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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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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 ...
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Question about the Argument of Recollection from Plato's Phaedo

Under the argument of recollection, what would the answer to the following scenario? A young child has not learned a single thing about geometrical shapes. If a person were to draw a triangle and ...
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Logical expression that non-existent things don't do anything?

How could we express the idea that "something that doesn't exist cannot possibly do anything" using a logical argument? And if so, it is at all possible to prove that kind of proposition?
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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 ...