This is the most abstract and elusive of our design logics, perhaps best glossed by the ancient and continuing conundrum of philosophies of Being (ontology at its most essential, transcendental, and reductionist) versus philosophies of becoming (that tend to be nominalist, particularist, and process-oriented). “Alt-Ontology” is a sign to mark how ontologies are more achievement than they are origin, and that they always contain an injection of alterity or “otherness” that renders them incapable of full closure, and always open to change. A formal, stable ontology and its controlled vocabulary and semantics are foundational to all digital platforms supporting knowledge representations and related projects across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. The overall design of PECE relies, as it must, on such ontological devices but at the same time seeks in a variety of ways to keep their essential inconsistencies and strangeness visible and open to question. In the most global or general sense, PECE tries to render any “ontology,” including its own, as a constantly open and difficult question that must also simultaneously be settled and operationalized.

Design Logic