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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What would be the difference between property and kind?

Philosopher E.J. Lowe states that There is a clear difference between saying something like ‘Rover is a dog’, in which we assign Rover, a particular animal, to a certain natural kind or species, ...
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Did Kant come to believe that we have access to things-in-themselves after all?

Kant's position on things-in-themselves is often described Socratically, of them we know only one thing, that they are. However, in an old but apparently still popular history of philosophy book I ...
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What actually are meaningless symbols?

Some days ago our professor during the course of his lecture wrote the following definition of a polynomial. We say that an expression of the form a0 + a1x + a2x2 + ... + anxn is a polynomial of ...
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What is the difference between essential and existential ontology?

What are the differences between essential ontology and existential ontology? Does existential Ontology start with Heidegger. Is there any definition of both?
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81 views

How is conceptual irreducibility of the mental possible given a physicalist ontology?

In 'Mental Events' Davidson wrote "...mental events are mental only as described". Many have taken this and other of his remarks as showing that he holds that the anomalousness and irreducibility of ...
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Why did pre-Socratic philosophers take on the concept of 'being'?

Why did philosophers (starting from pre-Socratic f.e. Tales) take on the concept of 'being'? I see a chair and ... nothing. I do understand why they started to observe nature but why did they need to ...
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681 views

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

This question became a symbol for the silly and pointless sophistry of medieval scholastics. But as modern scholarship has shown scholastics was not such a thoughtless desert as some of its ...
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56 views

Does a rejection of the principle of sufficient reason result in blurring the distinction between being and non-being?

Celestine Bittle in 'Reality and the Mind' holds that if we do not grant that there is a reason for being rather than non-being, then there is no actual distinction between being and non-being since ...
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Is there a word for the idea that the world is “a collection of collections”?

I'm looking for a (possibly ontological) recognised term for a theory that acknowledges that things can be broken down into smaller things - essentially components, parts and eventually atoms, quarks ...
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60 views

Can the principle of indiscernibility of identicals be restated as “I am what I think”? [closed]

I was reading Leibniz recently and had this epiphany, and thought why not see if any others out there might share a similar intuition. Concerning Leibniz's two principles of identity The ...
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44 views

Would truly random events be strictly equivalent to events without a cause?

There are a couple of questions (one, another) about this topic, and as I was thinking about this for a while, I started wondering whether there has been any systematic research into this that raises ...
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Does one have to become a Platonist to refuse to be a Platonist?

I believe the answer is no, but Scott Aaronson on his blog just gave in interesting argument to the contrary. This is in connection with the now famous paper Undecidability of the Spectral Gap, and ...
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Why do modern materialists tend to favor determinism?

There seems to be no logical link between matter and determinism (or ideal and indeterminism for that matter). And libertarian free will was first articulated by a materialist, Epicurus, and is ...
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133 views

Why aren't conceivability based arguments refuted by the ideas of fantasy and sci-fi?

There are several arguments in metaphysics which are based on "conceivability": The ontological argument for God's existence. Hilary Putnam's Twin Earth argument for semantic externalism (the idea ...
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44 views

Are particulars knowable?

In the 13th thesis of the Incoherence, Al-Ghazali refutes the claim of the falsafa (peripatetic) philosophers that particulars aren't knowable by the First. Is this claim made on the basis that ...
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51 views

Can a materialist accept indeterminism? Can a reductionist?

The usual argument against it is that if behavior of matter is not fully determined by its state then it has to be determined by something else, ergo dualism. This begs the question however, unless we ...
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1answer
70 views

Is Socrates a substance?

Consider the following from Aristotles Categories: Substance, in the truest, primary and most definite sense of the word, is that which is neither predicable of a subject nor present in a subject. ...
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55 views

What distinguishes species from genus?

In Categories, Aristotle claims that all things that exist are either complex or simple; and the simple things can be classified into ten categories. The first and most basic category includes ...
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288 views

Does wave-particle duality pose a challenge to ontology?

Quantum mechanics poses a challenge to epistemology in terms of what is measurable, what is observable, and realism in general. But does it pose a challenge to ontology as well? Ontology is the ...
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64 views

Does Aristotle have anything to say about the interpretative paradoxes of QM?

This follows this question The same question, angled a little differently suggests a family resemblence with the measurement paradox in QM: First and most broadly, QM is standardly said to have an ...
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Is Aristotle's resolution of Zeno's paradoxes vindicated by motion in the intuitionistic continuum?

In Physics VIII.8, Aristotle refers to his usual resolution of Zeno's paradox of motion: We should make the same response to anyone who uses Zeno's argument to ask whether it is always necessary ...
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1answer
35 views

What does it mean to say that Kant has a twofold ontology?

What does it mean to say that Kant has a twofold ontology? If indeed he does have a twofold ontology. Is that like Descartes' res extensa and res cogitans?
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68 views

What are some good introductions to analytic ontology?

What is/are the best introduction(s) of analytic ontology? I know about a book written by Edmund Runggaldier ‎and Christian Kanzian but still I don't have it. I would like to read clear, simple ...
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On travelling through a void, constantly [closed]

I posted a question some time ago on how SR conceptualised space in the 'frame' of a photon - which appears as a kind of void - even though admittedly standardly its a move not allowed; but it was a ...
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68 views

Should it be the String Hypothesis rather than String Theory?

The question here is what is signified by the lexical token 'theory' in String Theory. It's something of a rhetorical question because it is, I think, used in a special sense by physicists; for ...
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Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place?

Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place? If yes, then is it justified to say that "Fact is a Fact irrespective of one's awareness of it being true"? For example: ...
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What is the name of the position which claims that “everything that is possible, exists”?

Question. What is the name of the following position? Everything that is possible, exists. Thus, in particular, every possible universe actually exists, as a concrete reality. I don't mean ...
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Who knows more about the true nature of reality: an expert scientist or an expert meditator? [closed]

This is probably a stupid question, but please try to answer. Both have an IQ around 190 The expert scientist is a practicing physicist and a biologist who has been in the field for more than 40 ...
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Does True Randomness actually exist? [duplicate]

I tend to think of randomness as a lack of complete information when it comes to knowing something. If we look at the history of probability theory it centers on a lack of knowing the exact outcome of ...
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113 views

What is a fact? [closed]

What is a fact? What kind of object, if it is indeed such a thing, is it? I have read a lot of stuff that say "it is a fact that... ", but I have never seen a definition of fact or what kind of thing ...
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How does Parmenides' argument against the reality of change work?

Garrigou-Lagrange, in his work entitled Reality, a synthesis of Thomistic thought (which can be found online), when discussing act and potency according to Aristotle, states that this distinction is ...
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Is science possible in a world where a god acts?

Consider a world equipped with a god; and this god from time to time at his convenience and no other, acts in the world; and then too, that those beings who live in the world see these acts as ...
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Where does Plato give a rationale for order?

I recall reading somewhere, now forgotten, that Plato in one of his books suggested that the reason for order in the universe is that meaning can happen - there can be no possibility of meaning where ...
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Why are we not just a computer program? [closed]

The problem of how the Universe came about is probably too hard. So let us consider the following instead. Over years from now some huge collection of code run on a powerful computer achieves what can ...
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On what logic is all of classical mathematics true but undecidable statements are neither true nor false?

Not on classical logic obviously since it validates excluded middle, but less obviously not on intuitionistic logic either. Intuitionists identify truth and provability and discard excluded middle, ...
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63 views

Is atheism a property of an individual? [duplicate]

So this is an argument I'm actually having, silly as it may seem. Can atheism be said to be a property of an individual? His argument is that it the lack of a property is not a property at all. This ...
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125 views

Philosophers who use formal systems to make arguments about the world, and their detractors

I was given a photocopy of an article: "In Defense of Alain Badiou" by Robert Michael Ruehl, published in Philosophy Now. The article is behind a paywall, but here's the idea that caught my attention: ...
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Is there a philosophical categorization of mindsets?

This question is about personality and mindsets. I'm interested in categories of opinions, something more than left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal. Is there a set of basic questions that once ...
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1answer
49 views

How does Putnam reconcile having referents in language with rejection of realism?

Putnam is known for changing his mind often, but he seems to hold two views of linguistic meaning and reference simultaneously, combining which seems paradoxical. One is Quine's inscrutability of ...
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Presentism and simultaneity

Presentism is the position that all that exists, exists in the present: though one can speak of the past, and of events in the past; strictly speaking (in this position) there is no temporal event ...
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496 views

What is res in res cogitans or res extensa?

Substance is that which has no dependent relation on any other; and unlike an atom, is infinitely differentiable - it has parts; and those parts thus distinguished have relations amongst themselves; ...
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Are there any proofs of the necessity of a mind-independent “reality”?

Are there any classic proofs of the necessity of a mind-independent "reality," along the lines of Anselm's proof of God?
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Must existence be a property, for bundle theory to work?

Kant argued that existence isn't a predicate; and presumably a similar argument would show that it is neither a property. But if ontologically we believe all that there is are bundles of properties; ...
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Does category theory solve Benacerrafs problem adequately?

In 1965, Benacerraf published a paradigm-changing article What numbers could not be which stimulated structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics. The article argued that it wasn't possible ...
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Is an electron a bundle of properties?

Classically, particles are described by mass, spin, and charge. Can we consider then that particles are bundles of properties? For all particles which have the same value for these properties ...
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If P is a property, then is (not P) a property?

For a proposition, such as: P: Socrates is a man Then not P is also a proposition: Not P: Socrates is not a man But do the same goes for properties? One can argue in the following way: ...
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2answers
131 views

Is there a school of thought that considers human less significant than other beings?

When discussing animal rights with friends, we talked about Anthropocentrism, Biocentrism and Ecocentrism. We were wondering if there is a school of thought that is the opposite of Anthropocentrism, ...
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157 views

Absolute Truth - Is there existence?

I restate the question in a simpler and more specific way; is there a proof or has a philosopher proved, that things can be absolute and observed by each in the same way? Are there like conserved ...
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Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
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Can colour be considered as an aspatial and atemporal universal?

In physics, mass is a universal; one unit of mass is the same yesterday as it is today; as it is here or orbiting Betelgeuse; and if we accept the atomistic thesis then this result follows from the ...