David and John M,
By no means am I saying that the Zachman Framework (which he now
labels an ontology) is the bees knees. There are plenty of such
frameworks—DoDAF, ToGAF, MoDAF—to choose from.
What do you think of the six headings (who, what, why, when, how, where)
as the most base classes in one's ontology?
I'm the one who suggested those headings to John Z. He was planning
to extend his original 3-column framework to 6 columns. We were both
working at IBM at the time, got into some discussions about it, and
wrote a joint article: http://www.jfsowa.com/pubs/sowazach.pdf
But don't thank me for the idea. Aristotle published it first.
There are a few others (which, how much) that I believe are equally valid,
but the utility of this general approach has been very appealing to me.
Aristotle had ten categories with a question word (or phrase) for each.
In Greek, any word or phrase can be treated as a noun by putting a
definite article in front.
Cicero translated Aristotle's categories into Latin, which doesn't have
a definite article. So Cicero used Latin nouns -- or coined new ones:
from 'quantum' (how much?), he got 'quantitas'; from 'qualis' (what
For more about Aristotle's categories and their relationship to logic,
see the slides for Aristotle's Patterns of Logic and Ontology:
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