Teleologies: Objects, Actions and Functions

  • Fausto Giunchiglia
  • Mattia FumagalliEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10650)


We start from the observation that the notion of concept, as it is used in perception, is distinct and different from the notion of concept, as it is used in knowledge representation. In earlier work we called the first notion, substance concept and the second, classification concept. In this paper we integrate these two notions into a general theory of concepts that organizes them into a hierarchy of increasing abstraction from what is perceived. Thus, at the first level, we have objects (which roughly correspond to substance concepts), which represent what is perceived (e.g., a car); at the second level we have actions, which represent how objects change in time (e.g., move); while, at the third level, we have functions (which roughly correspond to classification concepts), which represent the expected behavior of objects as it is manifested in terms of “an object performing a certain set of actions” (e.g., a vehicle). The main outcome is the notion of Teleology, where teleologies provide the basis for a solution to the problem of the integration of perception and reasoning and, more in general, to the problem of managing the diversity of knowledge.


Conceptual modeling Perception Knowledge 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science (DISI)University of TrentoPovo, TrentoItaly

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