Synthese:1-22 (forthcoming)

Authors
Oliver Lean
University of Bristol
Abstract
Bio-ontologies are digital frameworks for handling biological and biomedical data. They consist of theoretical entities and relations with explicitly defined logical structures and precise definitions, whose purpose is to provide a shared language for representing information to be distributed and integrated across diverse scientific contexts. It is tempting to view bio-ontologies as clear and formal expressions of a scientific community’s ontological commitments about their domain of inquiry, and to view their integration as tantamount to the metaphysical unification of science that some philosophers have envisaged. However, I argue that the local, practical, social and technological factors that influence their design prevent us from straightforwardly reading metaphysical conclusions from them. I discuss these complications and suggest how they can be overcome, revealing more general lessons for the development of a well-founded scientific metaphysics.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-021-03303-4
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References found in this work BETA

Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized.James Ladyman & Don Ross - 2007 - In James Ladyman, Don Ross, David Spurrett & John Collier (eds.), Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized. Oxford University Press.
Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis.Paul Oppenheim & Hilary Putnam - 1958 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 2:3-36.
Metaphysics as Modeling: The Handmaiden’s Tale.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (1):1-29.

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