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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64 views

Can every thought in the mind called a thing

This is a metaphysical (ontology) question. I'm looking for the appropriate ontological terminology, as 'thing' seems like it is ordinary language. I know that every entity in the physical world can ...
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Does Wittgenstein's “The limits of my language mean the limits of my world” relate ontology with language?

Since Badiou equates ontology with Mathematics, if both philosophers are to be taken verbatim, there's a triple equivalence to consider: ontology = Mathematics = language.
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What does 'mode' mean in Spinoza's Ethics?

He defines 'mode' in this way: By mode I understand the affections of a substance, or that which is in another through which it is also conceived. But it's not clear to me what this means. Could ...
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The nature of truth and logical connectives

I think most would agree that: P or !P !(P and !P) are always true. This allows us to have certainty no matter what we're talking about. Does that make the logical connectives the most fundamental ...
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Help Understanding an Argument For Temporal Parts

The following argument is presented from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy regarding the existence of perdurantism (temporal parts): A third argument from STR to perdurantism does not rely on ...
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Conceptual distinction between “ strength” , “ force” and “ power”?

Philosophers distinguish between 2 kinds of " powers": moral powers ( authority, right to order something) which corresponds to potestas in Latin and " physical power" ( ability to do something, or to ...
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Did Robert Nozick's “Principle of Plenitude” propose the existence of universes based on different fundamental logics?

Philosopher Robert Nozick proposed the "Principle of Plenitude" (or of Fecundity), which proposes the existence of all possible worlds. I have a feeling that it is different from David Lewis' Modal ...
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Reference request on Idealist ontology

Apologies if this is original, it may or may not already exist (I've no idea), but it may also be a restatement of an ontology like Meinong's jungle. It contemplates a conception of concentric spheres ...
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Platonism and causality

The Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy states that - "Because abstract objects are wholly non-spatiotemporal, it follows that they are also entirely non-physical (they do not exist in the physical ...
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With or without opposition between A and B, how many ways are there for A not to be B?

I'm looking for references and "loci" regarding the concepts of opposition, distinction, diversity, and negation. I'm not certain if one must distinguish the case in which A and B stand for concepts ...
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Is a set that contains itself always logically incoherent? [closed]

This is an ontological engineering question, please treat it that way. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ontology_engineering I am examining this question from the point of view of ontological ...
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Confusion about the nature, defininition, and subject of study of Epistemology, Gnosiology and Phillosophy of Science

I am confused with the terms and the branches of phillosophy. Here is an example where all 3 terms were used. I always though phillosophy of science and epistemology were the exact same thing while ...
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How do different types of knowledge and memory relate?

At first glance it seems that "knowledge" has many more categories than "memory". However once one starts sorting, it quickly becomes apparent that certain kinds of memory will accommodate several ...
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From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
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If knowledge is structural, does “confirmation bias” follow as necessity?

That 'knowledge' is structural is fairly uncontroversial. Although there are certainly different types, I would like for sake of this question to characterize (what I see as) a generalization of the ...
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Can knowledge exist without structure?

For reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-analysis/ https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/knowledge-how/ https://plato.stanford.edu/...
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Wittgenstein - self and ethics in the Tractatus

I think that I quite understand the relation between ontology and "logical syntax" of language as it is presented by Wittgenstein in Tractatus. He states that there are atomic entities, which are ...
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Philosophy of concepts - can it be (gradually) expressed in type theory?

Reasoning in mathematics is simple and subject to automation and discipline/system, because every concept (e.g. integer number, real number, derivative, integral, differential equation and its ...
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The Immortal Jellyfish

I watched an episode of "The Blacklist" which is a popular show on the TV streaming service Netflix. In the episode, the main character refers to a very tiny marine creature commonly known as the "...
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Can an idea be a being?

According to a friend, anything that exists is a being. A rock, a rainbow, a dream, an idea. I am ready to buy into the first three, but the last is difficult for me. Is he correct?
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Do questions of Infinite regress, uncased cause and nothingness just point to our limits?

A lot of debates and conversations with theists seem to end up with the "ultimate" questions where the questions themselves seem to me to be conceptual/linguistic/psychological dead ends. Infinite ...
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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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Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe

Max Tegmark believes the universe to be a mathematical structure, and he further claims any mathematical structure with self-aware substructure will perceive itself in a physical world. What exactly ...
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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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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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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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Does Bostrom's simulation argument make sense?

Bostrom has famously argued that we live in a simulation. One of his key assumptions is that other civilizations exist that can simulate us. Why do we make this assumption? Why assume that other ...
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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 we know anything about the “outside”, if we are in a simulation?

Please note this question isn't about "simulation" as such. It is cast in this way to illustrate a particular sub-to-super ontology relationship: Given that all we see or seem, are the product of ...
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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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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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Can mathematics and physics be thought of as branches of philosophy?

I think that they can be viewed like that, with some suitable definition of philosophy. Then mathematics could be defined as one of the branches of philosophy in which theories are built on ...
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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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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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Is it there any specific and well known continous/analog alternative to Wheeler's discrete “It from Bit”?

Physicist John A Wheeler (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler) suggested the concept of "law without law" and "it from bit" which suggested that the universe did not have any laws ...
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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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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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Does morality requires a grounding (especially a being)?

The Moral argument for God's existence as used by William Lane Craig is: If God doesn't exist, objective moral values do not exist. Objective moral values do exist. Therefore, God exists. Now, I ...
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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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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 ...