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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Philosophy of concepts - can it be (gradually) expressed in type theory?

Reasoning in mathematics is simple and subject to automation and discipline/system, because every concept (e.g. integer number, real number, derivative, integral, differential equation and its ...
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The Immortal Jellyfish

I watched an episode of "The Blacklist" which is a popular show on the TV streaming service Netflix. In the episode, the main character refers to a very tiny marine creature commonly known as the "...
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Can an idea be a being?

According to a friend, anything that exists is a being. A rock, a rainbow, a dream, an idea. I am ready to buy into the first three, but the last is difficult for me. Is he correct?
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Is there a philospher who thinks that there is a Thing, we call it [Thing], which is Infinite? [closed]

Suppose that any thing to be a thing it must be finite, so Godhood and Godhead must be finite. Life only is the infinite. Life=flowing and becoming of Things. So, Things are Finite, but flowing of ...
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Do questions of Infinite regress, uncased cause and nothingness just point to our limits?

A lot of debates and conversations with theists seem to end up with the "ultimate" questions where the questions themselves seem to me to be conceptual/linguistic/psychological dead ends. Infinite ...
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Who first said that words express emotions, and do not describe objects?

I was reading a critique of Daniel Dennett's 'From Bacteria to Bach and Back', and in this criticism it is alleged that Dennett's conception of words as object descriptions is false. The suggestion ...
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Did a single question in ontology find an answer?

Wikipedia lists some basic issues of ontology, which are roughly the same question: "What can be said to exist?" "What is a thing?" "Into what categories, if any, can we sort existing things?" ...
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Semantics of Properties - Are categories of extensions members or subsets?

For example: "Cars have wheels." If we take "have wheels" as a property of a set A, would cars as a category be an element of set A, or only a subset of A?
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Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark believes the universe to be a mathematical structure, and he further claims any mathematical structure with self-aware substructure will perceive itself in a physical world. What exactly ...
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Sum ergo cogito?

Following Descartes but in the opposite direction: I exist. Something has made the assertion in the previous sentence and must have thought it to do so. Therefore my thoughts exist. Combining with ...
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Is this an argument about the world or about human cognition?

This is a question about a thesis I have encountered regarding the relation of abstract mathematics ( Category Theory in particular ) with reality and the nature of human cognition. The argument goes ...
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What is the status of the impossibility of metaphysics?

SEP describes the thesis that metaphysics is impossible as follows: Let us call the thesis that all metaphysical statements are meaningless “the strong form” of the thesis that metaphysics is ...
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What was the humanist conception of subject/object?

In the introduction to Aldo Rossi's Architecture of the city, Peter Eisenman writes: 'Whereas the humanist conception attempted an integration of subject and object, the modernist conception ...
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Does mathematical formalism have an opinion on semantics?

Mathematical formalism regards mathematics as a syntactic matter, where symbols are manipulated according to rules and the symbols need not have any meaning. I am wondering though whether it has ...
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Does Bostrom's simulation argument make sense?

Bostrom has famously argued that we live in a simulation. One of his key assumptions is that other civilizations exist that can simulate us. Why do we make this assumption? Why assume that other ...
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Is the main idea behind Sartre's existencialism self-contradictory?

If there is no human nature, then that would be one nature - every woman and every man would need to create their identities. Besides, scientific genetics can bear diversity between people.
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Is Hegel's Logic an Ontology?

Stephen Houlgate, in his book The Beginning of Hegel's Logic, puts forward the argument that Hegel's Logic is to be seen as an ontology. But is this view convincing? I'll try my best to reconstruct ...
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Can we know anything about the “outside”, if we are in a simulation?

Please note this question isn't about "simulation" as such. It is cast in this way to illustrate a particular sub-to-super ontology relationship: Given that all we see or seem, are the product of ...
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Why do we have an expectation of symmetry?

After all there are some indications that we shouldn't: Who first studied "logical (ir)reversibility"? And even the fundamental nature of symmetry is in question: Is symmetry real? ...
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Looking for references regarding the history of metaphysics, and specially of ontology

Although many histories of ethics, of esthetics or of logic are available, it seems more difficult to find histories regarding other domains of philosophy. This is the case for epistemology and for ...
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Does Gregory Chaitin propose a computable or an uncomputable ontology?

Gregory Chaitin is a mathematician who thinks that the universe is itself a computer, or similar... He has written papers closely related to the field of hypercomputation (For example, he invented ...
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Philosophers dealing with fundamental structure of everything

I'm looking for authors dealing with the fundamental structure of everything, starting with no prior assumptions. One such authors is Hegel, which in Science of Logic does the following: Hegel aims ...
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What is Quine’s reductionism?

I am especially interested in how reductionism is related to the fact that even though science broadly comprehends a number of subjects, physics is paradigmatic.
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What are problems that arise by denying the existence of abstract things? [closed]

Suppose if we only regarded the concrete as real, and that abstraction is only a process of using the concrete to represent other concrete things. For example, a number is not a real thing, but it is ...
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The essence of real Europeans [closed]

I'm a European living in America. A fellow countryman is trying to coerce me into doing something for him. He claims that if I was a "True European", I would do what he wants. I've not done a lot of ...
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Is it there any specific and well known continous/analog alternative to Wheeler's discrete “It from Bit”?

Physicist John A Wheeler (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler) suggested the concept of "law without law" and "it from bit" which suggested that the universe did not have any laws ...
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How is 'existence' defined? [closed]

How would you define 'existence'? Is it a requisite for an entity to be able to interact with other entities to be considered as 'existent'? What if there are real objects in the universe which ...
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Ontology in the Nietzschean framework

Would you say that Nietzsche held any regard to the ontological question in his work? I know more or less his account on metaphysics, he seem to push the question aside as he considers it does not fit ...
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What are the identity conditions for “ a truth” [closed]

Here I'm not talking about "truth" in general ( as when one says " truth is correspondence between thought and reality") but about truth considered as a particular truth, as when one says " this ...
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Do morality requires a grounding (especially a being)?

The Moral argument for God's existence as used by William Lane Craig is: If God doesn't exist, objective moral values do not exist. Objective moral values do exist. Therefore, God exists. Now, I ...
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What is the difference between a “ particular” and an “ individual being ”? ( Ontology)

The standard ontological classification distinguishes: (1) particulars and universals (2) concrete and abstract entities. I'm wondering what place to attribute to " individuals" in this ...
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Does Heidegger (or Blanchot?) reflect on the form of the question itself?

I have this notion that Heidegger is the first person to think about the framing of the question as a mode of inquiry. That is, to approach something as a question is to be already decided that a ...
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Is a paradox a concept?

Obviously 'paradox' is a concept, we name certain things to be so. We share the knowledge of those things through the use of language. But those things, "in themselves", those particular "instances of ...
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Is there such a thing as meta-metaphysics?

I started wondering about this while taking an undergraduate course in philosophy of language (studying Frege, Davidson, Kripke, and Kit Fine). This field, in my understanding, aims to describe the ...
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Help wanted - need descriptor for a partcular type/form of argument

I am writing a paper on cognition, and to simplify my discussion I need an adjective or descriptor for particular category of argument as follows: I am arguing for the necessity of a construct with a ...
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What does “Something” mean ontologically?

Many refer to the question of there is something rather than nothing by assuming that something refers to the universe. Is the word “something” an existential quantification in this context? Is ...
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Understanding 'existence' and 'being' in debates about ordinary objects

Quine has brought forward his definition of existence: 'To be is to be the value of a bound variable.' But has also taught us that the sciences ultimately determine what actually exists contrary to ...
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What were Plato's views on substance?

Forms are Plato’s substances, for everything derives its existence from Forms. In this sense of ‘substance’ any realist philosophical system acknowledges the existence of substances. Probably the ...
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A Ground or Foundation of Morality

I am currently reading the very fascinating paper Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law by Arthur Allen Leff. It seems that the thrust of his paper is that there is no "naturalistic" way of grounding or ...
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If logical propositions aren't tautologies (a la Wittgenstein), then what could they be?

This is a historical question about philosophical views. I believe I understand the claim made by Wittgenstein and others that logical propositions are tautologies. I'd like to know what other views ...
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Is this argument equivalent to the argument of prime mover of Aristotle?

For alternation in the status of A to be a cause of the alteration in the status of B, we naively demand that the former alteration exists before the later, and so the later [i.e.; the alteration in ...
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The real world is infinite! [closed]

The real world is the totality of all objects existing in it. i.e. every object that exists in the real world is a PART of the real world. An infinite is defined as having a part of it that doesn't ...
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If idealism is correct, why (the idea of) a brain can change all the other ideas?

If ontological idealism is correct, a brain is an idea among the others. Then why if we modify (the idea of) a brain, the whole mental world changes accordingly? Why is there a mental representation (...
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Does ontology study “being qua being”?

May I say that ontology studies "being qua being", while the sciences study "entity qua entity" ? I ask this because I don't understand how ontology could study the "entity qua entity", taking into ...
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Does the history of our concept of reality, tell us something about Reality?

Whether looking at a human maturing or the progress of civilization, the idea about what Reality is, keeps on changing. And mostly it changes toward the more complex, more elusive, more difficult to ...
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Does the adjective “physical” apply only to worlds that obey the laws of physics? [duplicate]

Note: My question assumes a conceptual distinction between minds and the external world, regardless of whether they're actually two different kinds of substances. There seems to be widespread ...
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Ontological argument (existence is part of essence) and an implication

God has attributes: Omnipotent Righteousness Eternity Goodness Etc... All of them in his maximum expression. Man has the negation of all that attributes in his maximum expression. Therefore, man ...
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What essential properties make us human?

(Correct me if I am wrong) In ontology, essentialism is the belief that object O has property P, property P is therefore an ESSENTIAL property if there is something else which is not property ...
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What super ontologies have been proposed?

A super ontology is list of the types of things that exist. My personal super ontology right now is that there are objects, relations between objects (which themselves are objects), and changes in ...
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Has the instinct of survival a philosophical equivalent?

Descartes' fundamental truth (cogito, ergo sum) would help me accept without any doubt that I do exist. So, I accept that I do exist without any doubt. But there's another truth that --for me-- seem ...