Here’s the description:
Ontologies form a critical piece of Semantic Web technology, enabling
modes of knowledge representation and automated reasoning otherwise
unavailable. The notion of ontology, however, is notoriously
slippery. What is it exactly? Whence the term?
The term derives from the philosophical practice of analyzing and
classifying the categories of existing things. Semantic Web
ontologies are informed by this philosophical work, and in many cases
are direct realizations of it. Our talk will begin with a light
primer on philosophical ontology, with an eye towards putting
ontologies and their related languages into proper context. From
there, we will look at some ontologies used in philosophy of science,
their relation to first-order logic, and a bit of formal semantics.
(Along the way, we will insinuate that computer programming and
analytic philosophy are not quite so different as they may seem.)
Hopefully, the resulting snapshot of philosophical ontology will be of
use and pleasure to anyone concerned with Semantic Web technologies.
If you’re interested in coming, please RSVP by the 25th. I’ll need to send a list of names to security.