Ontology – An aside
Of course, ontology is not a new study (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology). The opening paragraphs in Aristotle’s “The History of Animals” (written 350 BCE) clearly shows this:
Of the parts of animals some are simple: to wit, all such as divide into parts uniform with themselves, as flesh into flesh; others are composite, such as divide into parts not uniform with themselves, as, for instance, the hand does not divide into hands nor the face into faces. And of such as these, some are called not parts merely, but limbs or members. Such are those parts that, while entire in themselves, have within themselves other diverse parts: as for instance, the head, foot, hand, the arm as a whole, the chest; for these are all in themselves entire parts, and there are other diverse parts belonging to them.
Translated by D’Arcy Wentworth Thompson (http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/history_anim.mb.txt)