- Core concepts of law: taking common-sense seriously
- Book/source title
- Proceedings of Formal Ontologies in Information Systems (FOIS 2004)
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Law (FdR)
In this paper we present LRI-Core, a core ontology for covering domains of law. After a decade of developing many ontologies for legal domains and applications, the need for a unifying core ontology that covers the main concepts that are common to all legal domains became very apparent. It can be argued that not only these domains have a predominant common-sense character - the law is still for the people - but also that typical legal concepts such as norm, role responsibility, contract, etc. have still a grounding in abstract common-sense conceptualizations. This common sense grounding is lacking in various upper- or foundational ontologies developed thus far. The paper presents a number of design principles that follow from the common-sense stance in developing the LRI-Core: the most important being cognitive plausibility. From this perspective, knowledge about the physical world, with the central notions of object and process is taken as a basis for metaphorizing mental and abstract worlds. The intentional stance that differentiates the physical world from the mental world is also the basis for the creation of a behavioural world of roles. In summary, LRI-Core starts with four main categories: physical classes, mental classes, roles, and abstract classes. A fifth category consists of terms for occurrences, which are used to talk about instances (situations) in a generic way.
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