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Symposium affiliated to the
14th Congress of Logic, Methodology and Philosophy of Science externer LinkCLMPS-2011,
Nancy, France, July 19–26, 2011

Ontology between Philosophy and Computer Science


  • Heinrich Herre
Universität Leipzig
  • Roberto Poli
University of Trento


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This symposium is devoted to the role of ontology as a bridge between philosophy and knowledge engineering. These days, ontology exhibits two main directions: the traditional philosophical understanding of ontology and a new computer-based understanding of ontology which is related to knowledge engineering. There are scholars from both fields contending that ontology in knowledge engineering and ontology in philosophy are two completely different disciplines. We shall try to show in this workshop that – despite their different languages and different points of departure – ontologies in knowledge engineering (let us say: ontology as technology) and ontology in philosophy (let us say: ontology as categorial analysis) have numerous problems in common. And for this reason, engineers and philosophers must devise ways to talk to each other.

Philosophical ontology addresses questions of a more general nature, ones apparently of no relevance to ontology in knowledge engineering. Consequently, it may appear that certain components of philosophical ontology could be ignored in the passage to ontology as technology. Nevertheless, one should always bear in mind the greater explanatory value and the broader structuring capacity of more general schemes and more comprehensive theories. For this less overt reason, too, philosophical ontology is useful for ontology in knowledge engineering. The philosophical codification of ontology has often restricted itself to organization of its general architecture, without delving into the details of minute categorization. On the other hand, the concrete, situated practice of ontology as technology may conversely prove useful for the development of philosophical ontology. The two research communities of philosophers and engineers have still not found a way to relate to each other systematically.

Program: Saturday, 23rd July, 2011, Amphiteatre Geny

10.30–11.00 Heinrich Herre Formal Ontology: A new interdisciplinary research field
11.00–11.30 Thomas Mormann Wholes in structural mereology
11.30–12.00 Oliver Kutz Logical pluralism in ontology design
12.00–13.45 Lunch Break
14.00–14.30 Roberto Poli Ontological categories
14.30–15.00 Frederic Nef Ontology and terminology
15.30–16.00 Heinrich Herre Ontological reconstruction of theories
16.00–16.30 Claudio Gnoli Freely faceted classification for knowledge organization

externer LinkThomas Mormann
externer LinkClaudio Gnoli
externer LinkFrederic Nef
externer LinkRoberto Poli
externer LinkOliver Kutz
externer LinkHeinrich Herre

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