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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, the ontology includes

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

characteristics of products
durable, edible, assumes a dog

characteristics of people
female, married, has baby, has toddler, Hispanic tastes

There's lots more in the ontology.

John McCarthy
Wed Feb 23 17:08:25 PST 2000