Grazer Philosophische Studien

Volume 49, 1994/95

Investigating Hintikka

Peter Simons
Pages 77-99

New Categories for Formal Ontology

What primitive concepts does formal ontology require? Forsaking as too indirect the linguistic way of discerning the categories of being, this paper considers what primitives might be required for representing things in themselves (noumena) and representations of them in a thoroughly crafted large autonomous multi-purpose database. Leaving logical concepts and material ontology aside, the resulting 32 categories in 13 families range from the obvious (identity/difference, existence/non-existence) through the fairly obvious (part/whole, one/many, sequential order) and the surprisingly familiar (illocutionary modes, mass/count, indexical/descriptive) to the controversial (moment/fundament, transparent/opaque) and the arcane (modes of class delimitation, taxonomic rank, aspects of designators). Any such list is speculative and tentative, but the test of this one will be in its implementation, a new departure for philosophical category theories.