Ontology is the study of the nature of being, existence or reality as such, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

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It's impossble for time/reality to always have existed - is this an a priori fact? [on hold]

It seems to me blatantly obvious that reality can't always have existed. Causality 'flows' or 'points' only in one direction, in the sense that whether reality has always existed or something came ...
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45 views

Facts and Patterns

I was sympathetic about an ontology of patterns, but it seem it is lacking. How can a monistic theory of patterns ( math, physical things, mental states can all be seen as patterns ) genuine deal ...
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103 views

How can “essentialism” ever make sense?

So, searching for J. L. Mackies "argument from queerness", I stumbled upon this blog entry. Now, Mr. Feser seems to be a quite... controversial figure, to say the least, but please let's resist the ...
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47 views

How do we know something is a “category mistake”?

I believe that Gilbert Ryle introduced the term "category mistake", but I am struggling to apply the term. Could you please give me an obvious and less obvious instance of a category-mistake? And if ...
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46 views

Quine's “to be is to be the value of a bound variable”

Quine's definition "to be is to be the value of a bound variable" seems uncontroversial and in fact quite natural as it's compatible with modern approaches to the semantics of natural language. My ...
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55 views

Post-Existential State

It can be said that there is a pre-existential state, defined as life prior to understanding that death is inevitable, as in young children. Query 1: can it be said that a post-existential state ...
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48 views

Ontology and the Future

I know that we have no right to automatically discard claims that are not falsifiable, however i was curious as to whether some claims in Ontology could be falsifiable in the future. I've ...
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88 views

Is a top-down set theory possible?

There are two classical paradoxes associated with set theory; and that is the existence of the Universal set and the Russell set. The usual set theory takes the notion of element as basic; these are ...
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71 views

How could Socrates state that he doesn't know anything?

How could he know that he really doesn't know anything ? Did he check everything to rule it out ? I think he should have said that he "Believe" he doesn't know anything and by that he would also avoid ...
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228 views

Can we know the fundamental nature of space and time?

Can you please point me to an argument by a notable contemporary philosopher arguing why we may know the fundamental (metaphysical) nature of space and time? In a recent answer to a question I wrote ...
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87 views

Sets and typical elements

In (computational) commonsense reasoning, so-called typical elements of sets are used (as described her). I understand why they are useful from the point of view of applied logic but what is their ...
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91 views

How does “is” work in contemporary ontology

Sorry for being really vague and throwing out a really dumb and stupid question, i just need some help understanding the following bit, which appeared after i started reading about Ontology. What ...
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79 views

What's the difference between 'things' and 'rules'? [closed]

As I understand the world - there are 'things' which are everything and 'rules' which modify them. An example I'll give is this - let's say I'm free-falling from a plane. Then a thing is my view of ...
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59 views

Cheap ontology, expensive ontology and ontological commitment

In the book introduction to philosophy by william james earle, in the metaphysics chapter I couldn't understand those concepts clearly : Cheap ontology. Expensive ontology ontological commitment. ...
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26 views

Was the reappraisal of time, space and motion by Einstein, in Kantian terms, a transcendental deduction?

According to the SEP a Transcendental Deduction is: In Kants conception, an argument of this kind begins with a compelling premise about our thought, knowledge or experience and then reasons to a ...
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69 views

Should uniform motion be distinguished from rest?

Aristotle distinguishes motion and rest. For him rest is simply the potential of motion but not motion itself. So a seed before it blooms into becoming and being is at rest; a football before being ...
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87 views

How can one justify Newton's third law?

In one sense it is justified by the overall success if Newtonian Mechanics; still, one can ask are there arguments that can justify it from other principles; ie principle that are * a priori* in ...
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101 views

what is an electron (classically)? [closed]

According to the SEP: Wigners pioneering identification of the types of particles with irreducible unitary representations of the Poincare group has been exemplary until the present. ...
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91 views

Can a point of space be identified?

Consider a single particle in empty space; by what argument can we say that it always occupies the same position or place? Space itself has no identifying mark or label being everywhere the same. ...
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18 views

Is a relativistic particle 'kantian'?

Newton, in the Principia conceived time as flowing everywhere at the same rate (this is anticipated also in Aristotles Physics). Time here is independent of bodies and particles; in a sense it is ...
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Does fallibilism carry an ontological commitment?

When I was a grad student in psychology, I audited a 20th century philosophy of science course. I did my best to absorb all the great discussions, but one remark the professor made continues to bother ...
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78 views

Existential priority and modality

Since existence is logically or conceptually prior to necessity, it would seem that "necessary existence" is an incoherent assertion. Therefore, what is the status of "necessity" as a modal claim? ...
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56 views

Davidson, events, and states

Davidson argues that events are individuals. According to him, the meaning of Brutus stabbed Caesar is ∃e.stab(e,Brutus,Caesar), that is, there was a stabbing, Brutus did it, and Caesar ...
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62 views

Another name for “non-events”

According to Davidson, a sentence like Brutus stabbed Caesar can be represented as ∃e.stab(Brutus,Caesar), where e is a reified event. Is there a term for something that's not an event? I first ...
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114 views

Why isn't existence a predicate?

According to SEP There are two sets of reasons for denying that existence is a property of individuals. The first is Hume and Kant's puzzlement over what existence would add to an object. What is ...
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31 views

Tellers Thesis - particles aren't individuals

According to tellers thesis, particles aren't individuals; what is his argument for this; and what concept does he replace it with?
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134 views

Is there a poset based/category theoretical definition of God?

As a current atheist, who was a former theist, I feel that God is not a logically incoherent concept. However, many definitions of God, especially those that involve omnipotence, omniscience etc. are ...
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38 views

Does time in GR reflect Aristotelian time?

Newtons theory of time was deliberately anti-Aristotelian; it is independent of motion everywhere. However, does the same go for Einsteins theory? One clue that might suggest that it returns to ...
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72 views

Is the indescribable a paradox?

The indescribable is that which has no description; yet the term indescribable describes this. Is this a properly paradox? Or can we say that the word 'indescribable' is a label and has no positive ...
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112 views

Can the Void have Being?

On the face of it no; and affirmed by Parmenides as that what is not, is not. However, consider a particle in spacetime with no forces acting on it: thus it moves in a straight line (geodesic) when ...
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40 views

Ontology and Moral Axioms

Would a moral axiom necessarily result from ontology? I define a moral axiom as that which dictates behavior, where the action itself is designated as ethical or not (i.e. the judgment of the ...
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79 views

Philosophical bravado in science

[TLDR: is the argument in the last quotation a fallacy?] I'm an (academic) engineer, and I've been reading some papers on cybernetics from the 1950s and 60s. I found it striking how often the authors ...
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50 views

Which scholars argue that for art to be art, it must be for art's sake?

I understand this is partially supported by Nietzsche, but do others agree or adamantly disagree with this position? If so who?
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104 views

Mathematical Platonism vs Platonic Platonism

According to the summary of Platonism (ie the Forms) by Aristotles Metaphysics: Besides sensible things, and the Forms, there are mathematical objects; of the first (the sensible) they share in ...
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Is the inconsistent (or paraconsistent) line a possibility?

According to the SEP: Another place to find applications of inconsistency in analysis is topology, where one readily observes the practice of cutting and pasting spaces being described as ...
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Could Cultural/Epistemologial Biases Have Influenced the Evolutionary Concept of Behavioral Modernism? [closed]

Could orthodox conceptions of Human evolution--which rest upon the theory of Behavioral Modernism--be marred by cultural and epistemological biases. For example, are industrialized human populations ...
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108 views

Is the word “I” a dangling linguistic pointer with no actual referent?

Is the word "I" a dangling linguistic pointer with no actual referent? Otherwise, what exactly is this slippery referent? Could it be possible the phrase "I am" is meaningless due to a lack of an ...
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143 views

Regarding free choice in a deterministic universe

Why can't free will or free choice exist in a 'totally' deterministic universe? What I mean by a 'deterministic universe' at least 'locally' is one where if you had 'enough' information regarding some ...
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429 views

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist?

Could it be possible that the universe doesn't exist? That nothing exists, not even you or me? And by not existing, I mean totally not existing, as in not even existing as a computer simulation, or a ...
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37 views

Truth in Aquinas metaphysics

From what I'm reading, Aquinas distinguished truth in two senses: Ontological truth: It's the adaptation(adequation ?) of the 'created being' to God's understanding, whereby it fulfils that for ...
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57 views

What is the Ontological Status of History?

Where does history exist? I think it's tempting to say it exists in the mind; however, historical events are not dependent on the mind for their existence. Surely a historical event still exists, even ...
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218 views

God as in Pure act of being

According to the Thomistic view in Ontology, essence and 'the act of being' (I'm translating from a romance language) are different, in which 'to be' is the act received by the essence, which is the ...
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67 views

Yhwh: Exodus 3, 14. «I am that I am» and relationship to Metaphysics as Ontology

The passage of Exodus 3:14, where God presents Himself as «I am that I am», is it historically previous to Parmenides, the greek philosopher? I'm reading a manual on metaphysics as ontology. If I'm ...
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30 views

What does «the fieri of the effect» mean?

What does «the fieri of the effect» mean, in the context of metaphysics/ontology? I've tried using several dictionaries, but the either got strange meanings, or no results at all... any help would ...
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26 views

Ontological monism (in general) and physicalism (in particular) usefulness

Let's take physicalism as a convenient example, as it given on Wikipedia: In philosophy, physicalism is the ontological thesis that "everything is physical", that there is "nothing over and ...
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120 views

How materialism can be consistent in the context of qualia and simplicity?

Apologies for my English. Some thoughts from the camp of idealists. :) The following is the explanation of the question in the title. I think that the fact that in our days physicists may be ...
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156 views

If materialism is true, then what accounts for pleasure and pain?

[I went and wrote a long answer to a question that was in the interim deleted, so rather than waste that, I thought I'd do my best to reproduce it here. Credit to Micheal Lee for the original, some ...
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83 views

Should I be content with short-term happiness and avoid thinking about long-term concerns?

I am very happy, if judged from a third-party perspective. I have absolutely no problems related to relationships, behaviour, health, finance, knowledge, etc. In fact, lately, I've been getting ...
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121 views

Does the analogy “dog is to proximal environment as human is to Reality” portend anything for a maximum theoretical level of intelligence?

As today has been a day for analogies: dog : proximal environment :: human : Reality A dog's ontology is presumably quite limited. A human's ontology is apparently maximal. While our average ...
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65 views

Basic question on nature of things

Is there anything that is beyond question and that which is beyond doubt? (as everything is temporal, including the subject)