with some shared characteristics, and geometry refers to a collection of a specific kind of intellectual activity.

Between these poles, called realism and nominalismare other positions. Any ontology must give an account of which words refer to entities, which do not, why, and what categories result. From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Penn State Press. This short article can be made longer. You can help Wikipedia by adding to it. Categories : Philosophy Reality. Hidden category: Stubs. Namespaces Page Talk. Views Read Change Change source View history. Wikimedia Commons.Some of these questions may seem painfully abstract and not very useful, but they are and always have been enormously important to some philosophers, especially to those who believe in foundationalism.

Foundationalist philosophers believe that to arrive at truth it is necessary to start with the most fundamental issues—to be sure about the foundations of philosophy—and then work our way up from there to more specific questions. If you believe in foundationalism, then probably the most important questions are ontological questions! Ontology is also highly relevant to religions and spirituality.

No matter what your beliefs about spirituality, they have an ontological dimension. All of the following are ontological statements:. Ontology is generally considered to be a sub-field of metaphysics. However, as a rule of thumb we can say that ontology asks what questions, while metaphysics asks how questions.

The difference between ontology and metaphysics may be easier to understand if we look at a made-up world. Take a fantasy world like J. But its metaphysics are different because it has a fundamentally different nature, involving magic.

Ontology studies the things, while metaphysics studies the rules. Ontology and metaphysics both get confused with epistemologybut epistemology is easier to separate out. Epistemology is the study of knowledgeof how we know what we know.

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Whereas ontology and metaphysics are about reality, epistemology is about how human consciousness can interact with that reality. Is there a God?

ontology questions definition

What physical laws would have to be true in order for souls to exist? How can we know whether souls exist? Can human beings ever know whether there is a God? Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian philosopher, highly influential in certain philosophical circles. His ontology is hard to describe in its specifics, but for starters, like many philosophers, he sees a deep split between reality and language.

Language separates the world into all sorts of different parts and categories, but those categories are little more than useful fictions. The fictionsthough are real—real stories about fictional categories.

Or, in other words, everything we can say about reality is fictional, but language itself is a reality of its own. This quote, often incorrectly attributed to C. Lewis, probably comes from a Quaker magazine in the s. Bodies, on the other hand, do belong to that category.

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