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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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Why is there something instead of nothing?

A simple but fundamental question. The "something" means the whole Universe (known and unknown), it could be represented as the reality version of the set of all sets, which is itself debated. It ...
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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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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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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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1answer
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Searching for book on Ibn Arabi

I'm looking for this book: The mystical philosophy of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi by Afifi. Could anyone help?
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6answers
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Can an eternal universe be created?

In both Christian and Islamic thought the universe is created and this is taken to mean that the universe had a definite beginning. Philosophically we can justify this position by arguing that were we ...
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How can one differentiate nonexistent entities?

How is it possible for things that do not exist to not be the same? How can one differentiate nonexistent entities? How can I know the difference between ghosts and werewolves if neither exist?
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1answer
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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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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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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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What is the difference between Dasein and consciousness?

In Heidegger's Being and Time he probes the question of Being, and not of beings; he probes it by querying that being for which Being is a problem. This being he names Dasein = da sein = being there. ...
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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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How could a prophet prove its authenticity?

In the event of an existing god wanting to deliver a message to mankind and choosing one person for it, how could this person prove, if possible, that he speaks in the name of God? Edit: Please note ...
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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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3answers
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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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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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7answers
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What actually are meaningless symbols?

Some days ago our professor during the course of his lecture wrote the following definition of a polynomial. We say that an expression of the form a0 + a1x + a2x2 + ... + anxn is a polynomial of ...
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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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1answer
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Meaning of Being in 'Being and Nothingness'?

I just started reading Sartre's magnum opus and right on page two he begins to mention that being and appearance dualism is no longer entitled to any "legal status within philosophy". What is the ...
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1answer
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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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2answers
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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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4answers
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Are all concepts polar ?

Do all concepts operate in pairs such that in order to define one member of the pair we need to specify its opposite ? For instance, we cannot define 'nothing' without understanding - being able to ...
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29answers
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Was mathematics invented or discovered?

What would it mean to say that mathematics was invented and how would this be different from saying mathematics was discovered? Is this even a serious philosophical question or just a meaningless/...
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1answer
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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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3answers
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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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3answers
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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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2answers
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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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1answer
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What is Kant's view of a mathematical object?

I wonder what are mathematical objects - say, the number 1, a circle, etc. - for Kant? Do they have some kind of special status for him compared to ordinary (empirical) objects? Where exactly does he ...
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1answer
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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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What is the difference between metaphysics and ontology?

I know that ontology is a sub-field of metaphysics. But I can't see the difference between them. I mean ontology is defined as "The study of being and existence", and metaphysics is defined as "...
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1answer
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What is the philosophical originary thought for the empirical category of the wave?

Atoms, as is well known, were originated by Democritus to fend off Parmenides' challenge of an unchangeable, eternal one. The other large category of thought in modern physics is that of the wave. ...
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What would it mean to “solve” metaphysics? [closed]

What would it mean to solve metaphysics and what might a solution look like? How could the contention that there is a solution be defended? What would be the implications for society if it were ...
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2answers
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Is Not-Being identical with Nothing?

Anne-Marie Schimmel writes in Mystical dimensions of Islam Sufism comes close to it [Shankara Advaita Philosophy] in some of the forms developed by the Ibn-Arabi school. Here the Numen is concieved ...
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1answer
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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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3answers
193 views

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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2answers
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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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4answers
550 views

Does reincarnation require amnesia?

In Eastern philosophy souls are eternal, and do not die, but live again and again many times. Bernard Williams argues that living forever would get boring and we would eventually want death. Therefore,...
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0answers
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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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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". ...