'An ontology is a specification of a conceptualization'
'A body of formally represented knowledge is based on a conceptualization: the objects, concepts, and other entities that are assumed to exist in some area of interest and the relationships that hold among them. A conceptualization is an abstract, simplified view of the world that we wish to represent for some purpose.'
'An ontology is an explicit specification of a conceptualization. The term is borrowed from philosophy, where an ontology is a systematic account of existence.'
from 'What is an Ontology?'
This branch of philosophy or metaphysics is concerned with the nature of existence. Ontological assumptions are those assumptions that underpin theories about what kind of entities can exist.
from the Penguin Dictionary of Sociology
'Ontologies ultimately embody the survival principle that self-representative or self-describing systems reduce the cost of entry. By developing a Web address for some fragment of knowledge containing programs and/or information, and then sharing the address with someone else, authors can allow the democratic process play out: anyone in the Web community can indicate that the ideas are good by linking to the handle for future usage. They neither copy the document as is, nor copy the document and make make minor changes, because to do so would be too expensive; the cheapest way to propagate ideas is by address. This feeds the cycle of natural selection in knowledge representation: usage determines community, which in turn refines the common ontology.'
from 'The Origin of (Document) Species'
Sites Relevant to Ontologies and Knowledge Sharing
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