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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Is Dialectical Materialism an ontology, an epistemology or a methodology?

What questions does Dialectical Materialism seek to answer?
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Help Understanding an Argument For Temporal Parts

The following argument is presented from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy regarding the existence of perdurantism (temporal parts): A third argument from STR to perdurantism does not rely on ...
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Did Robert Nozick's “Principle of Plenitude” propose the existence of universes based on different fundamental logics?

Philosopher Robert Nozick proposed the "Principle of Plenitude" (or of Fecundity), which proposes the existence of all possible worlds. I have a feeling that it is different from David Lewis' Modal ...
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What is the basis for attributing discontinuity to space-time?

Speaking of the discrete orbits of electrons, Bertrand Russell asks the following: "Do we know that, between one orbit and the next, other orbits are geometrically possible? Einstein has led us ...
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Conceptual distinction between “ strength” , “ force” and “ power”?

Philosophers distinguish between 2 kinds of " powers": moral powers ( authority, right to order something) which corresponds to potestas in Latin and " physical power" ( ability to do something, or to ...
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Reference request on Idealist ontology

Apologies if this is original, it may or may not already exist (I've no idea), but it may also be a restatement of an ontology like Meinong's jungle. It contemplates a conception of concentric spheres ...
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Platonism and causality

The Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy states that - "Because abstract objects are wholly non-spatiotemporal, it follows that they are also entirely non-physical (they do not exist in the physical ...
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With or without oppositon between A and B, how may ways are there for A not to be B?

I'm looking for references and "loci" regarding the concepts of opposition, distinction, diversity, and negation. I'm not certain if one must distinguish the case in which A and B stand for concepts ...
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Is a set that contains itself always logically incoherent? [closed]

This is an ontological engineering question, please treat it that way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology_engineering I am examining this question from the point of view of ontological ...
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Can mathematics and physics be thought of as branches of philosophy?

I think that they can be viewed like that, with some suitable definition of philosophy. Then mathematics could be defined as one of the branches of philosophy in which theories are built on ...
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Is Nothing actually imaginable?

It's possible to imagine something, for example a table, we see one everyday and can bring it in front of our minds eye (although it's a moot point whether we can see it - I certainly don't). But of ...
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Can Resurrection and Reincarnation be reconciled?

Many philosophies and religions adopt either reincarnation (in cyclic creation) or resurrection (then final judgement then eternal life in paradise or hell). Is there a philosophy or a religion which ...
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Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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Does 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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How do different types of knowledge and memory relate?

At first glance it seems that "knowledge" has many more categories than "memory". However once one starts sorting, it quickly becomes apparent that certain kinds of memory will accommodate several ...
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Is there a name for the concept that an object can contain its own history?

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 ...
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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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From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
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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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If knowledge is structural, does “confirmation bias” follow as necessity?

That 'knowledge' is structural is fairly uncontroversial. Although there are certainly different types, I would like for sake of this question to characterize (what I see as) a generalization of the ...
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Where did Husserl say that in quantum mechanics spatial localisation is no longer a principle of individualisation?

According to Philosophy & Physics edited by Bernard d'Espagant: I am thinking of a text by Husserl, who was quite removed from physics, who said that the fundamental problem posed by QM is that ...
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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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Can knowledge exist without structure?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-how/ https://plato.stanford.edu/...
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Wittgenstein - self and ethics in the Tractatus

I think that I quite understand the relation between ontology and "logical syntax" of language as it is presented by Wittgenstein in Tractatus. He states that there are atomic entities, which are ...
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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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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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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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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 perfection conceivable?

It is a given that we can conceive normal things like a regular hot dog or a space shuttle. It is also a given that we can conceive perfection in things that are fully understood, like a perfect cube ...
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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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Would truly random events be strictly equivalent to events without a cause?

There are a couple of questions (one, another) about this topic, and as I was thinking about this for a while, I started wondering whether there has been any systematic research into this that raises ...
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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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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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Paradox of motion in the emptiness

The philosophers of the Eleatic school, analyzing the nature of the movement, came to this paradox: in order for the body to move, it needs emptiness. But what is emptiness? This is what exists, but ...
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What are some good introductions to analytic ontology?

What is/are the best introduction(s) of analytic ontology? I know about a book written by Edmund Runggaldier ‎and Christian Kanzian but still I don't have it. I would like to read clear, simple ...
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Fundamental idea on proving God's existence with science

I think that proving God's existence or any deity from any culture with the rigors of science is fundamentally absurd. The popular arguments usually involve space-time and the big bang theory. (I ...
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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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Are we living in a simulation? The evidence

I am not questioning whether the simulation topic is outside science. I am asking what evidence there is or could be to resolve whether we are or not. Living in a simulation has been a topic for ...
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Does the Simulation Argument differ in essence from the Evil Genius puzzle?

I recently read an article that suggested we might be able to determine if we are part of a computer simulation run by our descendants. The idea seemed far-fetched, but after looking around, I see ...
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How can the physical world be an abstract mathematical structure a la Tegmark?

This is Tegmark's short formulation of the "mathematical universe" (paraphrased by detractors as "reality made of math"), and he goes out of his way to stress that he means the "is" literally:"Whereas ...
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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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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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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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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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Are infinities in physics (or in any other materalist philosophy) actually possible?

Aristotle made a distinction between infinities that were in potential (dunamis) and in actuality (energia); and stated that actual infinities did not obtain in the physical world. This is the basis ...