openEHR-clinical Digest, Vol 41, Issue 8

Thomas Beale thomas.beale at
Sat Sep 26 00:41:35 EDT 2015

hi William,

noone is claiming access to particular universal truths; ontologies are 
about describing the structure of reality. Entities (e.g. anatomical 
structures, events like BP=xxx etc) that are mentioned in EHR data can 
be marked as being instances of categories in an ontology, such as BFO2:

this then enables new kinds of computing and inferencing with the data 
not available without the ontology, and in particular, enables the 
removal of certain kinds of querying errors common today.

- thomas

On 19/09/2015 17:40, William Goossen wrote:
> Hi all,
> Great references and food discussion!
> But, I must admit that I do not believe in any universal truths and I 
> do distrust anyone assuming to have one. So the point should be imho 
> to question if BFO is useful? definitely, but universal truth???? No way.!
> Is use of ontology necessary for learning about reality? Of course. 
> And can it help with information modeling as abstraction of reality ?  
> That point was made in the on this list very heavily critiqued paper 
> by Blobel, Brochhausen and myself a year ago. It is good to see the 
> OpenEHR community look different and more positively at this aspect of 
> two level modeling[1].
> [1]

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