How We Might Reach Agreement on Shared Ontologies: A Fundamental Approach

Doug Skuce

At present it seems we have no answers to the tbllowing questions, which I deem to be both critical and basic: What are the fundamental distinctions that need to be made in general ontological categories ? How should we decide upon this set? How should they be defined? How can we move toward widespread agreement on these ? This paper proposes some means to find answers and some initial proposals. It suggests that it is time to attempt an experiment: to try to create a top-level ontology in a new way, by having a small group of experts slowly work toward agreement, one by one, on a set of fundamental ontological distinctions and the resulting categories. I believe achieving agreement on ten or twenty would be a remarkable accomplishment. I discuss some candidates and a possible modus operandi.

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