• University at Buffalo
    Department of Philosophy
    Biomedical Informatics
    Computer Science and Engineering
    Distinguished Professor, Julian Park Chair
University of Manchester
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 1976
APA Eastern Division
Buffalo, New York, United States of America
  •  645
    In this paper we propose an Ontology of Commercial Exchange (OCE) based on Basic Formal Ontology. OCE is designed for re-use in the Industrial Ontologies Foundry (IOF) and in other ontologies addressing different aspects of human social behavior involving purchasing, selling, marketing, and so forth. We first evaluate some of the design patterns used in the Financial Industry Business Ontology (FIBO) and Product Types Ontology (PTO). We then propose terms and definitions that we believe will imp…Read more
  •  645
    The goal of creating Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) – or in other words of creating Turing machines (modern computers) that can behave in a way that mimics human intelligence – has occupied AI researchers ever since the idea of AI was first proposed. One common theme in these discussions is the thesis that the ability of a machine to conduct convincing dialogues with human beings can serve as at least a sufficient criterion of AGI. We argue that this very ability should be accepted also a…Read more
  •  630
    Finding Our Way through Phenotypes
    with Andrew R. Deans, Suzanna E. Lewis, Eva Huala, Salvatore S. Anzaldo, Michael Ashburner, James P. Balhoff, David C. Blackburn, Judith A. Blake, J. Gordon Burleigh, Bruno Chanet, Laurel D. Cooper, Mélanie Courtot, Sándor Csösz, Hong Cui, and Others
    PLoS Biol 13 (1). 2015.
    Despite a large and multifaceted effort to understand the vast landscape of phenotypic data, their current form inhibits productive data analysis. The lack of a community-wide, consensus-based, human- and machine-interpretable language for describing phenotypes and their genomic and environmental contexts is perhaps the most pressing scientific bottleneck to integration across many key fields in biology, including genomics, systems biology, development, medicine, evolution, ecology, and systemat…Read more
  •  628
    Definitive diagnosis of malaria requires the demonstration through laboratory tests of the presence within the patient of malaria parasites or their components. Since malaria parasites can be present even in the absence of malaria manifestations, and since symptoms of malaria can be manifested even in the absence of malaria parasites, malaria diagnosis raises important issues for the adequate understanding of disease, etiology and diagnosis. One approach to the resolution of these issues adopts …Read more
  •  627
    Applied ontology: A new discipline is born
    Philosophy Today 12 (29): 5-6. 1998.
    The discipline of applied ethics already has a certain familiarity in the Anglo-Saxon world, above all through the work of Peter Singer. Applied ethics uses the tools of moral philosophy to resolve practical problems of the sort which arise, for example, in the running of hospitals. In the University at Buffalo (New York) there was organized on April 24-25 1998 the world's first conference on a new, sister discipline, the discipline of applied ontology. Applied ontologists seek to apply ontolog…Read more
  •  619
    The Renaissance architect, moral philosopher, cryptographer, mathematician, Papal adviser, painter, city planner and land surveyor Leon Battista Alberti provided the theoretical foundations of modern perspective geometry. Alberti’s work on perspective exerted a powerful influence on painters of the stature of Albrecht Dürer, Leonardo da Vinci and Piero della Francesca. But his Della pittura of 1435–36 contains also a hitherto unrecognized ontology of pictorial projection. We sketch this ontology…Read more
  •  619
    Realistic Phenomenology
    In Lester Embree (ed.), Encyclopedia of Phenomenology, Springer Science & Business Media. pp. 586-590. 1997.
    The tradition of realist phenomenology was founded in around 1902 by a group of students in Munich interested in the newly published Logical Investigations of Edmund Husserl. Initial members of the group included Johannes Daubert, Alexander Pfänder, Adolf Reinach and Max Scheler. With Reinach’s move to Göttingen the group acquired two new prominent members – Edith Stein and Roman Ingarden. The group’s method turned on Husserl’s idea that we are in possession a priori (which is to say: non-induct…Read more
  •  615
    Dispositions and Processes in the Emotion Ontology
    with Janna Hastings, Werner Ceusters, and Kevin Mulligan
    In Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Biomedical Ontology, Ceur Workshop Proceedings. pp. 71-78. 2011.
    Affective science conducts interdisciplinary research into the emotions and other affective phenomena. Currently, such research is hampered by the lack of common definitions of te rms used to describe, categorise and report both individual emotional experiences and the results of scientific investigations of such experiences. High quality ontologies provide formal definitions for types of entities in reality and for the relationships between such entities, definitions which can be used to disamb…Read more
  •  603
    Abstract of plenary talk Held at GIScience 2000: First International Conference on Geographic Information Science, Savannah, Georgia.
  •  603
    Common sense
    In Barry Smith & David Woodruff Smith (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Husserl, Cambridge University Press. pp. 394-437. 1995.
    Can there be a theory-free experience? And what would be the object of such an experience. Drawing on ideas set out by Husserl in the “Crisis” and in the second book of his “Ideas”, the paper presents answers to these questions in such a way as to provide a systematic survey of the content and ontology of common sense. In the second part of the paper Husserl’s ideas on the relationship between the common-sense world (what he called the ‘life-world’) and the world of physical theory are subjected…Read more
  •  593
    Urteilstheorien und Sachverhalte
    with Artur Rojszczak
    In Satz Und Sachverhalt, Academia Verlag. pp. 9-72. 2001.
    The dominant theory of judgment in 1870 was one or other variety of combination theory: the act of judgment is an act of combining concepts or ideas in the mind of the judging subject. In the decades to follow a succession of alternative theories arose to address defects in the combination theory, starting with Bolzano’s theory of propositions in themselves, Brentano’s theory of judgment as affirmation or denial of existence, theories distinguishing judgment act from judgment content advanced by…Read more
  •  592
    Lógica y ontología formal
    In Grupo de Acción Filosófica (GAF), Grupo De Acción Filosófica (gaf), Buenos Aires. 2004.
    La lógica es para Husserl una ciencia de la ciencia, una ciencia de lo que todas las ciencias tienen en común respecto de sus modos de validación. De este modo, la lógica trata por un lado con leyes universales relacionadas con la verdad, la deducción, la verificación y la falsación; y, por otro lado, con leyes relacionadas con la teoría como tal, y con lo que produce la unidad teorética. Ambos tipos de leyes se refieren por una parte a las proposiciones de una teoría y por otra parte al dominio…Read more
  •  592
    Promoting coherent minimum reporting guidelines for biological and biomedical investigations: the MIBBI project
    with Chris F. Taylor, Dawn Field, Susanna-Assunta Sansone, Jan Aerts, Rolf Apweiler, Michael Ashburner, Catherine A. Ball, Pierre-Alain Binz, Molly Bogue, Tim Booth, Alvis Brazma, Ryan R. Brinkman, Adam Michael Clark, Eric W. Deutsch, Oliver Fiehn, Jennifer Fostel, Peter Ghazal, Frank Gibson, Tanya Gray, Graeme Grimes, John M. Hancock, Nigel W. Hardy, Henning Hermjakob, Randall K. Julian, Matthew Kane, Carsten Kettner, Christopher Kinsinger, Eugene Kolker, Martin Kuiper, Nicolas Le Novere, Jim Leebens-Mack, Suzanna E. Lewis, Phillip Lord, Ann-Marie Mallon, Nishanth Marthandan, Hiroshi Masuya, Ruth McNally, Alexander Mehrle, Norman Morrison, Sandra Orchard, John Quackenbush, James M. Reecy, Donald G. Robertson, Philippe Rocca-Serra, Henry Rodriguez, Heiko Rosenfelder, Javier Santoyo-Lopez, Richard H. Scheuermann, Daniel Schober, and Jason Snape
    Nature Biotechnology 26 (8): 889-896. 2008.
    Throughout the biological and biomedical sciences there is a growing need for, prescriptive ‘minimum information’ (MI) checklists specifying the key information to include when reporting experimental results are beginning to find favor with experimentalists, analysts, publishers and funders alike. Such checklists aim to ensure that methods, data, analyses and results are described to a level sufficient to support the unambiguous interpretation, sophisticated search, reanalysis and experimental c…Read more
  •  591
    What’s wrong with contemporary philosophy?
    with Kevin Mulligan and Peter Simons
    Topoi 25 (1-2): 63-67. 2006.
    Philosophy in the West divides into three parts: Analytic Philosophy (AP), Continental Philosophy (CP), and History of Philosophy (HP). But all three parts are in a bad way. AP is sceptical about the claim that philosophy can be a science, and hence is uninterested in the real world. CP is never pursued in a properly theoretical way, and its practice is tailor-made for particular political and ethical conclusions. HP is mostly developed on a regionalist basis: what is studied is determined by th…Read more
  •  589
    Conceptual Space Modeling for Space Event Characterization
    with Jeremy R. Chapman, David Kasmier, David Limbaugh, Stephen R. Gagnon, John L. Crassidis, James Llinas, and Alexander P. Cox
    IEEE 23rd International Conference on Information Fusion (FUSION). 2020.
    This paper provides a method for characterizing space events using the framework of conceptual spaces. We focus specifically on estimating and ranking the likelihood of collisions between space objects. The objective is to design an approach for anticipatory decision support for space operators who can take preventive actions on the basis of assessments of relative risk. To make this possible our approach draws on the fusion of both hard and soft data within a single decision support framework. …Read more
  •  588
    We propose capability as a universal or type intermediate between function and disposition. A capability is, broadly speaking, a disposition that is of a type whose instances can be evaluated on the basis of how well they are realized. A function, on the view we are proposing, is a capability the possession of which is the rationale for the existence of its bearer. To say for example that a water pump has the function to pump water is to say that the pump exists because something was needed that…Read more
  •  581
    Infectious Disease Ontology
    with Lindsay Grey Cowell
    In Infectious Disease Informatics, Springer New York. pp. 373-395. 2009.
    Technological developments have resulted in tremendous increases in the volume and diversity of the data and information that must be processed in the course of biomedical and clinical research and practice. Researchers are at the same time under ever greater pressure to share data and to take steps to ensure that data resources are interoperable. The use of ontologies to annotate data has proven successful in supporting these goals and in providing new possibilities for the automated processing…Read more
  •  579
    Biomedical imaging ontologies: A survey and proposal for future work
    with Sivaram Arabandi, Mathias Brochhausen, Michael Calhoun, Paolo Ciccarese, Scott Doyle, Bernard Gibaud, Ilya Goldberg, Charles E. Kahn Jr, James Overton, John Tomaszewski, and Metin Gurcan
    Journal of Pathology Informatics 6 (37): 37. 2015.
    Ontology is one strategy for promoting interoperability of heterogeneous data through consistent tagging. An ontology is a controlled structured vocabulary consisting of general terms (such as “cell” or “image” or “tissue” or “microscope”) that form the basis for such tagging. These terms are designed to represent the types of entities in the domain of reality that the ontology has been devised to capture; the terms are provided with logical defi nitions thereby also supporting reasoning over th…Read more
  •  564
    Ever since its appearance in 1913, Reinach's work on a The A Priori Foundations of the Civil Law has served as the principal representative of phenomenological, aprioristic and ontological/realist approaches to the philosophy of law. This annotated bibliography provides an overview of the reception of Reinach's thinking, which has been of influence also in the realm of speech act theory.
  •  561
    What follows is a first step towards an ontology of conscious mental processes. We provide a theoretical foundation and characterization of conscious mental processes based on a realist theory of intentionality and using BFO as our top-level ontology. We distinguish three components of intentional mental process: character, directedness, and objective referent, and describe several features of the process character and directedness significant to defining and classifying mental processes. We arr…Read more
  •  561
    In Robin Le Poidevin, Peter Simons, Andrew McGonigal & Ross Cameron (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Metaphysics, Routledge. pp. 537-544. 2009.
    While Darwin is commonly supposed to have demonstrated the inapplicability of the Aristotelian ontology of species to biological science, recent developments, especially in the wake of the Human Genome Project, have given rise to a new golden age of classification in which ontological ideas -- as for example in the Gene Ontology, the Cell Ontology, the Protein Ontology, and so forth -- are once again playing an important role. In regard to species, on the other hand, matters are more complex. We…Read more
  •  558
    Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is a top-level ontology used in hundreds of active projects in scientific and other domains. BFO has been selected to serve as top-level ontology in the Industrial Ontologies Foundry (IOF), an initiative to create a suite of ontologies to support digital manufacturing on the part of representatives from a number of branches of the advanced manufacturing industries. We here present a first draft set of axioms and definitions of an IOF upper ontology descending from BFO…Read more
  •  557
    Provides a survey of the development of speech act theory from Aristotle through Reid and Peirce to Edmund Husserl, Anton Marty, Johannes Daubert, Adolf Reinach, and finally to Austin and Searle. A special role is played by Husserl's theory of objectifying acts (meaning, roughly, acts of naming or stating) and of the efforts by his followers to extend this theory to cover phenomena such as questioning and commanding. These efforts culminated in the work of Adolf Reinach, who developed the first …Read more
  •  556
    Diagrams, Documents, and the Meshing of Plans
    In Andras Benedek & Kristof Nyiri (eds.), How To Do Things With Pictures: Skill, Practice, Performance, Peter Lang Edition. pp. 165--179. 2013.
    There are two important ways in which, when dealing with documents, we go beyond the boundaries of linear text. First, by incorporating diagrams into documents, and second, by creating complexes of intermeshed documents which may be extended in space and evolve and grow through time. The thesis of this paper is that such aggregations of documents are today indispensable to practically all complex human achievements from law and finance to orchestral performance and organized warfare. Documents p…Read more
  •  554
    This paper defends a view of the Gene Ontology (GO) and of Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) as examples of what the manufacturing industry calls product-service systems. This means that they are products (the ontologies) bundled with a range of ontology services such as updates, training, help desk, and permanent identifiers. The paper argues that GO and BFO are contrasted in this respect with DOLCE, which approximates more closely to a scientific theory or a scientific publication. The paper provide…Read more
  •  552
    The birth of ontology
    Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (1): 57-66. 2022.
    This review focuses on the Ogdoas scholastica by Jacob Lorhard, published in 1606. The importance of this document turns on the fact that it contains what is almost certainly the first published occurrence of the term “ontology.” The body of the work consists in a series of diagrams called “diagraphs.” Relevant features of these diagraphs are: 1. that they do not in fact contain the word “ontology,” and 2. that Lorhard himself was not responsible for their content.
  •  550
    The Neurath-Haller Thesis: Austria and the Rise of Scientific Philosophy
    In Keith Lehrer & Johann Christian Marek (eds.), Austrian Philosophy Past and Present, Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 1-20. 1997.
    The term ‘Continental philosophy’ designates not philosophy on the continent of Europe as a whole, but rather a selective slice of Franco-German philosophy. Through a critical analysis of the arguments advanced by Otto Neurath, the paper addresses the issue of why Austrian philosophers in particular are not counted in the pantheon of Continental philosophers. Austrian philosophy is marked by the predominance of philosophical analysis and of the philosophy of science. The paper concludes that it …Read more
  •  550
    Against Fantology
    In Johann C. Marek & Maria E. Reicher (eds.), Experience and Analysis, Hpt&öbv. pp. 153-170. 2005.
    The analytical philosophy of the last hundred years has been heavily influenced by a doctrine to the effect that the key to the correct understanding of reality is captured syntactically in the ‘Fa’ (or, in more sophisticated versions, in the ‘Rab’) of standard first order predicate logic. Here ‘F’ stands for what is general in reality and ‘a’ for what is individual. Hence “f(a)ntology”. Because predicate logic has exactly two syntactically different kinds of referring expressions—‘F’, ‘G’, ‘R’,…Read more
  •  548
    Towards Industrial Strength Philosophy: How Analytical Ontology Can Help Medical Informatics
    with Werner Ceusters
    Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 28 (2). 2003.
    Initially the problems of data integration, for example in the field of medicine, were resolved in case by case fashion. Pairs of databases were cross-calibrated by hand, rather as if one were translating from French into Hebrew. As the numbers and complexity of database systems increased, the idea arose of streamlining these efforts by constructing one single benchmark taxonomy, as it were a central switchboard, into which all of the various classification systems would need to be translated on…Read more
  •  546
    In Silico Approaches and the Role of Ontologies in Aging Research
    with Georg Fuellen, Melanie Börries, Hauke Busch, Aubrey de Grey, Udo Hahn, Thomas Hiller, Andreas Hoeflich, Ludger Jansen, Georges E. Janssens, Christoph Kaleta, Anne C. Meinema, Sascha Schäuble, Paul N. Schofield, and Others
    Rejuvenation Research 16 (6): 540-546. 2013.
    The 2013 Rostock Symposium on Systems Biology and Bioinformatics in Aging Research was again dedicated to dissecting the aging process using in silico means. A particular focus was on ontologies, as these are a key technology to systematically integrate heterogeneous information about the aging process. Related topics were databases and data integration. Other talks tackled modeling issues and applications, the latter including talks focussed on marker development and cellular stress as well as …Read more