Formal Ontology

In philosophy, the term formal ontology is used to refer to an ontology defined by axioms in a formal language with the goal to provide an unbiased (domain- and application-independent) view on reality, which can help the modeler of domain- or application-specific ontologies (information science) to avoid possibly erroneous ontological assumptions encountered in modeling large-scale ontologies.

By maintaining an independent view on reality a formal (upper level) ontology gains the following properties:

  • indefinite expandability:
    the ontology remains consistent with increasing content.
  • content and context independence:
    any kind of 'concept' can find its place.
  • accommodate different levels of granularity.

Theories on how to conceptualize reality date back as far as Plato and Aristotle.

Read more about Formal Ontology:  Existing Formal Upper Level Ontologies (foundational Ontologies), Common Terms in Formal (upper-level) Ontologies, Formal Versus Nonformal

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