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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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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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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 ...
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Absolutes within modern philosophy

Are there any philosophies still claiming the existence of Absolute entities? By Absolute, I mean permanent and independent of cause and effect, such as Plato's One or Forms in general.
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how a definition for an object is arrived

is our definitions of words based in properties ? for example we have a banana.We define banana from its image? but if this true if we find something that looks like banana but smells like hot dog ...
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How can one justify Newton's third law?

In one sense it is justified by the overall success if Newtonian Mechanics; still, one can ask are there arguments that can justify it from other principles; ie principle that are * a priori* in ...
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Where does Plato give a rationale for order?

I recall reading somewhere, now forgotten, that Plato in one of his books suggested that the reason for order in the universe is that meaning can happen - there can be no possibility of meaning where ...
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Are we just a simulation [duplicate]

Do we live in a simulation? Is the world just a hologram? I assume that this is the same question, but see no references to holograms. Am I correct that this is the same question?
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What are 'First Principles'?

I tend to view First Principles as 'getting to the bottom' of something; in this case the embodied self. I also understand that a first principle is one which cannot be 'built' from other concepts ...
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How can something non-physical exist?

One sees arguments for the existence of non-physical entities such as God, qualia, Plato's forms, objective ethical truths, etc... But what does it mean for something non-physical to exist? It ...
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How materialism can be consistent in the context of qualia and simplicity?

Apologies for my English. Some thoughts from the camp of idealists. :) The following is the explanation of the question in the title. I think that the fact that in our days physicists may be ...
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What is property?

Suppose , I have two objects A and B. A has a set of properties P and B has a set of properties Q. It is possible that when I combine A and B the combination has a property c that is neither in P nor ...
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Do we continue to live because “I can always die, but not always live”

In response to "Why do we continue living?" I've come across the idea that we hold nothingness to be uneventful, how we believe it to be consistent, to be "nothing" at all instances of time, or thus ...
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What are some recommendations for guidebooks or companion-books to Heidegger's “Being and Time”?

I'm looking for a guidebook or some other companion to Heidegger's "Being and Time". Ideally, I'd like to find a book that steps through the entire original work, providing summary and background to ...
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Does Bitcoin disprove solipsism?

According to Wikipedia, solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. In 1993, Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor proposed the idea that one could use proof-of-work to ...
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Ontologically closed statements

"I think therefore I am" is a much disputed "proof". As an argument, it presupposes many posits. Being more cautious, one might make the claim, "I only know what I feel." Is this an ontologically ...
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Is it possible to maintain the truth of levels of 'being' or can't they be true at the same time next to each other?

With levels I mean different 'perspectives' on a subject/happening. For example, all things have color. When we see a green tree we say this tree is green. So from this level the tree is green. But ...
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What is the name of the position that is skeptical about the existence of categories created by the mind?

Is there a name for skepticism about the existence of categories (or properties) and objects that the mind may create to classify the "real world"? In other words thoughts, concepts, and so forth may ...
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214 views

What branch of metaphysics studies things like “Nowhere”, “Limbo”, “Non-being”, “Neither dead nor alive”, “neither present nor absent”?

Recently, when thinking about metaphysics and in particular the notion of abstract concepts, while also reading various settings of movies, games and books, I noticed that usually, entities that are ...
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Debunking Anselm Ontological Argument

In a nutshell, the Anselm Ontological Argument states that given a God defined as "a being than which none greater can be imagined" it follows that this God must exist. It seems to me that this ...
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Isn't biocentrism just a simple deduction from subjectivism?

I havent actually read his book, but as he's described it, I thought that he was just sharing his view on subjectivism. Biocentrism, as Robert Lanza says, is: ..."the view that life creates ...
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Ontology…Epistemology…and (insert here)

If ontology is a study of being (reality) and epistemology is a study of knowledge, then what would be considered a study of 'doing', or 'action'? I am interested because a statement was made to me ...
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Does there exist a thing in the physical world of which it is the only member of that category

I realize that categories of physical objects are essentially a human construct. However, even so, it seems to me like everything that exists is part of a larger group of things that are similar in ...
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Does the Axiom of Choice violate the law of excluded middle?

Both the affirmation of the AC and its denial are consistent in set theory, but is there in any way that one can say it must be the case that one of them is actually true? I understand what it means ...
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Is the idea of intuitive intellect, generally attributed to God, accepted as possible?

The idea of non-discursive, or intuitive intellect, is the form of intellect where knowledge is not broken up into finite pieces (like humans), but rather a single act of understanding. This is ...
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Can a complete opposite even exist?

I have been struggling with a question for a while now and I mean to ask if a complete opposite can even exist. This arrived to me thinking that since one thing exists and can be conceived then a ...
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What is the ontology of points?

This might be broad so let me narrow it. Concerning points and mereology, is it coherent to make points - extentionless entities - compose extended objects? If so, then the idea of "material point ...
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What is put on what (the mayo or the eggs) and why?

What are some branches of philosophy that could be used to analyze the question "did I put mayo on my eggs, or eggs on my mayo?" I understand that the question itself is very weak, but I am just ...
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Something that has an end must have a beginning?

In ancient Hebrew book (http://dafyomireview.com/article.php?docid=398#ch5) dealing with logical proof of creation of the world. The following premise is established PROOF OF SECOND PREMISE - (...
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What does it mean when something is called “fundamental”? [closed]

Most philosophers and scientist alike, talk about the "fundamental" parts of science in reductionist terms. But, I wanted to ask how do those "fundamental" parts of science appear in non-reductionist ...
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Can something be actually possible yet logically impossible?

By actual possibility I mean the possibility which is implied by ability or power. By logical possibility I mean whether concepts of reality contradict each other or not. I believe that knowledge ...
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What are counters of the anthropic principle

The anthropic principle states that observations of the Universe must be compatible with the conscious and sapient life that observes it. Some people say that it explains why this universe has the age ...
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Russell on Negative Facts

Okay. I am reading Russell's paper "On Propositions: What They are and How They Mean". Since the truth or falsehood of a belief depends upon a fact to which the belief "refers", and propositions are ...
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Inconceivable objects. What can make them become conceivable?

Are there such objects or phenomena that we can't comprehend or imagine? Can objects like round square or the largest number be reffered as inconceivable? Can we assume that objects that are ...
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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 ...