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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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 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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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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How can I differentiate between a philosopher and a scholar of philosophy?

There are many who studied philosophy in the university, so we call them scholars of philosophy. Scholars of philosophy may be philosophers, namely, real philosophers, or may be just scholars of ...
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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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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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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 ...
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What distinguishes between saguna and nirguna Brahman?

Not knowing any Sanskrit, but knowing a little philosophy and some Bengali I'd translate nirguna as nir-guna (no qualities); and this in the phrase: nirguna Brahman A term used in several places ...
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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 there be cause and effect without time?

Our usual understanding of cause and effect operates tensely; that is in time. But consider a basic statement in some generic computer language: if x then y Is this in time? Well an actually ...
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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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Is Aristotle's resolution of Zeno's paradoxes vindicated by motion in the intuitionistic continuum?

In Physics VIII.8, Aristotle refers to his usual resolution of Zeno's paradox of motion: We should make the same response to anyone who uses Zeno's argument to ask whether it is always necessary to ...
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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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Principle of universal connection

I am looking for reflections related to relationships between things, connections, interconnections, in the context of understanding/explaining the essence of things (e.g, in the field of ontology). ...
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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 are the counterexamples to Kant's argument that existence is not a predicate?

Kant argued that considering existence as a predicate is wrong. A predicate is a feature or characteristic of an object. But logically, existence adds nothing to the characteristics of that object, ...
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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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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 ...