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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2answers
264 views

Psychoanalysis and the ontologization of the self

I'm very interested in psychoanalysis ontologization of the "self"-concept meaning: The idea that there is a self - a continuous entity with some inner dynamic, that we must fight (defense mechanism) ...
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What is the ontological stance of formalists on mathematical objects?

Are modern proponents of formalism associated with an ontoglogical opinion regarding numbers? If they view mathematics as the process of manipulating string according to agreed upon rules, there is ...
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Is silence more ontologically fundamental than meaning?

If the structures which enable the emergence of meaning in awareness behave according to principles which do not require meaning to function, this means meaning is inextricably tied to silence or non-...
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1answer
240 views

The Ontological Status of Chance [closed]

An occurrence such as bumping into a friend at a bus terminal bring to fore the role of Chance in the happenings of events. In this example, would Chance be exhaustively identified as the cause of the ...
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Do you agree with Hegel's assertion: 'quantity changes lead to quality changes'? [closed]

Material things change every second (through natural (atomic) "decay"). However. things in the mind seem to not change at all. For example, 1+1=2 never varies. What is the difference between '...
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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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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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1answer
275 views

The extended mind and the ontological status of visual hallucinations

Visual hallucinations present a unique problem for ontology. On the one hand they are clearly not sense data, meaning they are not the phenomenal product of a transduced pattern of photons. On the ...
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4answers
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If ontology is the study of being, is there a name for the study of change?

I could be wrong, but it sounds like ontology is the study of what things exist. But I wonder what is the name for the study of what changes happen? The study of action, change, motion, etc.
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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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1answer
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What is Hofstadter's ontology for symbols?

I really liked GEB a few years ago, and have been following up with "I am a Strange Loop" recently. In the book, Douglas Hofstadter tries to better explain his concept of symbols and in particular the ...
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What's the relationship between epistemology and ontology in different traditions?

I'm asking as a relative novice, but have come across the debate in the field of information architecture and classification (and technology studies too). In this field, Aristotle is often quoted as ...
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1answer
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Why is infinite regress a problem for ontological explanations?

Suppose some ontological theory creates an infinite regress. Take, for example, Platon's concept of ideas, and then there must be some connection between idea and its actualisation, and then this ...
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Is Descarte putting the cart before the horse when he says 'cogito ergo sum'?

Famously Descartes said 'Cogito ergo sum'. I'm a bit puzzled by this. I do not need to think in order to assert/understand/intuit that I exist: when I wake up in the morning I immediately intuit that ...
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1answer
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How to account for the identity of books or theories? Inquiries into qualitative identity

I'm looking for articles or books that discuss how we account for qualitative identity. The distinction between qualitative and numerical identity is often drawn, but then the discussion tends to veer ...
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What is the purpose of Plato's concept of Form?

Concerning this passage from Phaedo: I mean, for instance, the number three, and there are many other examples. Take the case of three; do you not think it may always be called by its own name and ...
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1answer
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What caused the turns from monism to dualism in Russell and Chalmers?

Why did Chalmers shift from idealism to dualism? And Russell from materialism to neutral monism? Edit: The particulars of Russell is recounted in A.C. Grayling's 'Russell: A Very Short Introduction' (...
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Is everyone considered a “philosopher”?

Is every person who has ever questioned what they did or what they are going to do a philosopher? Does this idea fall under philosophy in any way, or is it merely a semantic debate?
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Is the conservation of matter/energy principle and 'quanta' of Physics implicit in Lucretius ontology?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophys entry on Lucretius has: "First comes, in effect, Lucretius' ontology. Nothing comes into being out of nothing or perishes into nothing. The only two per se ...
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Are there token events?

The type/token distinction appears to be generally explained in terms of objects. A given Honda Accord is, e.g., a token of of the type "Honda Accord". However, the literature I have read seems to do ...
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What makes a good question?

Most philosophy begins with a question. I'm wondering why certain questions provoke more profound thoughts than others. What characteristics do good questions share with each other? How can we go ...
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What is the difference between metaphysics and ontology?

I know that ontology is a sub-field of metaphysics. But I can't see the difference between them. I mean ontology is defined as "The study of being and existence", and metaphysics is defined as "...
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Are there borderline cases of existence?

Metaphysical/ontological vagueness, classically understood, can be summed up as the problem of borderline cases of some thing x. Clouds are the standard examples of vague objects. If posit that our ...
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Is perfection conceivable?

It is a given that we can conceive normal things like a regular hot dog or a space shuttle. It is also a given that we can conceive perfection in things that are fully understood, like a perfect cube ...
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What philosophers and schools have considered 'transcendental' economic values?

Background Settle a bet- more likely; enrich a debate. A friend of mine (a philosophy PhD with a penchant for economics) and I have been arguing for some time on the same topic. He is a libertarian ...
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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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Does claiming something exists imply that the number 1 exists?

The number 1 is used in language when we make claims of existence concerning distinct well-defined objects. It seems then that to say the number 1 does not exist would imply that nothing exists at all....
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To what extent do we choose our beliefs?

Are we free to choose our beliefs? Or is our belief in a proposition something that is thrust upon us by the weight of the evidence we have in favor and against the truth of it? For example, is it ...
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Where is the weakness in the ontological proof for God's existence?

I read the ontological proof for God's existence. As much as I understood, it says that if you consider that existence is part of essence, then the most complete essence should also exist. Now, I see ...
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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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Philosophy of Philosophy and Experience [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the practical use of philosophy? Does philosophy move us toward a deeper understanding of the human condition, or does philosophy push us away from understanding the ...
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What does it mean that a claim is a claim of nonexistence?

This question has devolved into a discussion. As I understand the discussion, everything is revolving around the veracity of statement Nonexistence can never be proven. and on what exactly ...
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Does a negative claimant have a burden of proof?

I have often heard it said that the burden of proof is on the positive claimant but not on the one making a negative claim. A person claiming, "God exists" has a burden of proof but not a person ...
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Do numbers exist independently from observers?

Do numbers have an objective existence? If life had not evolved on planet earth would there be numbers or are numbers an invention of human minds? Are there any relevant works that discuss this? (I ...
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What are the connections between philosophy and semantic web?

I worked with semantic web technology, and got interested in philosophy out of it. In semantic web, concepts such as semantics, ontologies, and logical inferences are fundamental to understand the ...
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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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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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What is Philosophy? [closed]

What is a comprehensive definition of Philosophy? Alternatively, is it impossible to define Philosophy? This is a pseudo-meta question, but it seems like it belongs here.
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29answers
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Was mathematics invented or discovered?

What would it mean to say that mathematics was invented and how would this be different from saying mathematics was discovered? Is this even a serious philosophical question or just a meaningless/...
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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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