Sites Concerning Applied Ontology, Metaphysics, Logic, and Epistemology
These sites cover a spectrum of refereed journals, academic sites,
government sites, and sites of private companies. I offer them
primarily to undergraduate students interested in such fields as logic,
metaphysics, philosophy of language, and philosophy of science, and as
an introduction to areas in which philosophical training and skills can
be put to good (and challenging) use in industry and science.
Looking at them and chasing down additional references through them
will lead to similar sites and additional literature.
This is an ambitious undertaking by some Aussie philospohers (primarily
metaphysicians and meta-metaphysicians) to create a central web site
for professional academic philosophers and university philosophy
students. I applaud the effort. You can frequently use it
to track down some interesting discussions or publications. I
think it's a great idea and I hope it continues to work well.
National Center for Ontological Research.
This is primarily a collaborative effort of a variety of academic
institutions oriented, for the most part, towards the use (and
improvement) of ontologies in scientific domains and
applications. It is headed by Barry Smith, who was trained as a
philosopher and is still editor of The Monist, but who recently has
been giving talks titled "Why I Am Not a Philosopher". You figure
The journal Applied Ontology.
This journal is devoted to (surprise) papers pertaining to the
application of ontology and ontologies in scientific domains.
Accordingly, it is highly "interdisciplinary" and the quality of
articles is variable. But many of them are excellent and will
provide a kind of insight not available elsewhere.
Duke Ontology Group.
(C'mon guys. The acronym is "DOG".) This is mostly a bunch
of biostats people at Duke, serious about ontologies and using
Hymenoptera Anatomy Ontology. Right here at NC State.
Another science group very serious about ontologies and their use.
The Open Biomedical Ontologies.
The OBO organization has developed guidelines and principles for
developing formal ontologies for the biomedical ontologies. Its
"Foundry" is a collection is a collection of ontologies. The jury
is out on the ultimate acceptability of the principles and practices
employed by the OBO, but a lot of important work has been done in terms
of the ontologies.
Unified Medical Language System.
The UMLS is a long-term (~20 years) project of the US National Library
of Medicine to provide a formal framework for integrating multiple
(over 100) large biomedical dictionaries, thesauri, ontologies, and
"coding schemes". The knowledge representation makes use of a
layer of "concepts" to which items in each of the "vocabularies" or
"sources" are mapped and which provide a way of translating from one to
the other. Though flawed in certain fundamental respects, it is a
very powerful tool and an impressive effort. In addition to its
"Metathesaurus" (which is the set of sources integrated through the
concept set) it also provides some heavy-duty computational linguistic
tools (now, alas, coded in Java). You can get your own (free)
license to it and experiment with the UMLS Knowledger Server, which is
a web interface for exploring the various sources and relations among
Cycorp. A paradigm
example of good (and useful) AI, the original goal was to create a
knowledge based system capable of reasoning and knowledge at the level
of a 12-year old human. Regardless of its success (or lack
of reaching it), the result is a powerful system that is ontology based
and very well thought out. Students of logic, artificial
intelligence, and philosophy of language will appreciate the details.
This site was reimplemented in 2009 by my Semantic Technologies Group
at GlaxoSmthKline. It contains direct access to a number of
papers pertaining to drug discovery, clinical trials, optimized
pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the use of "semantic technologies"
(primarily formal ontologies and coding schemes) in the pharmaceutical