Semantics and Metaphysics in Informatics: Toward an Ontology of Tasks


should be sent to Carrie Figdor, Assistant Professor, Department of Philosophy, 260 English-Philosophy Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242. E-mail:


This article clarifies three principles that should guide the development of any cognitive ontology. First, that an adequate cognitive ontology depends essentially on an adequate task ontology; second, that the goal of developing a cognitive ontology is independent of the goal of finding neural implementations of the processes referred to in the ontology; and third, that cognitive ontologies are neutral regarding the metaphysical relationship between cognitive and neural processes.