Barry Smith's Course "An Introduction to Ontology: From Aristotle to the Universal Core" Available Online

Barry Smith, a philosopher turned ontologist, has a two-day course that he's made available online that introduces the concept of ontology and delves into their history, practical application, and connection to computer science. For those wishing to get a firm grasp on what ontologies are and how they're used, I highly recommend that you take the time to give these lectures an in-depth listen.

I find Barry to be a captivating lecturer capable of distilling some very abstract concepts down to understandable, actionable pieces of knowledge. I saw him speak to a group of developers as a part of the National Center for Biomedical Ontology's recent meeting, where he urged all developers to at least give his course some attention. From other people in the ontology community I understand that he has a very particular viewpoint on the ontology world. But I found it useful and hope others will too. Any pointers to other educational pieces will be welcomed in the comments.

The videos, available for streaming below, are part of a two-day course that Barry teaches. Barry indicates that they are free to use in any capacity, so I took the liberty of uploading them to Viddler (the only free streaming video site I could find that would allow long videos with no special account).

Ontology as a Branch of Philosophy

Ontology and Logic

The Ontology of Social Reality

Why I Am No Longer a Philosopher (or: Ontology Leaving the Mother Ship of Philosophy)

Why Computer Science Needs Philosophy

Ontology and the Semantic Web

Towards a Standard Upper Level Ontology

Ontology and the US Federal Government Data Integration Initiative

4 responses
Thanks for uploading the videos -- it's a great resource!
I'm very much looking forward to watching these when I have the time. Thank you for making them available. (though I do not believe that Descartes brought philosophy down).
thanks this is great. Would it be possible to download them? I'm off to a trip and would like to put them on my ipad..
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