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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Why is the problem of universals a problem?

Philosopher Gonzago Rodriguez-Pereyra defines the very old and well-known "Problem of Universals" thusly: But what then is the Problem of Universals? As I said, it is usually taken to be the ...
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Dualities and categories

Aristotle in the Metaphysics writes: Others of the same school declare that there are ten principles arranged into two parallel columns: Limit Unlimited Odd Even One ...
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The unspoken “and” [on hold]

Is there a grammatical correctness to an unspoken "and"? Take two arbitrary sentences A and B. Each is considered a complete sentence. I do not think the unspoken "and" would work in every case A and ...
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How can you assign a finite value to an outcome of infinite value?

Source: 10 minutes 53 seconds juncture; Lecture 5, Video 4 (transcription); MITx: 24.00x Introduction to Philosophy; by MIT Associate Prof Caspar Hare PhD (Princeton) [...] where infinite rewards ...
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Is philosophy the quest of the answer, or the thrive of the process? [closed]

I thought about "the medium is the message", and kind of transposed the similar thought-pattern to philosophy. Finding answers often seems to be at the very core of the subject: people fight with ...
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Can a disembodied soul form empirical beliefs?

Is it metaphysically possible for a disembodied Cartesian soul to so much as form any purportedly empirical beliefs, even if only ones that are false?
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Is Simondon's ontogenesis compatible with Badiou's ontology?

Is Simondon's ontogenesis compatible with Badiou's ontology? Simondon's belief is that an individual can only be understood as an individuation, presupposing a pre-individual metastable reality, ...
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Causality vs. implication

Implication is said to be more general than causality since, for example, being a dog implies being a mammal but it doesn't cause it. Is there a formalization of the difference between implication and ...
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Are processes and results entities? [closed]

A friend of mine said that inferences are no entities. There are two ways to describe inferences: a) as a process and b) as a result. Does anyone know if a) processes are entities? And if b) results ...
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Ontology: How do ideas exist?

There are several ways of looking at ideas. There is a platonic way of looking at ideas which sees the ideas as kind eternal entities. Augustine puts these ideas in the mind of God. In either case ...
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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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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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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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54 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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 ...