There was a NYTimes article a few years back where Colin McGinn proposed "Ontics" as a more precise name for the field of philosophy.


Wondering if this was part of an actual movement or if this went anywhere?

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    Considering that McGinn's ideas about "scientific" nature of philosophy and its lack of concern with human culture would exclude most of what philosophy is generally seen to include I am not sure that even McGinn was taking his own proposal seriously (publishing it in NYT is another sign of that). See “Ontics” vs. Philosophy and Re-branding Philosophy? responses.
    – Conifold
    Commented Mar 10, 2017 at 23:12

1 Answer 1



It's hard to give evidence for a total lack but of existence because there's nowhere to point, but, like, google it. There's nothing. Ontic is already a word with a distinct meaning, and the Campaign for Renaming Philosophy turns up only four relevant results.

And I think the article was really just supposed to be taken as a tongue-in-cheek complaint of being lumped together with ethicists, aestheticians, and similar.

  • Also, the article is written by McGinn after all, so you'd think he'd be all for a little "mystery" about philosophy - but I suppose he wants ontics to be a "new" mystery...
    – MmmHmm
    Commented Mar 9, 2017 at 4:11

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