Essay on Body Systems

12467 Words Dec 31st, 2013 50 Pages
Bodily Systems and the Spatial-Functional Structure of the Human Body

Barry Smith, PhD1,2, Igor Papakin1, Katherine Munn1
1Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science
Faculty of Medicine, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany
2Department of Philosophy, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY, USA

Abstract. The human body as conceived by medical science is a system made of systems. The body is divided into bodily systems proper, such as the endocrine and circulatory systems. These are subdivded into many subsystems at a variety of levels whereby all systems and subsystems engage in massive causal interaction with other systems and subsystems. In this essay we offer an explicit definition of bodily system,
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Such theories are marked by a high degree of representational adequacy and are designed to be used as controls on the results achieved by working applications rather than as substitutes for these working applications themselves [3]. Three levels of reference ontology can be distinguished in the biomedical domain: 1. formal ontology: a top-level domain-independent theory involving the use of concepts such as: object, process, identity, part, location; 2. domain ontology: a top-level theory applying the structure of a formal ontology to the medical domain, involving concepts such as: body, disease, therapy, organ, tissue, cell; 3. terminology-based ontology: a very large lower-level system, based on medical terminologies such as UMLS, and involving specific concepts such as: inflammatory change in the gastric mucosa. The Institute for Formal Ontology and Medical Information Science in Leipzig is constructing a reference ontology for the domain of biomedicine [4]. This ontology is designed not as a computer application in its own right but as a framework of axioms and definitions relating to such general concepts as: organism, tissue, disease, therapy. Here we focus on the concept bodily system, which we believe will serve as a central factor in a robust ontology of the human organism. Rosse and Mejino [5] have recognized the

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