Monday, July 20, 2009

From the International Conference on Biomedical Ontology

I am attending the first International Conference on Biomedical Ontology (ICBO) at the University at Buffalo. Today was the first of four days of tutorials before the ICBO officially opens on Friday.

I am taking the "Ontology of Events, Dispositions, and Powers" tutorial, co-taught by Randall Dipert and Neil Williams. Dipert led off in the morning session with a discussion of events. Williams followed in the afternoon with dispositions.

It turns out that defining 'event' without the aid of the modal notions of necessity and possibility is difficult.

And that a proper analysis of dispositions that goes beyond subjunctive conditionals (which alone are insufficient to define dispositions) is nearly impossible without resorting to circularity.

Overall, two excellent sessions.

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