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A traditional branch of metaphysics that deals with problems of being, existence, inner nature, meaning, etc. It is fundamental to problems involving normality and disease, individuality, responsibility, and the analysis of values. In recent years, it has been slowly assuming a place as a branch of medicine proper.


A formal specification of how to represent relationships among objects, concepts, and other entities belonging to a particular area of human experience or knowledge.

ontology (n·tˑ·l·gē),

n the metaphysical study of the state of being: focuses on the fundamentals of identity, disease, normalcy, and belief systems as they influence a person's existence.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a set of recent contributions, for example, Mario Blaser (2009a, 2009b, 2013, 2014) has drawn attention to the limitations of environmental policies that dismiss ontological dimensions as cultural constructions.
Although his notion of 'self' appears not to be a 'thing-in-itself', there is still the implication that 'self' is to be found in the deeper layer of ontological relatedness.
Before that, in Part I, Kramer focusses on the very idea of ontological commitment.
In what may be considered a controversial move, especially now, (1) I make the case that a valuable resource for understanding the ontological dimension of oppression is Martin Heidegger's account of attunement (Befindlichkeit).
In the intelligent contract paradigm, an ontological database will be developed to link data from the disparate departments of the DoD into understandable knowledge.
However a more nuanced approach to the question can hardly miss to see the ontological undertone in the statement.
Ontological categories: On their distinction from transcendentais, modes of being, and logical categories
Nor is it clear how something can lack "ontological status" and yet possess "diminished" or a "reduced ontological status" (whatever these terms might mean).
The disputants in a metaphysical argument only differ over which of the available truth-conditionally equivalent ontological languages they are speaking--"the doctrine says that there is no uniquely best ontological language with which to describe the world" (xii); the quantifiers, and related expressions, are variable.
Section four, through an empirical study of large Spanish firms, identifies the ontological supports of knowledge.
This paper will attempt to bring together these two very different areas of inquiry: the scientific formulation of the climate change problematic, and the ontological investigation ("the question of being," as Heidegger would say) that arises in a striking way--arises, as I will try to show, necessarily--along with this problematic.
In its brevity and narrow focus on music, Donelan's critique is limited as a contribution to Hegel scholarship, especially since it doesn't address the implications of the critique for Hegel's ambitious ontological and historical claims for aesthetics and for self-consciousness.