General Formal Ontology (GFO)
Coming to concrete entities, one can observe, that e.g. size (``the
size of a filing cabinet'') can be a property of other entities apart
from filing cabinets, as it is a universal. Hence the question arises
whether the size of the particular cabinet and the size of some other
particular entity is literally the same entity. To answer this
question, we introduce the distinction between property universals and
property individuals (regarding these two categories, note the
terminological and conceptual affinity with (39)).
In our example, we can differentiate between two entities: ``the
size'' and ``the size of that cabinet''. The size is a property
universal (as introduced above). Because it is a universal, it is
independent of the filing cabinet. But apart from the universal, we
find the particular size of the particular cabinet, which exists only
in the context of this cabinet and therefore existentially depends on
it. We call individuals of this kind property
individuals. To say that an individual
entity has a property means that there is a quality individual which
is an instance of the property universal and that this property
individual inheres in its bearer. So the
``size of that cabinet'' is a property individual that inheres in the
cabinet, while ``size'' is a property universal, of which the quality is an
We introduce values of property individuals, which are analagous to values
of property universals.
For example, big and small may be the
values of the size universal, whereas a particular big or small of some
cabinet is the value of an individual quality, namely the size of that cabinet.
Values of property individuals are individuals instantiating the corresponding
property universals' values. Moreover, the particular value is linked
to a property individual by the relationship .