A super ontology is list of the types of things that exist.

My personal super ontology right now is that there are objects, relations between objects (which themselves are objects), and changes in relations between objects (time).

What other super ontologies have been proposed? That is, what are the theories for what sorts of things this world is comprised of?

  • Can you clarify if you are asking about ontologies in the information/knowledge engineering sense, or the philosophical? Given the name of this forum I expect the latter but just checking. The Wikipedia link you provide lists various upper ontologies (sensu information science). Some of these are backed by actual ontological theories, for example BFO. So this list would be a good place to start.
    – cmungall
    Feb 9, 2019 at 2:11
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    The Wikipedia article you linked has a list of 17 upper ontologies, with descriptions, so what exactly is the question for us?
    – Conifold
    Feb 9, 2019 at 6:30
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    Blimey. I study ontology but can make little or no sense of these 17 ontologies. What is an 'upper' ontology?
    – user20253
    Feb 9, 2019 at 10:42
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    It may help to go to Internet Archive and download "Approaches to Metaphysics" Ed. William Sweet, and read the Introduction and ch. 10 by William Bradley. There are other good articles in there too. There is the idea that there must be some kind of "fitness" to inquire about the world before we begin any inquiry.
    – Gordon
    Feb 9, 2019 at 15:39
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    You might like to check out Buddhism's Abhidhamma pitaka or 'basket' of teachings, This lists all phenomena and their relationships.
    – user20253
    Oct 25, 2019 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


Aristotle's Categories is a singularly important work of philosophy. It not only presents the backbone of Aristotle's own philosophical theorizing, but has exerted an unparalleled influence on the systems of many of the greatest philosophers in the western tradition. The set of doctrines in the Categories, which I will henceforth call categorialism, provides the framework of inquiry for a wide variety of Aristotle's philosophical investigations... Aristotle divides what he calls ta legomena (τἃ λεγόμενα), i.e. things that are said, into ten distinct kinds (1b25). Things that are said according to Aristotle, are words (De Int 16a3), and so it is natural to interpret his second system as a classification of words. And because the English word ‘category’ comes from the Greek word for predicate, one might naturally think of the second system as a classification of distinct types of linguistic predicates. There is, however, considerable debate about the subject matter of the second system of classification.

There are three reasons to think that Aristotle is not primarily interested in words but rather in the objects in the world to which words correspond.

There's some .edu notes here

Hope that's the sorta thing you're looking for, I'm not sure, as the question is

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