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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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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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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What is the difference between Derrida's Deconstruction and Heidegger's Destruktion?

Derrida's deconstruction, as far as I understand it, is to critically examine values as embodied in binary situations like signifier and signified where there is an implicit hierarchy of value - one ...
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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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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 a relativistic particle 'Kantian'?

Newton, in the Principia, conceived time as flowing everywhere at the same rate (this was anticipated also in Aristotle's Physics). Time here is independent of bodies and particles. In a sense it is ...
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Why do modern materialists tend to favor determinism?

There seems to be no logical link between matter and determinism (or ideal and indeterminism for that matter). And libertarian free will was first articulated by a materialist, Epicurus, and is ...
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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 something come out of nothing or not? Why?

In our current state of affairs it is safe and reasonable to assume something exists - be it a universe, pure conciousness, illusion or other designations. If some readers nevertheless claim something ...
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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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How does an Immaterial being interact with the material realm?

By what means would an immaterial being(assuming such a thing exists) create or do things in the material realm? Is this an impossible activity? So philosophically, I'm asking how would one solve the ...
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Are particulars knowable?

In the 13th thesis of the Incoherence, al-Ghazali refutes the claim of the falsafa (peripatetic) philosophers that particulars aren't knowable by the First (Principle). Is this claim made on the ...
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What are the theoretical limits of self-awareness?

Let us sidestep fundamental questions such as whether there is in fact self-awareness. In this, let us define self-awareness in its common form of usage, typically meaning awareness of one’s ...
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What are the criteria for existence?

What are the criteria for existence, i.e. the answer to "what exists and what doesn't exist?" in modern schools of philosophy? My trial: Something exists if and only if it can affect our senses, ...
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Has any philosopher argued our concepts resemble reality along this line?

There are 2 cases. Either (1) Some of our concepts (thoughts) resemble what really exists out there or (2) None of our concepts (thoughts) resemble what really exists out there If we take (1) = p ...
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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 ...
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Is all meaning just comparison/measurement? (Reference request)

I've had an idea and I'm almost certain it might not be a novel one, so I'd like some pointers to read more about it. Maybe some philosophers/writers already explored the subject and elaborated it a ...
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Is there a philosophical principle stating that everything that can be imagined can possibly / must necessarily exist?

Is there a philosophical notion that stipulates or proposes one of the following statements? Everything that can be imagined could also possibly exist. Everything that can be imagined must necessarily ...
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369 views

Is there a fundamental ontology in Physics? What is the universe fundamentally “made of” according to Physics?

Is there a fundamental ontology in Physics? According to Physics, what are the fundamental "things" (whatever they may be) that in combination define the whole universe, such that they are not ...
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Is nothing an entity?

An entity cannot not be and the definition of nothing is not being. Can we include "nothing" among the abstract entities or should we differentiate nuances of nothing, eg. the mathematical nothing, ...
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Is there such a thing as philosophical rigour?

Is rigour always related to definitions and axioms? Whatever be the case, can a set of philosophical analyses be rated in terms of rigour?
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Does one have to become a Platonist to refuse to be a Platonist?

I believe the answer is no, but Scott Aaronson on his blog just gave in interesting argument to the contrary. This is in connection with the now famous paper Undecidability of the Spectral Gap, and ...
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Object's memory

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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How can the physical world be an abstract mathematical structure?

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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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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What does Kant mean by “Existence is not a predicate”?

What does Kant mean by "Existence is not a predicate"? How does that invalidate the ontological arguments? and how can he show that it's not a predicate? By predicate, I think he means a "property"...
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Do unverifiable statements provide any knowledge?

I believe the following three examples are equally self-contradictory: A: Nothingness is blue B: Objects don't exist when we are not looking at them C: There exists a parallel universe that never ...
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Collective Being

If, as a Collective of embodied selves (eSelves) we voted for ideas instead of individual eSelves - the objective being to construct a Reality that resonates with Existence itself - what would that ...
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Can we have Ethics without Ontology?

Just finished reading Ethics without Ontology (2004) by Harvard professor Hilary Putnam where he argues for a pragmatic pluralism, conceptual relativity, and the obligations to recognize and resist ...
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Is “the self” a relativistic referential abstraction? What current philosophy form does this fit into?

I wrote this about 8 years ago. Consider the following ideas as though I, me, my and mine were substituted for the word self. · Self-awareness ·Self-concept · Self-consciousness · Self-identity ...
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How do we know that grammar is a thing?

I mean, is there a thought experiment that shows its ontological validity? Could it concievably, based on the data that we have, be merely an epiphenomenon of syntax and semantics?
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Does inexistence exist?

If inexistence exists then how is it inexistence? And if inexistence does not exist then how come it into existence and we know about it? Or is it paradox?
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Worldview hierarchy. Epistemology or ontology more fundamental?

When evaluating a worldview and checking for coherence, is one's ontology or epistemology a more fundamental building block? Could anything be more fundamental? I ask because I heard a criticism ...
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philosophical quotation

Who said the following? "what is isn't and what isn't is" I can't remember where I picked up that line but I seem to remember hearing it being repeated by some fictional character, possibly ...
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For Husserl, how can we know things in themselves?

I don't quite understand the nature of "going back to things themselves". How does Husserl break away from Kant?
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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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What is the difference (if any) between the concepts of natural numbers and finite cardinals?

The definition of natural numbers from Wikipedia: In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are six coins on the table") and ordering (as in "this is the third ...
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Is materialism really an ontological position or is it an epistemic one?

In this post, Is a materialist afterlife possible? , the OP asks if the concept of afterlife as accepted in Christianity (and presumably other religions) is compatible with materialism. Presumably ...
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Motivations for Mathematical Platonism

From what I gather, for realists who are especially fond of a good old-fashioned Mathematical Platonism incorporated in their ontology, there seem to be two ways of getting at it. The first seems to ...
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Absolute Truth - Is there existence?

I restate the question in a simpler and more specific way; is there a proof or has a philosopher proved, that things can be absolute and observed by each in the same way? Are there like conserved ...
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Are there any philosophical arguments to disprove or weaken solipsism?

My philosophy professor once told our class: The only people who believe in solipsism are infants and madmen. I was inclined to agree at the time. Yet years later, I have still not encountered any ...
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Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
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Questions on non-ontology

Ontology is one of the best known and most important branches of metaphysics - the study of "things", of "beings", or of "what there is" (in oppose to what "there isn't"). I have a few questions ...
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Could someone help me out with Quine's theory of ontological commitment?

I'm kind of struggling with this. My prof gave an example of the problem of whether or not holes exist. In the case of a colander, a realist about holes could say that a colander is metal that has ...
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is the world a set of everything that exists? Any quotation?

The way I understood first-order-logic with quinean metaontology is, that a world is the set of everything that exists. Now I'm searching for a quote. I looked at some texts from Russell and at On ...
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What is the difference between item class and item instance?

I am working on a web site that has products information. Products, let's say consumer electronics, are represented by classes which describe different properties or groups of properties. Some classes ...
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Causality vs. implication

Implication is said to be more general than causality since, for example, being a dog implies being a mammal but it doesn't cause it. Is there a formalization of the difference between implication and ...