Ontology in this philosophical sense is a theoretical discipline. It is roughly the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects, properties, events, processes and relations in every area of reality. Ontology is also, however, a rapidly growing practical discipline at the intersection of philosophy and information science. Ontological tools and theories are increasingly being applied in bio- and medical informatics, in intelligence, defense and security analysis, in industry, publishing, finance, and other fields, where they serve as a basis for improved classifications, information integration, and automatic reasoning.
The University of Buffalo is a world center of research in applied ontology , opening the doors for our graduate students to successful careers in informatics and data science in fields such as biomedicine, finance, defense and security.
Students interested in this fast-growing field who wish to acquire a background in the theory and practice of ontology may apply for the M. This interdisciplinary program, offered by the Department of Philosophy of the University at Buffalo, allows students to work with relevant faculty in Computer Science and Engineering, Geography, Informatics, Linguistics, and the Life Sciences.
We aim to train professionals who will understand the work that ontologists do and will have the ability to apply ontological theories to a broad range of problems. Graduates of Buffalo ontology programs have excellent placement opportunities in both government and industry.
Ontological research in Buffalo is currently centered on the ontological applications in medicine and biology , geographic information science, defense and security ontology, on the ontology of artifacts , and on a range of topics in applied ontology. This relied to a great degree on insights derived from scientific research into animals taking instinctive action in natural and artificial settings—as studied by biology , ecology ,  and cognitive science.
The processes by which bodies related to environments became of great concern, and the idea of being itself became difficult to really define. Others, mostly philosophers, tried to dig into the word and its usage.
Martin Heidegger distinguished human being as existence from the being of things in the world. Heidegger proposes that our way of being human and the way the world is for us are cast historically through a fundamental ontological questioning.
These fundamental ontological categories provide the basis for communication in an age: Because these basic ontological meanings both generate and are regenerated in everyday interactions, the locus of our way of being in a historical epoch is the communicative event of language in use.
Some philosophers suggest that the question of "What is? Suppose a person refers to a 'cup' as a 'chair' and makes some comments pertinent to a cup, but uses the word 'chair' consistently throughout instead of 'cup'. One might readily catch on that this person simply calls a 'cup' a 'chair' and the oddity is explained. The question of What is? Hirsch interprets Hilary Putnam as asserting that different concepts of "the existence of something" can be correct.
Common to all Indo-European copula languages is the double use of the verb "to be" in both stating that entity X exists "X is. It is sometimes argued that a third use is also distinct, stating that X is a member of a class "X is a C". In other language families these roles may have completely different verbs and are less likely to be confused with one another.
For example they might say something like "the car has redness" rather than "the car is red". Hence any discussion of "being" in Indo-European language philosophy may need to make distinctions between these senses. In human geography there are two types of ontology: The other "o", or big "O", systematically, logically, and rationally describes the essential characteristics and universal traits. This concept relates closely to Plato's view that the human mind can only perceive a bigger world if they continue to live within the confines of their "caves".
However, in spite of the differences, ontology relies on the symbolic agreements among members. That said, ontology is crucial for the axiomatic language frameworks. Whitehead , for ontology, it is useful to distinguish the terms 'reality' and 'actuality'. In this view, an 'actual entity' has a philosophical status of fundamental ontological priority, while a 'real entity' is one which may be actual, or may derive its reality from its logical relation to some actual entity or entities.
For example, an occasion in the life of Socrates is an actual entity. But Socrates' being a man does not make 'man' an actual entity, because it refers indeterminately to many actual entities, such as several occasions in the life of Socrates, and also to several occasions in the lives of Alcibiades, and of others.
But the notion of man is real; it derives its reality from its reference to those many actual occasions, each of which is an actual entity. An actual occasion is a concrete entity, while terms such as 'man' are abstractions from many concrete relevant entities.
According to Whitehead, an actual entity must earn its philosophical status of fundamental ontological priority by satisfying several philosophical criteria, as follows. Whitehead proposed that his notion of an occasion of experience satisfies the criteria for its status as the philosophically preferred definition of an actual entity. From a purely logical point of view, each occasion of experience has in full measure the characters of both objective and subjective reality.
Subjectivity and objectivity refer to different aspects of an occasion of experience, and in no way do they exclude each other. Aristotle's substances, such as Socrates, have behind them as more fundamental the 'primary substances', and in this sense do not satisfy Whitehead's criteria.
Whitehead is not happy with Leibniz' monads as actual entities because they are "windowless" and do not cause each other. States of affairs are contingent on particulars, and therefore have something behind them. Another summary, referring to its causal linkage to other actual entities, is that it is "all window", in contrast with Leibniz' windowless monads. This view allows philosophical entities other than actual entities to really exist, but not as fundamentally and primarily factual or causally efficacious; they have existence as abstractions, with reality only derived from their reference to actual entities.
A Whiteheadian actual entity has a unique and completely definite place and time. Whiteheadian abstractions are not so tightly defined in time and place, and in the extreme, some are timeless and placeless, or 'eternal' entities.
All abstractions have logical or conceptual rather than efficacious existence; their lack of definite time does not make them unreal if they refer to actual entities. Whitehead calls this 'the ontological principle'. There is an established and long philosophical history of the concept of atoms as microscopic physical objects.
They are far too small to be visible to the naked eye. It was as recent as the nineteenth century that precise estimates of the sizes of putative physical atoms began to become plausible. Almost direct empirical observation of atomic effects was due to the theoretical investigation of Brownian motion by Albert Einstein in the very early twentieth century. But even then, the real existence of atoms was debated by some. Such debate might be labeled 'microcosmic ontology'.
Here the word 'microcosm' is used to indicate a physical world of small entities, such as for example atoms. Subatomic particles are usually considered to be much smaller than atoms. Their real or actual existence may be very difficult to demonstrate empirically. Reasonably, one may ask, in what sense, if any, do virtual particles exist as physical entities? For atomic and subatomic particles, difficult questions arise, such as do they possess a precise position, or a precise momentum?
A question that continues to be controversial is 'to what kind of physical thing, if any, does the quantum mechanical wave function refer? The first ontological argument in the Western Christian tradition  was proposed by Anselm of Canterbury in his work Proslogion. Anselm defined God as "that than which nothing greater can be thought", and argued that this being must exist in the mind, even in the mind of the person who denies the existence of God.
He suggested that, if the greatest possible being exists in the mind, it must also exist in reality. If it only exists in the mind, then an even greater being must be possible—one which exists both in the mind and in reality. Therefore, this greatest possible being must exist in reality. Descartes published several variations of his argument, each of which centred on the idea that God's existence is immediately inferable from a "clear and distinct" idea of a supremely perfect being.
In the early eighteenth century, Gottfried Leibniz augmented Descartes' ideas in an attempt to prove that a "supremely perfect" being is a coherent concept. Norman Malcolm revived the ontological argument in when he located a second, stronger ontological argument in Anselm's work; Alvin Plantinga challenged this argument and proposed an alternative, based on modal logic. Attempts have also been made to validate Anselm's proof using an automated theorem prover.
Other arguments have been categorised as ontological, including those made by Islamic philosophers Mulla Sadra and Allama Tabatabai. Jaakko Hintikka puts the view that a useful explication of the notion of existence is in the words "one can find", implicitly in some world or universe of discourse. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about ontology in philosophy. For the concept in information science and computing, see Ontology information science.
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Ontology and epistemology are two different ways of viewing a research philosophy. Ontology in business research can be defined as “the science or study of being” and it deals with the nature of reality. Ontology is a system of belief that reflects an interpretation by an individual about what constitutes a fact.
Both logic and ontology are important areas of philosophy covering large, diverse, and active research projects. These two areas overlap from time to time and problems or questions arise that concern both. This survey article is intended to discuss some of these areas of overlap.
Research philosophy is an important part of research methodology. Research philosophy is classified as ontology, epistemology and axiology. These philosophical approaches enable to decide which approach should be adopted by the researcher and why, which is derived from research questions (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, ). Ontology is a part of metaphysics, a branch of philosophy that looks at the very nature of things, their being, cause, or identity. Metaphysics dates all the way back to the time of the Ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle, who lived from B.C.E.
Epistemology in a business research as a branch of philosophy deals with the sources of knowledge. Specifically, epistemology is concerned with possibilities, nature, sources and limitations of knowledge in . Research philosophy, refers to the development of knowledge adopted by the researchers in their research (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, ). In other words, it is the theory that used to direct the researcher for conducting the procedure of research design, research strategy, questionnaire design and sampling (Malhotra, ).