- Applied ontology
Applied ontology involves the practical application of
ontologicalconcepts. This can be exceedingly difficult as ontology is a fairly abstract study. There are two main focuses of applied onotology:
* Ontology applied to
computer networks, the semantic weband the like. This is the most common application of ontological concepts. See foundation ontologyand ontology (computer science)
* Ontology applied to human relationships and
being. This article focuses on this aspect of applied ontology.
The challenge of applying ontology is its emphasis on a world view orthogonal to
epistemology. The emphasis is on being rather than doingor knowing.
One way that emphasis plays out is in the concept of "
speech acts": acts of promising, ordering, apologizing, requesting, inviting or sharing. The study of these acts from an ontological perspective is one of the driving forces behind applied ontology. [ [http://www.fastcompany.com/online/21/flores.html Fast Company article on Flores — "The Power of Words"] ] This can involve concepts championed by ordinary language philosophers like Wittgenstein.
Applying ontology can also involve looking at the relationship between a person's world and that person's actions. The context or clearing is highly influenced by the being of the subject or the field of being itself. This view is highly influenced by the philosophy of phenomenology [ [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/phenomenology/ Phenomenology article] ] , the works of Martin
Heidegger, and many others. [McCarl, Steven R., Zaffron, Steve, Nielsen, Joyce McCarl and Kennedy, Sally Lewis, "The Promise of Philosophy and the Landmark Forum" . "Contemporary Philosophy", Vol. XXIII, No. 1 & 2, Jan/Feb & Mar/Apr 2001 [http://ssrn.com/abstract=278955 or DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.278955 Available at SSRN] ]
Social scientists adopt one of four main ontological approaches:
realism- the idea that facts are out there just waiting to be discovered;
empiricism- the idea that we can observe the world and evaluate those observations in relation to facts);
positivism- which focuses on the observations themselves, attentive more to claims about facts than to facts themselves; and
postmodernism- which holds that facts are fluid and elusive, so that we should focus only on our observational claims.
* [http://www.applied-ontology.org/ Applied Ontology (journal)]
* [http://www.formalontology.org/ Formal Ontology in Information Systems (interdisciplinary conference on Applied Ontology)]
* [http://www.loa-cnr.it/ ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology]
* [http://ncor.us National Center for Ontological Research]
* [http://www.ecor.uni-saarland.de/ European Center for Ontological Research]
* [http://www.ncgia.buffalo.edu/i21/i21report.html Ontology Applied to Geography]
* [http://wings.buffalo.edu/philosophy/FARBER/index.html Conference on Applied Ontology]
* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0254/is_2_58/ai_55084086 "Introduction to Applied Ontology: The Philosophical Analysis of Everyday Objects"]
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