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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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Identification and identity

One's identity is routinely associated with one's body, and most will readily make the claim that they are their body. Their body is the referent for their identity. I'm having a bit of a problem ...
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Book on Meinong's theory of objects

Could anyone please recommend a book to begin to learn about Meinong's theory of objects and "Meinong's Jungle". I thought a good one might be "Meinong's Theory of Objects and Values" by Findlay (1963)...
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Grounding without fundamental relations

Philosophers from Leibniz to John Heil have proposed the reduction/elimination of relations to non-relational features of their relata; essentially, they seek to formulate an ontology which does not ...
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Is this short summary of phenomenology accurate?

"Classical, pure phenomenology aims to comprehend “those structures of experience and understanding that permit different types of beings to show themselves as what they are.” It does this by ...
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What should be understood by 'being' in the context of ontology?

I am trying to understand some very basic concepts in ontology and can't figure out if being is used as a noun or a verb. Sometimes it seems some authors use being to refer to (1) that which is, which ...
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Ontology : being and kinds of being [closed]

Can we study being without making reference to kinds of being or the being of entities ? Can we identify pure being? Heidegger apparently thought we could and should. Did he really think this ? If so,...
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Is it possible to sidestep ontological claims by pivoting on epistemological ones?

Is there a "trade-off" between ontology and epistemology? Is there a level of discourse or abstraction where it is possible to evade ontological questions by pivoting on epistemological ones? Or ...
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What is actual is a metaphysical necessity?

You look out of the window and it's raining. You grab a bottle and pour some water into a glass. You probably don't consider these events as necessary: it could have been a sunny day and you were free ...
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Indirect Realism – what are the main objections?

In dialog with others about philosophy, I have generally assumed that the basis of epistemology is a settled question – I. E. that the Locke/Russel/Popper approach, that our worldview is a hypothetico-...
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Monads, souls and rational souls

Leibniz defines monads as simple substances with no parts (Monadology, 1). Later on, we learn that some of those are souls which have memory (Monadology 19) and further others are rational souls ...
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Is complete isolation possible?

Imagine an ideal box, whose contents are perfectly isolated. Whatever is inside it, it has not, has had or will have any relations with the rest of the universe. We could say that its content does not ...
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if only one thing exists, nothing exists?

If one thing does not differ from any other, it has no identity (it has no properties, features, limits...). If something has no identity, it's not a thing. So only one thing can't exist. i.e.: I ...
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Can an eternalist think that pastness and futureness are properties?

I take an eternalist to be someone who believes there are no past/future things, it all exists "at once". I understand the position as it applies to concrete objects, but I am not so clear on what the ...
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Is essentialism compatible with naturalism?

I am not an expert and I cannot understand why essentialism is incompatible with naturalism? Why scientific laws cannot describe essential properties of objects?
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Badiou’s categorization of spheres of Truths

I’ve been reading through much of Badiou’s work for about a year and just finished Being and Event; though there is something I still don’t quite understand. Badiou claims that the four spheres (of ...
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Can randomness be random?

In mathematics, a true random number generator it's impossible, because any formula defines a process that, however complex, is not random. A random event must be unrelated to any cause or condition, ...
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Is this event undetermined?

You toss a coin in an ideal, perfectly isolated box. If nothing and no one will ever check what face it shows, is this event objectively undetermined? (My guess is yes – if the isolation is perfect ...
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Is this a limit of naive atomism? [closed]

If I define every thing as a whole made of its parts, these parts should be things as well – but made of what? If every part is composed by smaller ones, we fall in a regress that leads to ...
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What would be the correct abstraction for Thing and Action?

In an hierargical ontology definition I'm stating that: Artist <= Person <= Human <= Mamal <= Thing or Phone <= Product <= Thing. I could also do the same for Walking <= Moving &...
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How is the “I” the universe?

I have heard a lot of remarks claiming that the "I" is the universe. I understand that we are all part of the universe. But how AM I the universe? Some take it even further and claim that the "I" is ...
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How do we define an object as existing in nature? [closed]

How and in what manner is an object defined as "existing"? What principles are followed to deem some object as tangible or real, and not imaginative? Please answer.
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Is being something and not any other thing a necessary and sufficient condition of existence?

Is being something and not any other thing a necessary and (the only) sufficient condition of existence? I'm working on something close to the idea of Apoha, but in an ontological sense. I suppose ...
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For a clairvoyant able to perceive time as we perceive space, is the future determined?

We can think about a future event as unknown or not yet existing, but once it has happened, it can be only as it is. If I am in an instant of time t1 and in a subsequent instant t2 an event x occurs, ...
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Is this a good argument against Simulation and Brain in a Vat hypotheses?

I was wondering about these skeptical hypotheses regarding the reality we experience. More specifically I wanted to address the Simulation and Brain in a Vat arguments because to me they seem kind of ...
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Once it happened, an event was necessary?

What would happen to an event in the past, if time itself ceases to exist? Without time, has what existed (such as the writing of this sentence) never happened? A total disappearance of space-time ...
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Has the universe no identity?

1) A thing has an identity if there's something else delimiting and defining it. 2) The universe (intended as the totality of things) has necessarily no identity, because being the totality of things,...
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Sentences and reality

Would sentences have meaning even if humans did not exist? For example, would "the earth is round" have meaning if humans did not exist? Would it be true?
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Is it possible to be 100% certain of the existence of reality?

I don't really understand why some philosophers claim that it's impossible to be absolutely certain of anything except my own consciousness. Isn't that absurd? Personally I believe that this kind of ...
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Can the principle of sufficient reason be applied to the whole of existence?

Many philosophers (Leibniz and Heidegger, to name but two) consider "Why is there something rather than nothing" the most difficult and important question. Given that "nothing" is a possibility among ...
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Is physics really psychology?

Neuroscientists tell us that time, space, and perceived matter are all constructs of the brain. As physics is about the exploration of these, is physics really a branch of psychology ? If not, what ...
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Are all pancomputationalist models for the universe compatible with informational realism?

Pancomputationalist theories are a group of physical theories that try to describe the universe itself as a computer or an informational (processing) structure. Informational (structural) realism is ...
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Should we think twice about dualism?

With the rise of Materialism and Physicalism a dualistic ontology has fallen out of favor. The successes of Science makes makes us comfortable to deny any entity beyond the "Observable Universe". ...
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How should one reconcile predicate functor logic with Quine's own ontological theory?

Quine proposed that "to be is to be the value of a variable". However, he also devised predicate functor logic (PFL), which effectively gives a recipe for eliminating bounded variables. How should ...
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Any good theories on the nature of time in which time is not fundamental?

I've noticed that most of the very successful formulas in physics, once you break them down, contain several references to quantities of time. And it has really begun to bother me that once you start ...
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Is Reality an intersection of Incompatible Ontologies?

Empiricists do not ask questions about the ontological status of mathematical or logical structures. Idealists don't explain how Ideas are developed, or how technological advancement in general takes ...
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Is Deductive Reasoning Alien to the Material World?

A quick survey of literature: Goel V. Anatomy of deductive reasoning. Trends Cogn Sci. 2007 Oct https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2685028/ García-Madruga JA, Gutiérrez F, ...
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Is there a philosophical principle stating that everything that can be imagined can possibly / must necessarily exist?

Is there a philosophical notion that stipulates or proposes one of the following statements? Everything that can be imagined could also possibly exist. Everything that can be imagined must necessarily ...
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Why do humans naturally organize information in terms of possession?

A meta question of sorts. The prototypical example of possession is a single human possessing a single object. Such a definition is used in phrases like 'I have a cat,' or 'He has his wallet on him.' ...
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Is nothing an entity?

An entity cannot not be and the definition of nothing is not being. Can we include "nothing" among the abstract entities or should we differentiate nuances of nothing, eg. the mathematical nothing, ...
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How is the concept of “beyond word” viewed in many school of thoughts?

This is my review on the concept of "beyond word": Taoism and Buddhism seems to share that wisdom can't be grasped intellectually. In Zen practice, the koans are presented as nonsensical questions so ...
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Is there such a thing as philosophical rigour?

Is rigour always related to definitions and axioms? Whatever be the case, can a set of philosophical analyses be rated in terms of rigour?
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Is there a fundamental ontology in Physics? What is the universe fundamentally “made of” according to Physics?

Is there a fundamental ontology in Physics? According to Physics, what are the fundamental "things" (whatever they may be) that in combination define the whole universe, such that they are not ...
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Is all meaning just comparison/measurement? (Reference request)

I've had an idea and I'm almost certain it might not be a novel one, so I'd like some pointers to read more about it. Maybe some philosophers/writers already explored the subject and elaborated it a ...
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What is the difference between digital physics, informational realism and informational structure realism?

What are the differences and relation between them and what role plays information in all of this. And what do we mean by "information" here ? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics http://...
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Do unverifiable statements provide any knowledge?

I believe the following three examples are equally self-contradictory: A: Nothingness is blue B: Objects don't exist when we are not looking at them C: There exists a parallel universe that never ...
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Collective Being

If, as a Collective of embodied selves (eSelves) we voted for ideas instead of individual eSelves - the objective being to construct a Reality that resonates with Existence itself - what would that ...
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What are the criteria for existence?

What are the criteria for existence, i.e. the answer to "what exists and what doesn't exist?" in modern schools of philosophy? My trial: Something exists if and only if it can affect our senses, ...
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Is “the self” a relativistic referential abstraction? What current philosophy form does this fit into?

I wrote this about 8 years ago. Consider the following ideas as though I, me, my and mine were substituted for the word self. · Self-awareness ·Self-concept · Self-consciousness · Self-identity ...
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Spinoza's proof of God

Proposition 11. God, or a substance consisting of infinite attributes each of which expresses eternal and infinite essence, necessarily exists. His argument is such: If God didn’t exist then by ...
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Object's memory

There is a notion that an object's history is contained within itself. For example, a rock that have been smiled at will be somehow different than a rock that has been frowned on. It has been ...