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Durham University

Department of Philosophy

Information Systems and the Four-Category Ontology

20th-21st May 2013

Department of Philosophy, Durham University

Venue: The Joachim Room, College of St Hild and St Bede, St Hild's Lane, Durham, DH1 1SZ

This two-day workshop will bring together metaphysicians, applied ontologists and information systems theorists to discuss the practical application of a four-category ontology to the design of information systems.

This workshop aims to put advocates of four-category ontologies into direct dialogue with applied ontologists and information systems designers, enabling each to update the other on developments within their disciplines and to share concerns and problems for collective discussion.

Specific foci of the workshop will be (i) the presentation of practical problems in the design of information systems and (ii) the discussion of contemporary developments in the four-category ontology whose practical applications are not yet appreciated.




Whilst attendance is free, and will include teas and coffees, and lunch on the second day, please email Alex Carruth (a.d.carruth to register your attendence so we can ensure we book the correct amount of catering.


There will be a conference dinner at 19:00 on the Monday evening.




Tuesday 21st


16:10 – 17:40

Barry Smith, University at Buffalo

“The six category ontology: BFO and its applications” 




Nicola Guarino, ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology, Trento

"Extending DOLCE's notion of individual quality: local qualities, quality fields, and quality patterns."




12:00 – 13:30

Luc Norbert Schneider, Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science

“Multi-categorialism, ontological pluralism and scientific ontologies” 



10:00 – 11:30

Jonathan Lowe, Durham University

"Essential versus accidental dispositions in the four-category ontology" 


Monday 20th


15:30 – 17:00

Ludger Jansen, University of Rostock

"The four-category ontology and the Web Ontology Language" 



14:15 – 15:00

Petter Sandstad, University of Oslo

“Qûa-predicating attributes to kinds – a set-theory based on Cook Wilson” 

13:30 – 14:15

Michele Paolini Paoletti, University of Macerata, Italy

“The importance of being negative about facts (and properties)” 

Welcome Coffee

Please direct any enquiries to:

Alex Carruth – a.d.carruth [at]


David Westland – d.w.westland [at]


The organisers wish to thank the Faculty of the Arts and Humanities for their generous support of this event.