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We follow Quine in taking the ontology of a system to be given by the collection of domains over which variables range. In the supermarket example, we may have

These can be represented by their product codes.

purchased items
The particular instances of items purchased as part of a particular basket.

The collection of items purchased on a particular occasion.

The set of customers is unknown but is known to exist .

John McCarthy
Thu Apr 6 16:23:28 PDT 2000