8th Workshop on Foundational Ontology


We are happy to announce our Keynote speaker: Salvatore Florio (University of Oslo).

Title: Introduction to Constructional Ontology

Abstract: In constructional ontology, entities emerge by construction, that is, from the application of constructors to objects. We explore this approach to ontology, focusing on three modules: the constructors, the inputs to the constructors, and the constructional process. Our aim is to identify and assess some key theoretical choices arising in an ontology of this kind.

Call for papers

Important dates

  • Submission deadline (extended): April 17 April 27* (AoE), 2024
  • Notification: May 15 May 22, 2024
  • Camera-ready: June 30, 2024
  • Workshop: July 15-19, 2024

*Upon request, we offer a grace period until Friday, May 3rd. Please note that a paper’s draft must still be submitted by the April 27th deadline to allow us to initiate the bidding period.


Foundational Ontologies are attempts to systematise very high-level categories of thought or reality. In practical terms, they aim to understand and formalise the meaning of very general terms, such as object, event, property, time, quality, relation, and process. Once formalised, these terms provide the top-level categories that are in principle common to many (if not all) domains of application. Consequently, Foundational Ontologies are widely acknowledged as crucial tools for tackling system and software interoperability issues.

Despite this recognition, there is less consensus on the specific entities a foundational ontology should cover, its organisational structure, its scope, and even its role in relation to more specialised domain ontologies. This lack of consensus often reflects deep-rooted debates stemming from different philosophical perspectives on reality, mind, and language.

The workshop aims to create a platform for researchers to explore the foundational aspects of applied ontology. This encompasses discussing philosophical foundations, presenting new research on specific foundational ontologies, discussing existing foundational ontologies, comparing them, and examining their relevance to the broader ontological enterprise.

Topics of FOUST VIII

Applied ontology operates at the intersection of various disciplines. Many philosophical concepts and ideas have found fruitful applications in information systems, through their use and formalisation in applied ontology. Notably, philosophical inquiries into part-hood, ontological dependence, constitution, time, etc, have inspired concrete formalisations in applied ontology.

FOUST traditionally focuses on a series of topics in foundational ontology. In some editions, FOUST adds a special topic to attract attention to some research questions. Along with this tradition, this year’s focus revolves around the role of constructional approaches in applied ontology.

The concept of constructional ontology, introduced by Kit Fine in his influential paper “The Study of Ontology” (1991), involves assuming a set of ontological givens or basic elements and a set of constructors that can be iteratively applied to generate new elements in the ontology. This idea is related to the iterative conception of sets (Gödel 1964, Boolos 1971), a powerful paradigm in the philosophy of mathematics designed to prevent paradoxes (e.g. the “Russell set”).

Beside the usual topics, this edition of FOUST aims to explore how similar ideas can be implemented in applied ontology. What does it mean to have a constructional ontology, in practice? Are there recurring patterns that can be considered ontological givens? Do reusable patterns of constructions exist? What are the conceivable means of construction, and, crucially, what are the practical advantages of adopting such an approach in applied ontology?

In fostering and starting a discussion of these themes, FOUST VIII welcomes presentations of ongoing research and perspectives that encourage interdisciplinary dialogue among the diverse sub-fields of applied ontology. Papers centred around the traditional workshop topics are also highly encouraged.

Topics of interest thus include (but are not limited to):

  • Constructional approaches in applied ontology.
  • Methodological aspects in applied ontology.
  • Changes to existing foundational ontologies/extensions by new modules.
  • Novel research on any specific category or topic that is usually covered by foundational ontology:
    • functions, 
    • roles, 
    • time, 
    • mereology,
    • ontological dependence, 
    • constitution,
    • properties and intensional entities,
    • collectives and social entities.
  • Theoretical results about specific foundational ontologies (e.g., consistency proofs, modularizations)
  • Application results of foundational ontologies in AI, the Semantic Web, Linguistics and more.
  • Conceptual and formal comparisons and alignments of foundational ontologies.
  • Relationship and alignment of foundational ontologies and domain ontologies.
  • Philosophical foundations for applied ontology.


We encourage different types of contributions:

  • Abstract for presentation only: 2-3 pages (not included in the proceedings);
  • Short papers: 5-9 pages;
  • Full research papers: 10-14 pages.

(Page number includes references)

The submissions need to adhere to the one-column CEUR template available here: CEUR, Overleaf.

Submissions need to be uploaded on EasyChair as a single pdf: https://easychair.org/conferences/?conf=fois2024.

Submissions including semantic artefacts, methodologies, softwares, etc, need to adhere to the FAIR guidelines.

All contributions to JOWO workshops will be published in a joint CEUR proceedings volume, compare:


FOUST VIII will take place during the 10th Joint Ontology Workshops (JOWO2024), at the University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands. The event is held in conjunction with the International Conference on Formal Ontology in Information Systems (FOIS 2024). For further information about the venue, please visit accommodation, travelling.


Workshop Organizers

  • Greta Adamo, BC3 – Basque Centre for Climate Change
  • Guendalina Righetti, University of Oslo

Program Committee

  • Bahar Aameri, University of Toronto
  • João Paulo Almeida, Federal University of Espírito Santo
  • Adrien Barton, IRIT, CNRS
  • John Bateman, University of Bremen
  • Riccardo Baratella, University of Genoa
  • Luca Biccheri, ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology
  • Boyan Brodaric, Geological Survey of Canada
  • Stefano Borgo, ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology
  • Massimiliano Carrara, University of Padua
  • Carmen Chui, University of Toronto
  • Roberta Ferrario, ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology
  • Mattia Fumagalli, University of Bozen-Bolzano
  • Pawel Garbacz, The John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin
  • Pierdaniele Giaretta, University of Padova
  • Lucía Gómez Álvarez, INRIA & Univ. Grenoble Alpes
  • Ludger Jansen, University of Rostock
  • Gilles Kassel, University of Picardie Jules Verne
  • Oliver Kutz, KRDB, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
  • Øystein Linnebo, University of Oslo
  • Claudio Masolo, ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology
  • Fabian Neuhaus, University of Magdeburg
  • Jeff Otte, University at Buffalo
  • Daniele Porello, University of Genoa
  • Emilio M. Sanfilippo, ISTC-CNR Laboratory for Applied Ontology
  • Barry Smith, SUNY Buffalo
  • Cassia Trojahn, UT2J & IRIT
  • Fumiaki Toyoshima, Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse (IRIT)
  • Laure Vieu, Institut de Recherche en Informatique de Toulouse
  • Salvatore Florio, University of Oslo
  • Riichiro Mizoguchi, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology

Steering committee

  • Stefano Borgo – ISTC-CNR, Laboratory for Applied Ontology, Trento, Italy
  • Oliver Kutz – Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy
  • Frank Loebe – University of Leipzig, Germany
  • Fabian Neuhaus – Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg, Germany


E-mail:  foustworkshop@gmail.com