• 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
  • The Infectious Disease Ontology in the Age of COVID-19
    Shane Babcock, Lindsay G. Cowell, John Beverley, and Barry Smith
    Journal of Biomedical Semantics 12 (13). 2021.
    The Infectious Disease Ontology (IDO) is a suite of interoperable ontology modules that aims to provide coverage of all aspects of the infectious disease domain, including biomedical research, clinical care, and public health. IDO Core is designed to be a disease and pathogen neutral ontology, covering just those types of entities and relations that are relevant to infectious diseases generally. IDO Core is then extended by a collection of ontology modules focusing on specific diseases and patho…Read more
  • Even the most cursory reader of Husserl’s writings must be struck by the frequent references to essences (“Wesen”, “Essenzen”), Ideas (“Idee”), kinds, natures, types and species and to necessities, possibilities, impossi- bilities, necessary possibilities, essential necessities and essential laws. What does Husserl have in mind in talking of essences and modalities? What did he take the relation between essentiality and modality to be? In the absence of answers to these questions it is not clear…Read more
  • In this paper, I re-examine Barry Smith’s list of features of Austrian Philosophy in his Austrian philosophy. The legacy of Franz Brentano. Open Court, Chicago, 1994). I claim that the list properly applies only in a somewhat abbreviated form to all significant representatives of Austrian Philosophy. Moreover, Smith’s crucial thesis that the features of Austrian Philosophy are not shared by any German philosopher only holds if we compare Austrian Philosophy to a canonical list of German Philosop…Read more
  • The relevance of analytic metaphysics has come under criticism: Ladyman & Ross, for instance, have suggested do discontinue the field. French & McKenzie have argued in defense of analytic metaphysics that it develops tools that could turn out to be useful for philosophy of physics. In this article, we show first that this heuristic defense of metaphysics can be extended to the scientific field of applied ontology, which uses constructs from analytic metaphysics. Second, we elaborate on a paralle…Read more
  • An ontological analysis of drug prescriptions
    Jean-François Ethier, Adrien Barton, and Ryeyan Taseen
    Applied ontology 13 (4): 273-294. 2018.
  • Ontology and Cognitive Outcomes
    David Limbaugh, Jobst Landgrebe, David Kasmier, Ronald Rudnicki, James Llinas, and Barry Smith
    Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 1 (1). 2020.
    The term ‘intelligence’ as used in this paper refers to items of knowledge collected for the sake of assessing and maintaining national security. The intelligence community (IC) of the United States (US) is a community of organizations that collaborate in collecting and processing intelligence for the US. The IC relies on human-machine-based analytic strategies that 1) access and integrate vast amounts of information from disparate sources, 2) continuously process this information, so that, 3) a…Read more
  • The Essence of Language: Wittgenstein's Builders and Bühler's Bricks
    Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2 193-215. 1997.
    What is essential to language? Two thinkers active in Vienna in the 1930's, Karl Bühler and Ludwig Wittgenstein, gave apparently incompatible answers to this question. I compare what Wittgenstein says about language and reference at the beginning of his Philosophical Investigations with some aspects of the descriptive analysis of language worked out by Bühler between 1907 and 1934, a systematic development of the philosophies of mind and language of such heirs of Brentano as Martinak, Marty, Mei…Read more
  • Daubert’s Naïve Realist Challenge to Husserl
    Matt E. M. Bower
    Grazer Philosophische Studien 96 (2): 211-243. 2019.
    Despite extensive discussion of naïve realism in the wider philosophical literature, those influenced by the phenomenological movement who work in the philosophy of perception have hardly weighed in on the matter. It is thus interesting to discover that Edmund Husserl’s close philosophical interlocutor and friend, the early twentieth-century phenomenologist Johannes Daubert, held the naive realist view. This article presents Daubert’s views on the fundamental nature of perceptual experience and …Read more
  • The paper discusses the concept of the cognitive niche and distinguishes the latter from the metabolic niche. By using these posits I unpack certain ideas that are crucial for the enactivist movement, especially for its original formulation proposed by Varela, Thompson and Rosh. Drawing on the ontology of location, boundaries, and parthood, I argue that enacting the world can be seen as the process of cognitive niche construction. Moreover, it turns out that enactivism—as seen through the lens o…Read more
  • The Metaphysics of Economic Exchanges
    Massin Olivier and Tieffenbach Emma
    Journal of Social Ontology 3 (2): 167-205. 2017.
    What are economic exchanges? The received view has it that exchanges are mutual transfers of goods motivated by inverse valuations thereof. As a corollary, the standard approach treats exchanges of services as a subspecies of exchanges of goods. We raise two objections against this standard approach. First, it is incomplete, as it fails to take into account, among other things, the offers and acceptances that lie at the core of even the simplest cases of exchanges. Second, it ultimately fails to…Read more
  • Pattern as an Ontological Category
    Ingvar Johansson
    In Nicola Guarino (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems, Ios Press. pp. 86-94. 1998.
    The paper argues that causal systems and spatial patterns are species of the same genus, namely pattern, and that a clear view of spatial patterns throws light on some aspects of the ontological nature of causal systems. In particular, it is argued that all patterns (and systems) depend on a fiat delimitation of something which in itself is a unity without borders. Pattern realism is true.
  • The extensionality of parthood and composition
    Philosophical Quarterly 58 (230): 108-133. 2008.
    I focus on three mereological principles: the Extensionality of Parthood (EP), the Uniqueness of Composition (UC), and the Extensionality of Composition (EC). These principles are not equivalent. Nonetheless, they are closely related (and often equated) as they all reflect the basic nominalistic dictum, No difference without a difference maker. And each one of them—individually or collectively—has been challenged on philosophical grounds. In the first part I argue that such challenges do not qui…Read more
  • Who Doesn't Have a Problem of Too Many Thinkers?
    American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (2): 203. 2013.
    Animalists accuse the advocates of psychological approaches of identity of having to suffer a Problem of Too Many Thinkers. Eric Olson, for instance, is an animalist who maintains that if the person is spatially coincident but numerically distinct from the animal, then provided that the person can use its brain to think, so too can the physically indistinguishable animal. However, not all defenders of psychological views of identity assume the spatial coincidence of the person and the animal. Je…Read more
  • If Abortion, then Infanticide
    David B. Hershenov and Rose J. Hershenov
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 38 (5): 387-409. 2017.
    Our contention is that all of the major arguments for abortion are also arguments for permitting infanticide. One cannot distinguish the fetus from the infant in terms of a morally significant intrinsic property, nor are they morally discernible in terms of standing in different relationships to others. The logic of our position is that if such arguments justify abortion, then they also justify infanticide. If we are right that infanticide is not justified, then such arguments will fail to justi…Read more