Questions tagged [ontology]

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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A clarification of nonexistence

This is similar to a question I asked long ago, but there was a misinterpretation. People often say that, for instance, unicorns don't exist, but isn't it more correct to say that there are no ...
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Is it necessary for something to be observed for it to exist?

Say something was to happen in the universe, so minuscule that no one notices it, and it has no effect on history whatsoever. Is it correct to say that it never happened, because when we say something ...
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Why does a hypothesis not self-defeat under fallacy of the gaps?

I was listening to an atheism-vs-theism debate on YouTube, and the two debaters came to a disagreement when talking about God of the Gaps. Person A: "If we look at all the evidence, we can see ...
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Why does Derrida rarely use the word “exploitation”?

I was reading Antonio Negri's article on Derrida's controversial book the spectre of marx and in this article he points out Derrida rarely use the word "exploitation" and suppose this ...
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For Whitehead, is an event theoretical or ontological?

I'm getting to Whitehead in my reading list, and have started with "Concept of Nature". Have not finished it yet, but something disturbs me throughout the book (aside from his god-awful ...
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What is a universe? (taboo the word “exist”)

It seems to me that "universe" and "exist" are defined cyclically. When not talking about many worlds or parallel universes, it's clear what it means to say whether or not a thing ...
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How does Epictetus define personhood?

In the Enchiridion, Epictetus says: “Our master is anyone who has the power to implement or prevent the things that we want or don’t want. Whoever wants to be free, therefore, should wish for nothing ...
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Does Marx make a metaphysical/ontological argument for Materialism anywhere?

As I understand it currently, I read Marx as more of a historian, economist and sociologist and I am finding it hard to locate any metaphysical argument against Hegel's 'idealism'. All I know is this ...
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Can the concept of the Trinity be logically supported as the belief in one God rather than three Gods?

Christianity has its roots in Judaism, as such some of the teachings in the Old Testament have carried into and are reaffirmed in the New Testament, one such being is the monotheistic belief in one ...
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What have philosophers had to say about something being ‘real’ vs ‘imaginary’?

How do philosophers approach this difference? Is the question the same as asking 'what is the difference between real and imaginary'? What makes something real vs imitation? And, why it is so ...
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Mathematical universe hypothesis: Why shouldn't all imaginable universes exist?

In his paper on mathematical universe hypothesis, Max Tegmark only responses with a single paragraph to this assumption: The MUH and the Level IV multiverse idea does certainly not imply that all ...
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Which aspects of consciousness are most often addressed by philosophers of mind?

What are the most discussed parts of consciousness according to philosophers? Epistemologists cite perception, memory, reason, and testimony as frequent objects of philosophical discourse in respect ...
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Justification for the phenominal/ noumenal distinction?

Cartesian dualism has purportedly been debunked. How does the phenomenal/ noumenal distinction avoid being characterized as the same mistake? Is it really impossible to visualize a symbiosis-in-agency ...
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Does This Answer The Two Hard Problems – Why Is There Anything? and How Do We Know It?

Question I imagine that most philosophers, professional or amateur, must have some kind of personal philosophical view of their preferred ontology/metaphysic, even if it is incomplete. This is mine as ...
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Mario Bunge's ontology

In his Ontology book, Mario Bunge defines a 'bare individual' as a real thing stripped of all its properties but endowed with the capacity of associating. Then he interprets the totality of bare ...
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If I delete and replace a character in a computer document, to what extent is it the same character?

This is a question partly about philosophical terminology and categorisation as well as existence. Suppose I type the random string "janwekxq" into a Word document. I then accidentally ...
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Philosophy and Mental Health [closed]

I have heard a story of a Peace Pilgrim, an American pilgrim and ascetic, who managed to heal one sick man through conversation. The man was suffering from general degeneration of health and doctors ...
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Does the present only exist to the extent that it leaves traces in the future?

Under what conditions can we conclude from the position that the past only exists to the extent it leaves traces in the present to the position that the present only exists to the extent it leaves ...
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What is the meaning of “epistemic”, “epistemological” and “ontological” in this context?

I was reading The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us by Noson S. Yanofsky and in some paragraphs of this books, The writer uses the words "epistemic",...
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Why did Nietzsche call Spinoza his 'precursor'?

In a letter Nietzsche made the following comment about Spinoza; "I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned ...
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Explanation of a quote from Spinoza

Notandum, dari necessario unius cujusque rei existentis certam aliquam CAUSAM, propter quam existit. Et notandum, hanc causam, propter quart aliqua res existit, vel debere contineri in ipsa natura et ...
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A test for objectivity?

One could define the objective world that we believe to exist independent of us, as that part of our experience that is simultaneously experienced by other observers as well(And this common ...
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Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
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Are mental objects timeless?

Let's suspend for a moment the How? of the body mind problem and suppose an ontological paradigm where there are two classes of objects: mental and physical. Also that physical objects are spatially ...
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What is the difference between the spiritual and the metaphysical

According to this (old) page, metaphysics is the study of things beyond anything humans can perceive. Because of this fact, metaphysics is relatively faith-based discipline and, compared to science, ...
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Duns Scotus : how can the “ concept of being” be univocal without there being a nature common to God and to creatures?

Source : Paul Vincent Spade, Survey Of Medieval Philoosphy (https://pvspade.com/Logic/index.html) Dunst Scotus is said to hold the thesis of univocity of being: i.e. the thesis according to which the ...
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How do concepts like “change” and “structure” fit with the object - property distinction?

I've been pondering about the distinction between the object/concrete/particular vs property/abstract/universal.... (side note: I used to think that properties are more "general" than objects, but ...
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How definition relates to abstract/concrete objects?

I am having a hard time to understand what a definition does. Is it an abbreviation we use instead of using too many words? But then why mathematicians define mathematical objects? Does it mean they "...
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Life from Non-living Stuff [closed]

The most amazing thing about a living system is that it is made up of non-living atoms and molecules!!! This beautiful thought just got me awestruck, the abstract feelings that we have are just some ...
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Are facts objects of some kind?

What is a fact, exactly? A table, for instance, is an object located within a particular region of space. But what about facts? Are they one kind of object, and if so, what kind of objects are they?
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What happened to ( aristotelian) substantial forms in cartesian ontology? On which ground ( metaphysical or physical) are they rejected?

In aristotelian philosophy, there are no bare particulars ( contrary to what is the case in Plato, according to P.V. Spade) but internally structured ( substantial) particulars in which 2 "parts"/...
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What are some examples of things that are ontologically parasitic

To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing. For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically ...
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What is the ontological status of the laws of logic? [duplicate]

Are the laws of logic abstract objects that exist independently of physical things? Are they the same in all possible worlds? Are they man-made constructs, nothing more than ideas in our minds? Or ...
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What is the most internally-consistent theory of forms?

I'm trying to construct a fictional reality out of the Socratic-era (ideally) theories of Forms, but every philosopher's attempt seems to have at least one fatal flaw (and most of them several big ...
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What types of theories are there?

How do I describe the difference between a theory that is purely descriptive in nature, vs one that is predictive? I.e. the former gives a rigorous description of the physical state of a system, while ...
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Is it reasonable to conflate being and truth?

Let x be something that exists unequivocally. Then "x exists" is true, but does it make sense to say x itself is true? And vice versa - the proposition "x exists" is true, but is there a sense in ...
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How Does One Define a Keyboard?

Suppose we have 3 keyboards and we take out all the switches. Would we call these objects still "keyboards"? Someone could argue that these objects don't have switches so they can't be called "...
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What are problems that arise by taking a point vs space as the most primitive notion in geometry?

I hear the notion of a point being the most primitive notion in geometry. But to talk about a point, one needs to think of a space of some sort. Only then, the point can be understood as a position ...
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Is there any philosophy which proposes that whatever you believe or imagine is true or exists?

Every day, we have conflicts with almost everyone about what we think and what we believe (there are religious conflicts, conflicts of opinions...). Also, there are people who think about alternative ...
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Jarrett’s Argument against an intuitive interpretation of P4, Part I of Spinoza’s Ethics

On first sight, an intuitive way of understanding proposition 4, part I, of Spinoza’s Ethics, is the following: For all x and for all y, if not x=y, then either (there is a z and a z' such that z ...
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Relationism, Substantivalism, and Simultaneity?

I've been breaking my head open lately over special relativity and its conception of spacetime's dynamical as well as kinematical features. One thing that has stuck in my head is that of whether the ...
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What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? [closed]

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? To me the meaning of a concept is equivalent to a sufficient and necessary condition with which to ...
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Assigning “self-awareness” to qualia as a necessary attribute [duplicate]

The teleportation question which I'm sure most of you have researched, If I replicate you atom for atom, which one of them will be you? The issue of materialistic basis for consciousness posits a ...
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In What Sense is Substance Epistemically Prior?

In Metaphysics Z (1028a32), Aristotle outlines different senses in which a substance can be considered to be "first": there are several senses in which a thing is said to be first; yet substance is ...
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What exactly are emotions ontologically?

We put categories on things that we see outside in the world. We say an explosion is an event, a happening in time and space. We say stuff is made out of matter. Yet we all know that emotions exist ...
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Perdurantism applied to non-physical objects

I have recently been reading up a lot on perdurantism aka four dimensionalism including papers by Rea, Sider, Bittner and Donnelly among others and I was interested in knowing whether there was any ...
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Does Existence Belong to the Nature of Substance?

In Proposition 7, Part I of the Ethics Spinoza claims: Existence belongs to the nature of substance. This means that substance exists necessarily or, to put it even simpler, that each substance ...
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Prop. 2, Part I of Spinozas “Ethics”

Spinoza's proof for Proposition 2 of part I of the Ethics, "Two substances whose attributes are different have nothing in common", is confusing. This is the proof: 1, prop 2, demo - Also evident ...
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What's the difference between noneism and Quine's ontology?

The SEP entry on Richard (Routley) Sylvan says From 1965 on, Sylvan argued that, through the influence of Quine, contemporary philosophy is committed to a fundamental mistake. Such a mistake, ...
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Mathematical models of dynamic algorithmic processes

This question primarily concerns dynamical or time-dependent phenomena in philosophy and to what extent such heuristic discourse features in more precise mathematical settings. In order to model ...

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