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Table 2 Definitions of the Basic Formal Ontology.

From: Spatio-structural granularity of biological material entities

Definition Parent Class Affiliation Link/ID
'material entity': "An independent continuant that is spatially extended whose identity is independent of that of other entities and can be maintained through time. Note: Material entity subsumes object, fiat object part, and object aggregate, which assume a three level theory of granularity, which is inadequate for some domains, such as biology.
Examples: collection of random bacteria, a chair, dorsal surface of the body"
'independent continuant'
'object': "A material entity that is spatially extended, maximally self-connected and self-contained (the parts of a substance are not separated from each other by spatial gaps) and possesses an internal unity. The identity of substantial object entities is independent of that of other entities and can be maintained through time.
Examples: an organism, a heart, a chair, a lung, an apple"
'material entity'
'fiat object part': "A material entity that is part of an object but is not demarcated by any physical discontinuities.
Examples: upper and lower lobes of the left lung, the dorsal and ventral surfaces of the body, the east side of Saarbruecken, the lower right portion of a human torso"
'material entity'
'object aggregate': "A material entity that is a mereological sum of separate object entities and possesses non-connected boundaries.
Examples: a heap of stones, a group of commuters on the subway, a collection of random bacteria, a flock of geese, the patients in a hospital"
'material entity'
  1. Definitions of the top-level types of material entity of the Basic Formal Ontology (BFO version 1.1).