How fit is OWL to represent realist ontologies? the semantics of representational units in realist ontologies and the web ontology language
Ontological realism is a philosophical stance that provides a definitional framework for ontologies and is referred to by various applied ontologists. From a computer science perspective, ontologies are often associated with formal languages for the representation of ontologies like the Web Ontology Language (OWL). It has, however, not been made explicit how the realist framework is related to the representation formalism. We analyse how the representational units of OWL can be used for modelling realist ontologies. While OWL is sufficiently close to the realist framework of ontologies to describe them, there are categories in OWL that are alien to realist ontologies or duplicate categories in realist ontologies. This clarification allows separating talk about ontologies in general from talk about their specific representation.
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