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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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 ...
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Why isn't existence a predicate?

According to SEP There are two sets of reasons for denying that existence is a property of individuals. The first is Hume and Kant's puzzlement over what existence would add to an object. What is ...
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Is a paradox a concept?

Obviously 'paradox' is a concept, we name certain things to be so. We share the knowledge of those things through the use of language. But those things, "in themselves", those particular "instances of ...
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Is there such a thing as meta-metaphysics?

I started wondering about this while taking an undergraduate course in philosophy of language (studying Frege, Davidson, Kripke, and Kit Fine). This field, in my understanding, aims to describe the ...
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What does “Something” mean ontologically?

Many refer to the question of there is something rather than nothing by assuming that something refers to the universe. Is the word “something” an existential quantification in this context? Is ...
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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 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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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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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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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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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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