In the last 30 years, information technology produced tens of thousands of information systems, covering and infiltrating almost all the aspects of human endeavor, from business processes to linguistics, from military to life sciences and driverless cars. Therefore, to have effective and precise communication among the different people (system analysts, architects, designers, programmers, testers, etc.) working in the IT industry, a standardized language capable of representing cognitive models of such a variety of the different areas is necessary of reality emerged.

After different trials, in 1997, UML (Unified Modeling Language), a general-purpose modeling language used in software engineering, developed and maintained by OMG (Object Management Group) to respond to this demand, was standardized. UML is a valuable tool for capturing and representing abstract entities’ essence and their relations, processes, and behavior of different systems.

For conceptual modeling focusing on the areas where the ontology is critical, OntoUML, an ontology-driven conceptual modeling language, practically an extension of UML, was proposed in 2005 by Giancarlo Guizzardi and his colleagues working in Ontology & Conceptual Modeling Research Group.

The OWL (Web Ontology Language) is a standardized semantic web language created by W3C “designed to represent rich and complex knowledge about things, groups of things, and relations between things. OWL is a computational logic-based language such that knowledge expressed in OWL can be exploited by computer programs, e.g., to verify the consistency of that knowledge or to make implicit knowledge explicit.”

Basic Formal Ontology (BFO) is a lightweight formal ontology created for the semantic web by  Barry Smith and Pierre Grenon

The Ontology & Conceptual Modeling Research Group created a formal semantic web ontology reflecting some aspects of OntoUML, called GUFO.

Because UML, OntoUML, OWL, BFO and GUFO have the capability to represent abstract conceptual structures in a highly standardized and formalized manner – in my opinion – they have the intrinsic capacity to be used in such surprising areas as philosophy.

The scope of this blog is to demonstrate the feasibility of the graphical representation of philosophical concepts using UML, OntoUML diagrams, and BFO and GUFO semantic web code.

You can download a whitepaper I wrote about the theoretical background of my work here:
A proposal for the usage of OntoUML and UML diagrams for conceptual modeling in philosophy


I hope that you will find my work – which I would call reverse engineering philosophy – interesting. In this case, please press the like button.

A. L. Komáromi