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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What is the difference between concepts of number and natural number?

When reading an article about Frege on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/frege/#AnaStaNum), in section 2.5 I encountered the following sentence: But though ...
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Is everyone able to learn philosophy? If not, what kind of person is able to learn philosophy? [duplicate]

Is everyone able to learn philosophy? If not, what kind of person is able to learn philosophy? Does learning philosophy require a certain intelligence or talent? If I start at the age of 18, is it ...
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What is the basis for attributing discontinuity to space-time?

Speaking of the discrete orbits of electrons, Bertrand Russell asks the following: "Do we know that, between one orbit and the next, other orbits are geometrically possible? Einstein has led us ...
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Is our existence perfect?

The definition of "Perfect" is having all of the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics. Simply put, when something is perfect, it is as good as it can possibly be. ...
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What does “physical” mean to philosophers?

A childish question (literally) - My 8 year old asked me this morning: "Dad, what does 'physical' mean?" - and I found myself at loss for an ordinary language answer. Every answer I could come up ...
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Can something be both objective and subjective to me at the same time?

Many of us understand subjectivity as the opposite of objectivity; that they are mutually exclusive concepts. Evidence for that is all around; for example, take Wiktionary: subjective (adj.): ...
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Why is the problem of universals a problem?

Philosopher Gonzago Rodriguez-Pereyra defines the very old and well-known "Problem of Universals" thusly: But what then is the Problem of Universals? As I said, it is usually taken to be the ...
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If i am interested in existence as a philosophical concern, where should I start reading?

I find the study of existence is quite an interesting topic, since we are always going about our daily lives doing this and that, often taking everything around us for granted. But I want to know what ...
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On which level of scientific disciplines can we effectively identify characteristics of life?

An egg is fertilized and begins to divide forming an embryo which continues to develop into a fetus. Beneath that level of development the egg is comprised of molecules which are in turn comprised of ...
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What is Romanticism? Does one still believe in such a conception? Seemingly opposed to rational Truth!

This is a dramatically-inflected, or modulated, if you like, word about the context of the inquiry: The peevishness of the higher-caliber professors, in the elite American universities, when ...
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What are some current debates in metaphysics today?

What are some current debates in metaphysics today? I would be very interested to hear what the very most recent debates in this field focus on, what's hot, or whether some new views have emerged or a ...
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Why does Searle think that consciousness is “obviously” physical?

One response to Searle's Chinese room argument is that the room has a virtual mind. From Wikipedia's article on the Chinese room: "Minsky argues, a computer may contain a "mind" that is virtual in ...
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Can we really attribute property P to an object with multiple parts which differ with respect to P?

So I've got myself into a tangle with properties. I have quite a strong intuition about something, but a few have told me it's wrong. I'm hoping that either (i) my view is less controversial than they ...
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Are any of the following considered properties? If so, what kind of properties are they?

Suppose Archie is the tallest man in Antarctica. Can Archie be said to have the property of being the tallest man in Antarctica? Now suppose Archie tries to lift a crate of penguin eggs and finds it ...
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How can one say that only matter exists without presupposing the idea of existence/being?

I am having some troubles with the whole notion of materialism which states that only matter exists. Doesn't stating that something exists presuppose the idea of existence/being, and therefore that ...
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What are the major criticisms of Alain Badiou's claim that mathematics is ontology?

Building on Was mathematics invented or discovered? I would like to know what the major criticisms are of Alain Badiou's claim that mathematics is "the very site of ontology" (in Being and Event.)
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Where does the philosophical category of “ Being ” have its legitimacy?

Being as a philosophical category has been always used by philosophers who study ontology but what does make it a legit philosophical category ? What argument is there to prove that there's such a ...
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Choosing to believe unfalsifiable hypotheses because of their consequences

Say there are two, mutually exclusive hypotheses A and B. Both are unfalsifiable with current knowledge and technology, but lead to starkly different ontologies. Now say I find the logical ...
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What type of questions can we ask? (When, where etc)

About the question So, by 'type of questions', I really mean this from an ontological perspective. I imagine there is a complete set of (type of) questions, and thus any question that ever was or will ...
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How is existence in presentism reconciled with relativity of simultaneity?

There is a famous question by Einstein which was reported by his biographer, the physicist Abraham Pais, and which expresses his concern with quantum physics: We often discussed his notions on ...
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According to modal realism, how many possible worlds are there?

Modal realism tells us there is an infinity of possible worlds, but how many are there exactly? Is it countable infinity ℵ₀, uncountable infinity 𝖈, or some other, bigger uncountable infinity?
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Researches on 'Ontology of the Subject' with a focus on Lacan

I'm looking for essays about "Lacan's Ontology of the subject" . The point is the formation of them. So, It's like writing a report about the researches already made on "Lacan's Ontology of the ...
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How to start Philosophy and find the branches that are related to my questions?

From Wikipedia: Ontology: philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Epistemology: study of the nature ...
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Help understanding Deleuzian realism?

I am interested in reading a philosophy book titled "Intensive Science And Virtual Philosophy" by Manuel DeLanda. It deals with a new field of philosophy called speculative realism. As I understand ...
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What was Putnam's position re truth and/or word/world relationship at the time of his death.

The formidable philosopher of science and mathematics, Hillary Putnam, died last year, at 89, shortly [relatively] after his retirement. His was an intellectually peripatetic career. Though he ...
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How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

This question became a symbol for the silly and pointless sophistry of medieval scholastics. But as modern scholarship has shown scholastics was not such a thoughtless desert as some of its ...
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What are some examples of the implications of changing epistemological and ontological grounds of the research?

What are some examples of the variation in the answers of the same question among different researchers, that can be explained by the variation of epistemological and ontological grounds of their ...
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Is there any philosopher who thinks that parts of the world are real, others unreal?

I am a panentheist. like George Berkeley, Through meditation and mystic visions, I have come to think that existence is composed only of God and humans. The universe is God's manifestation, namely, it ...
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Do abstract ideas exist or are they only to be found in language?

Is there any reason to imagine that abstract ideas exist when they are nowhere to be found except in language? No more is known today, for example, about Platonic Forms than upon initial utterance ...
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Is the truth a privative?

A privative is the absence of something, and as such doesn't exist. So cold is a privative, as it is merely the absence of heat. This question is inspired by this answer about a single noun for an ...
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Can a tool use itself?

I ask this question with connections to consciousness. It seems neuroscience has hit a plateau in explaining it materially since the smallest element of consciousness in the material brain seems to be ...
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Has any traction been made on the case to rename the field of philosophy?

There was a NYTimes article a few years back where Colin McGinn proposed "Ontics" as a more precise name for the field of philosophy. https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/04/philosophy-by-...
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Real impossible worlds

What is the name of a/the metaphysic that affirms the reality of all worlds including impossible worlds? Actualism denies the reality of all non-actual worlds, possibilism affirms the reality of all ...
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Is it possible to deny that language necessitates ontological commitments?

I am unsure of what I am trying to put my finger on, but it seems like it is an enormous assumption that ontological commitments can be - or should be - necessitated by simply the language that we use....
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Can adjectives be concrete in an ontological sense? [closed]

I'm trying to further define adjectives such as "beautiful" in an ontological sense. Can adjectives which denote abstract OR concrete nouns, be concrete? Can "beautiful" be an attribute, or is only "...
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Why are human beings and their creations not considered “nature” or “natural”?

I read about how the human being is nature nature (which it is), about global warming (which can be a myth), the production of certain commodities (oil, sugar, PET bottles, glass) etc. I was ...
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Ontology and Moral Axioms

Would a moral axiom necessarily result from ontology? I define a moral axiom as that which dictates behavior, where the action itself is designated as ethical or not (i.e. the judgment of the ...
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Peano axiom of reflexivity and its implication for the ontological status of mathematical truth

Does the Peano axiom of reflexivity ∀x(x=x), in that the statement 'x=x'is a tautology and contains no information, imply that mathematics lacks ontological reality? By this I mean that if the '...
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Is science possible in a world where a god acts?

Consider a world equipped with a god; and this god from time to time at his convenience and no other, acts in the world; and then too, that those beings who live in the world see these acts as ...
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How do we know something is a “category mistake”?

I believe that Gilbert Ryle introduced the term "category mistake", but I am struggling to apply the term. Could you please give me an obvious and less obvious instance of a category-mistake? And if ...
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Are Graham Harman's concealed real objects “inaccessible” or merely “not fully accessible in a given moment”?

I am reading Graham Harman's "Quadruple Object", but having difficulties in following the connection he makes between the Real Object and the Sensual Qualities. He starts forming his quadruple ...
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Language to describe that which is most fundamentally real

I'm trying to articulate my perception of reality for a blog post. Core to the clarity of this post is that it successfully transmit a certain very deep and abstract notion. I struggle to convey this ...
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Are universal skepticism and foundationalism at odds?

As I understand it, universal skepticism says that everything is uncertain. For example, you can't even say that you are sure that 1=1 because it depends upon your notion of equality. There are no ...
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Can something sensible be said about a world of complete nothingness?

One thought that keeps me up at night is when I start to think about the world "before" the universe existed and "beyond" the universe itself. I know that it doesn't really make sense to speak about "...
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Do all objects have properties?

Assumption: An object has no properties. I can think of that object as an object with the property that it has no properties, but this is a contradiction to my assumption. Hence all thinkable objects ...
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How/where can I research about definition of “person”?

I need to research for a theoretical framework about definition of "person"* by different authors. I'm struggling to find any kind of outline to make the research, so I am wondering if I'm trying to ...
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How does one bring mind and matter into a single ontology that accounts for subconscious mind?

How does one define mind and matter coherently... do these categories even make sense in a single framework? I can refer to my consciousness and the contents of my consciousness as "mind", this leaves ...
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Philosophy term for “variation”

Thinking from a fundamental or foundational ontology perspective ... I want to read what philosophers have written about a concept which in my own mind I have been calling "variation". I am thinking ...
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How are epistemological and ontological realism related?

The SEP article on idealism begins: ... [this article] examines the relationship between epistemological idealism (the view that the contents of human knowledge are ineluctably determined by ...
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What is the ontological basis for sentience arising from complexity?

Recently I read a comment that most physicalists believe that some threshold of complexity must be surpassed prior to any sentience being exhibited. I've heard of similar ideas a lot, but I've never ...