Talk:Foundation ontology

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And it's possible that it won't. What has this have to do with foundation ontology

It is possible that nuclear weapons proliferation or some form of biological warfare technology could alter the consensus regarding physics and its foundation position in the sciences. In 2002 controversies and acrimony over the "censoring of science" useful to "terrorists" have emerged. Some consider this a threat to the objectivity of science itself.
Most scientists consider this a remote possibility. But political factors, and reliance on a small number of similarly-constructured experimental apparatus has been an issue in science since Galileo, when the Moons of Jupiter were considered by some to be possibly be an artifact of the optics of the telescope. Theories that are only empirically tested by a small elite community in control of its funding and peer review, and closely controlled by authority, have historically been scientifically suspect.

I'm getting frustrated here.....

Some anti-reductionists are concerned with cognitive bias, e.g. observer effects, and hold that the ontology should be composed of inclusion and exclusion operations, rather than of the objects included and excluded, e.g. a quantum physicist observing an entanglement must do so indirectly, keeping careful track of the observation timings, as they alter the particles seen!

ARRGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!

There is a interesting debate within the physics community over the fundamental nature of the universe. I'm trying to explain what the debate is over in NPOV terms. Someone who clearly doesn't know what the debate is about, keeps changing that section and attributing views and issues which are not what the physicists are arguing over.


I have issues with the first statement. It seems to imply that there is a cultural group out there with no scientists in it.

The second sentence also has problems. Define deep. Deep to whom?

However, no foundation ontology seems to be universally accepted by all peoples. The field of ethno-mathematics? is the most rigorous study of the variations, especially as understood by indigenous peoples. But the deepest empirical investigations follow the Western rational scientific method:

I also have extremely big problems with the term *Western* rational scientific method. One could get into a big argument over whether science started in the West, but I strongly object to the notion that it is a *Western* mode of thought now. After all, Chinese and Japanese people have won Nobel prizes in physics.



Can't one apply a Gödel-like argument to the statement "a foundation ontology is not provable" and conclude that foundation ontologies must be incomplete. If so, then what's all this fuss? The topic is a dead end street. -- Olof


Taking an engineering view .... approximations are extremely useful in staying on the leading edge of better approximations that are useful in various human activities such as technology, propaganda, warfare, education, etc.

The topic, even if called something else is a dead end street only for those who do not evolve useful ontologies.

For example: perhaps I should go start a series of articles on useful worldviews and start my own school of thought .... solution domain elements .... set theory ..... something .... then I could begin on my Wikipedia biography documenting myself as someone useful to have had around in the early 21st Century .... or I can join the fray over ontology .... decisions ... decisions ... user:mirwin


As it became clear that theology could vary drastically in all aspects except foundation ontology, a philosophy of science evolved to explain this stability

Wouldn't it be more accurate to say "metaphysics" istead of "theology"?


Finally, I'm going to weigh in on this (to me) bizarre article. I've studied ontology a fair bit (in the good old fashioned philosophical sense of the term), both historical and contemporary, and I have never heard the term "foundation ontology" used by philosophers before. I see from this Google search that the phrase "foundation ontology" sometimes appears in connection to this computer science project and some other technical projects. But that's clearly not the sense in which "24" was using "foundation ontology"; he was using it as if it were a well-accepted, oft-used term in philosophy. As far as I know, it ain't.

I suspect this is an attempt at a new coinage, by someone who knows just enough philosophy to sound slightly plausible to non-philosophers, and that it really belongs in the garbage can. Does anyone have strong opinions otherwise?

By no means am I suggesting that we simply toss it out without further consideration. I agree with everyone who says that deleting articles must be done slowly and prudently, and we should take care to preserve all useful content. I suspect some of the physics content might belong in a physics or philosophy of physics article (I just don't know enough to give reliable advice on that). But as for the term and the definition of it, and the casting of an issue in terms of this term, I think "24" more or less pulled a fast one on yez.  :-/ --Larry Sanger

Yeah, I think this is just the intellectual detritus of our anonymous friend, and can be removed with little controversy now. --LDC

Larry, I agree with you. I studied philosophy too, and this article looks like largely nonsense to me. A hotch-potch of some dubious and not very closely related ideas, under a heading I've not heard of before (other than in computer science). I'd be happy for most of this article to go, except possibly for an explanation of foundation ontology in the computer science sense - though that would be little more than a dictionary definition and is probably covered adequately in the Ontology (computer science) article. Ben Finn 20:24, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)


OK then, below is the original article. Can we now delete it altogether? I would, but (blissfully) I lack administrative permissions.  :-) --Larry Sanger

A foundation ontology purports to describe "what exists", to a sufficient degree of rigor to establish a reasonable method of empirical validation.

Acceptance of these tends to vary drastically from culture to culture: classical Greek and Roman civilization assumed for example that "earth, air, fire, and water" sufficiently described the elements, while 19th century scientists considered the periodic table to be a solid foundation ontology describing all atoms that could exist. As it became clear that theology could vary drastically in all aspects except foundation ontology, a philosophy of science evolved to explain this stability. Over time mathematics became accepted as a neutral point of view.

Within the physics community, the two most common foundation ontologies are the reductionist position, which is held most strongly by particle physicists, and the anti-reductionist position, which tends to be held by solid state physicists. The reductionist position is that one can understand the universe by examining its most basic components and how they interact - producing a foundation and from this understanding derive (even only in principle) an understanding of how the entire universe works. The particle physics foundation ontology is thus one of parts and linkages.

The anti-reductionist position among physicists is that collections of objects sometimes exhibit behaviors which are independent of the objects themselves. Therefore it is incorrect to think of the objects as more fundamental than the collections of objects. It is important to note that this particular debate between reductionists or anti-reductionists does not involve the nature of scientific truth, the process of science, the role of mathematics in science, or any issues involving interpretations of quantum mechanics.

Another debate within the scientific community is between scientists who hold to the Copernican principle and those who believe some variation of the anthropic principle. The Copernican principle states that there is nothing special about the human location in the universe. The anthropic principle on the other hand argues that the universe is special because there are human observers in it and from the existence of human observers one can deduce the properties of the universe.

It may also be that the acts of counting and trusting each other's cognition are more fundamental than the output of any experimental apparatus, or any theory that can be expressed numerically. That is, that the universe may actually be built out of some form of trust, perhaps down to the molecules and entanglement bonds. Although this view is associated with theology, it has increasingly impacted ecology, notably via the Gaia theory, and more deeply biology through the work of Edward O. Wilson, who seeks "a biological basis for morality".

In physics, this view has come to be associated with Lee Smolin and the "fecund universe" theory. In this foundation ontology, new universes are formed "on the other side" of black holes as stars collapse, and vary in their foundation parameters much as bacteria vary slightly in their genetic makeup from their parent. Universes with such life-like characteristics may not just be passive containers of objects, living or otherwise, but "exhibit behaviors which are independent of the objects themselves," i.e. be "alive".

External links:


If you're talking about permanent, history-zapping deletion, please don't. This page and its talk have some significance in Wikipedia's history. Matthew Woodcraft


I'll bite: how exactly does this page have any significance in Wikipedia's history, other than the fact that a particularly odious troll, once in our recent history, wrote the page and bandied his invented term about, fooling a lot of nonphilosophers into thinking that they were adding important human knowledge about a term of actual philosophical jargon?

Anyway, haven't we written a delete function that allows histories to be saved? Or is it only that delete functions are "undoable" so they can be resurrected but not moved?

In that case, I suggest we move the article and its history to some place (not Wikipedia) where it has relevance to Wikipedia's history. It isn't an encyclopedia article. Maybe the Wikipedia: namespace. --Larry Sanger

Yes, what you describe is the history I was thinking of. How we deal with such things is important.

If we do have delete which preserves history, by all means let's delete. Otherwise I agree that moving it would be best. Matthew Woodcraft

I'm trying to understand: how we deal with what things is important? Please be explicit. --Larry Sanger


This is discussed further in the article on foundations of mathematics.

No it's not, at least not explicitly. The word "ontology" does not appear there. Is someone here knowledgable enough to work it in in a congenial and appropriate manner? Otherwise, should that sentence change to a mere "see also:"? GTBacchus 19:08, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)


Dubious stuff cut today[edit]

Since this article has hardly been touched for 3 years, I cut all of the stuff below which looks spurious - like rather dubious "original research". From a bit of a search I couldn't find anything much on the Internet about 'foundation ontology' in these cosmological senses, other than endless references to this article! Ben Finn 20:43, 3 Jun 2005 (UTC)


A foundation ontology purports to describe "what exists", to a sufficient degree of rigor to establish a reasonable method of empirical validation.

Upper ontologies are for abstract, fundamental concepts that are found to be common elements of many lower ontologies, an example being: let's say we have some ontologies, one expressing concepts "higher and lower", another expressing "above and below", another expresssing "superior and inferior". Then an upper ontology would very carefully express the abstract concepts needed to link and distinguish these, so that you can decide whether an attempt to translate or apply concepts from one ontology to another is meaningful.

Acceptance of these tends to vary drastically from culture to culture: classical Greek and Roman civilization assumed for example that "earth, air, fire, and water" sufficiently described the elements, while 19th century scientists considered the periodic table to be a solid foundation ontology describing all atoms that could exist. As it became clear that theology could vary drastically in all aspects except foundation ontology, a philosophy of science evolved to explain this stability. Over time mathematics became accepted as a neutral point of view.

Within the physics community, the two most common foundation ontologies are the reductionist position, which is held most strongly by particle physicists, and the anti-reductionist position, which tends to be held by solid state physicists. The reductionist position is that one can understand the universe by examining its most basic components and how they interact - producing a foundation and from this understanding derive (even only in principle) an understanding of how the entire universe works. The particle physics foundation ontology is thus one of parts and linkages.

The anti-reductionist position among physicists is that collections of objects sometimes exhibit behaviors which are independent of the objects themselves. Therefore it is incorrect to think of the objects as more fundamental than the collections of objects. It is important to note that this particular debate between reductionists or anti-reductionists does not involve the nature of scientific truth, the process of science, the role of mathematics in science, or any issues involving interpretations of quantum mechanics.

Another debate within the scientific community is between scientists who hold to the Copernican principle and those who believe some variation of the anthropic principle. The Copernican principle states that there is nothing special about the human location in the universe. The anthropic principle on the other hand argues that the universe is special because there are human observers in it and from the existence of human observers one can deduce the properties of the universe.

It may also be that the acts of counting and trusting each other's cognition are more fundamental than the output of any experimental apparatus, or any theory that can be expressed numerically. That is, that the universe may actually be built out of some form of trust, perhaps down to the molecules and entanglement bonds. Although this view is associated with theology, it has increasingly impacted ecology, notably via the Gaia theory, and more deeply biology through the work of Edward O. Wilson, who seeks "a biological basis for morality".

In physics, this view has come to be associated with Lee Smolin and the "fecund universe" theory. In this foundation ontology, new universes are formed "on the other side" of black holes as stars collapse, and vary in their foundation parameters much as bacteria vary slightly in their genetic makeup from their parent. Universes with such life-like characteristics may not just be passive containers of objects, living or otherwise, but "exhibit behaviors which are independent of the objects themselves," i.e. be "alive".

...

The term 'standard ontology' should never be used, as any reference to an ontology implies completeness by some definition, and the inability of a system based on one 'standard' to communicate with a system based on any other such 'standard'. Accordingly, the term foundation ontology should be used in all three (philosophy, theology or computer science) senses of the term ontology.

Definition[edit]

The article says: ...attempts to describe those general entities that do not belong to a specific problem domain (emphasis on 'not' added).

Should that instead say it describes those items that do belong? RJFJR 20:19, 16 October 2005 (UTC)

Foundation or Foundational?[edit]

I don't know if there is such a thing as a foundation ontology but I know there are foundational ontologies... and there is a nice piece of info on the web about them (simply google for it). So maybe the discussion has to be reconsidered with foundational ontologies rather than foundation ontologies.

LaurentPrevot 07:58, 15 March 2006 (UTC)