Robert Arp       Curriculum Vitae      

Ontology Research Group (ORG)
Ontology, Logic, and Technology Unit (OLT)
University at Buffalo
National Center for Biomedical Ontology (NCBO)

Ontologist and Data Modeler

Email and Phone:
(703) 946-4669

Robert Arp works as an adjunct professor of philosophy, as well as an ontologist and data modeler for various governement contracts, in the Washington, D.C. area. He was a Research Associate with the National Center for Biomedical Ontology and worked with the Ontology Research Group at the New York State Center of Excellence in Bioinformatics & Life Sciences doing research in foundational ontology and ontology development related to the biomedical domain. He also has interests in philosophy of biology, having published the following books thus far: Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving, (MIT Press, 2008). Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, as co-editor with Alex Rosenberg). Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, as co-editor with Francisco Ayala).


  • Various meanings of 'Ontology'
  • "Ontology: Not Just for Philosophers Anymore" (November 27, 2007) slides


      Ph.D. in Philosophy, Saint Louis University (St. Louis, MO), 2005

    Selected Publications


  • Arp, R. (2008). Scenario Visualization: An Evolutionary Account of Creative Problem Solving. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.


  • Rosenberg, A. & Arp, R. (2009). Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
  • Ayala, F. & Arp, R. (2009). Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Biology. Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
  • Terzis, G. & Arp, R. (2010). Information and Living Systems: Scientific and Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press, forthcoming.


    Ontology in the Information Science Sense

  • “Ontology: Not Just for Philosopher’s Anymore,” Practical Philosophy, (2010) 10, 1: 81-103.
  • “Ontologies of Cellular Networks,” with Barry Smith, Science Signaling (2008) 1: mr2.
  • “Function, Role, and Disposition in Basic Formal Ontology,” with Barry Smith, Bio-Ontologies 2008: Knowledge in Biology, 2008.
  • “Radiological and Biomedical Knowledge Integration: The Ontological Way,” with Rethy Chhem, Cesare Romagnoli, and James Overton, in Scholarship in Radiology Education: The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (chapter 8, pp. 87-104). Rethy Chhem, Kathy Hilbert, and Teresa Van Deven (eds.), Springer, 2009.
  • “Realism and Antirealism in Informatics Ontologies,” The American Philosophical Association: Philosophy and Computers (2009) 9, 1: 19-23.
  • “Creating a Controlled Vocabulary for the Ethics of Human Research: Towards a Biomedical Ethics Ontology,” with David Koepsell, Jennifer Fostel, and Barry Smith. The Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics (2009) 4: 43-58.
  • “Ontologies Just May Save Your Savings Accounts,” in Progress in Economics Research, Volume 16. (chapter 6, pp. 115-129). Albert Tavidze (ed.), Nova Publishers, 2010.
  • “Philosophical Ontology,” “Domain Ontology,” and “Formal Ontology,” in Key Terms in Logic, Jon Williamson and Federica Russo (eds.). Continuum Press, 2010: 74-75.
  • “Philosophical Ontology, Domain Ontology, and Formal Ontology.” The Reasoner (2008) 1: 12.

  • Philosophy of Science and Biology

  • Watson, J., & Arp, R. (2008). Checks and Balances: The Welcomed Tension between Philosophy and Science. The Quarterly Review of Biology, 83, 1-12.
  • Arp, R. (2008). Life and the Homeostatic Organization View of Biological Phenomena. Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, 4, 260-285.
  • Arp, R. (2007). Homeostatic Organization, Emergence, and Reduction in Biological Phenomena. Philosophia Naturalis, 44, 238-270..
  • Arp, R. (2006). Evolution and Two Popular Proposals for the Definition of Function. Journal for General Philosophy of Science, 37, 2-12.
  • Arp, R. (2005). Frege, As-If Platonism, and Pragmatism. Journal of Critical Realism, 4, 1-27.
  • Arp, R. (2005). The Pragmatic Value of Frege's Platonism for the Pragmatist. Journal of Speculative Philosophy, 19, 22-41.
  • Arp, R. (2002). Re-thinking Hobbes's Materialistic and Mechanistic Projects. Hobbes Studies, 15, 3-31.
  • Arp, R. (1999). The Quinque Viae of Thomas Hobbes. History of Philosophy Quarterly, 16, 367-394.
  • Arp, R. (1998). Hume's Mitigated Skepticism and the Design Argument. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly, 72, 539-558.

  • Philosophy of Mind

  • Arp, R. (2008). An Evolutionary Account of Creativity. Arts and Neurosciences Review. Forthcoming.
  • Arp, R. (2007). Awareness and Consciousness: Switched-On Rheostats. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 14, 101-106.
  • Arp, R. (2007). Resolving Conflicts in Evolutionary Psychology with Cognitive Fluidity. Southwest Philosophy Review, 35, 91-101.
  • Arp, R. (2007). Biological Versus Computational Approaches to Creative Problem Solving. Dynamical Psychology.
  • Arp, R. (2006). The Environments of Our Hominin Ancestors, Tool Usage, and Scenario Visualization. Biology & Philosophy, 1, 95-117.
  • [Reprinted in A. Rosenberg & R. Arp (2009). Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology. Wiley/Blackwell Publishers.]
  • Arp, R. (2005). Scenario Visualization: One Explanation of Creative Problem Solving. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12, 31-60.
  • Arp, R. (2005). Selectivity, Integration, and the Psycho-Neuro-Biological Continuum. Journal of Mind and Behavior, 26, 35-64.
  • Arp, R. (2004). Husserl and the Penetrability of the Transcendental and Mundane Spheres. Human Studies, 27, 221-239.
  • Arp, R. (2004). Husserl, the Transcendental, and the Mundane. The Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 35, 168-179.



  • Arp, R. (2009). Practical Steps in Building a Domain Ontology. Models and Simulations 3: Emergence, Computation, and Reality.
  • Arp, R. & Smith, B. (2008). Function, Role, and Disposition in Basic Formal Ontology. Bio-Ontologies 2008: Knowledge in Biology.
  • Manzoor, S., Ceusters, W., Rudnicki, R. & Arp, R. (2008). The Referent Tracking System as a Peer 2 Peer Application. International Association of Science and Technology for Development Software Engineering and Applications Conference 2008.

  • Selected Presentations

    Philosophical Ontology and Biomedical Ontology

  • Basic Formal Ontology. (slides) March 27, 2009 at University of Chicago Department of Biology Colloquium: Chicago, IL
  • Developing a Biomedical Ethics Ontology. (slides) December 8, 2008 at University at Buffalo Bioethics/Grand Rounds Meeting: Buffalo, NY
  • Ontology and RadLex. (slides) July 23, 2008 at a meeting of the Digital Imaging Group of London: London, Canada
  • Function, Role, and Disposition in Basic Formal Ontology. (slides) July 20, 2008 at Bio-Ontologies 2008: Knowledge in Biology: Toronto, Canada
  • Biology and Biomedical Informatics. (slides) July 15, 2008 at Jamestown College, Excelsior Program: Jamestown, NY
  • Basic Formal Ontology. (slides) May 27, 2008 at Mount Sinai Medical Center Systems Biology Meeting: New York, NY
  • How Biomedical Standpoints Influence Bioethical Decisions. (slides) May 19, 2008 at University at Buffalo Bioethics/Grand Rounds Meeting: Buffalo, NY
  • Ontology and Ontologies: Some Basics. March 19, 2008 at University at Buffalo Discovery Seminar Series: Buffalo, NY
  • Ontology: Not Just for Philosophers Anymore. (slides) November 27, 2007 at University at Buffalo Genetics and Genomics Meeting: Buffalo, NY
  • Philosophy of Science, Biology, and Mind

  • Watson, J. & Arp, R. Checks and Balances: The Welcomed Tension between Philosophy and Science. March 2007, SUNY Stony Brook Conference
  • Arp, R. Resolving Conflicts in Evolutionary Psychology with Cognitive Fluidity. November 2006, Southwestern Philosophical Association: Nashville, TN
  • Arp, R. Homeostatic Organization, Emergence, and Reduction. October 2006, Florida State University¬’s History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium
  • Arp, R. Animal Minds, Human Minds, and Creative Problem Solving. November 2005, Southwest Minnesota State University¬’s Faculty Projects Presentations
  • Arp, R. Evolution, Consciousness, and Creative Problem Solving. February 2005, Connecticut College: New London, CT
  • Arp, R. Segregation and Integration: The Evolutionary Basis of Consciousness. April 2004, Toward a Science of Consciousness: Tucson, AZ
  • Arp, R. Evolution, Creation, and Creationism. Invited Speaker: August 2004, Louisiana State University (Alexandria) Rationality Conference: Alexandria, LA

  • Employment

    2009-pres      Ontologist, Data Modeler, Adjunct Professor of Philosophy
    2007-2009      Postdoctoral Researcher in Ontology, University at Buffalo
    2006-2007      Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Florida State University
    2005-2006      Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Southwest Minnesota State University
    1997-2005      Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, Saint Louis University
    2001-2005      Adjunct Professor of Philosophy, University of Missouri, St. Louis

    Grants and Awards

    2005-2006      Faculty Research Grant, Southwest Minnesota State University
    2003-2004      Dissertation Fellowship, Saint Louis University
    2002-2003      Fontbonne University Faculty Fellowship, Fontbonne University and Saint Louis University
    1996-2000      Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Saint Louis University
    1990-1993      Basselin Scholarship, The Catholic University of America

    Conference and Workshop Participations Related to Ontology

  • Workshop on Clinical Trials Ontology, 5 / 16-17 / 07
  • Workshop on Infectious Disease Ontology, 2007, 9 / 19-21 / 07
  • Philosophy of Biology Conference, 9 / 29 / 07
  • Workshop on Ontologies of Cellular Networks, 3 / 27-28 / 08
  • An Introduction to Biomedical Ontology Training Course, 4 / 12-13 / 08
  • Bio-Ontologies 2008: Knowledge in Biology , 7 / 20 / 08
  • 2008 NCBC All Hands Meeting, 8 / 13-14 / 08
  • Workshop on Ontology of Clinical Phenotypes, 9 / 3-4 / 08
  • Workshop on Infectious Disease Ontology, 2008, 9 / 16-17 / 08
  • International Conference on Biomedical Ontology, 7 / 20-26 / 09
  • Ontology for General Medical Science, 3 / 10

  • Services to the Profession

      Reviewer for:
  • MIT Press
  • Wiley-Blackwell Publishers
  • McGraw-Hill Publishers
  • Prentice-Hall Publishers
  • History of Philosophy Quarterly
  • Journal of Consciousness Studies
  • Iyun: Israel Journal of Philosophy
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