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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Why did Nietzsche call Spinoza his 'precursor'?

In a letter Nietzsche made the following comment about Spinoza; "I am utterly amazed, utterly enchanted! I have a precursor, and what a precursor! I hardly knew Spinoza: that I should have turned ...
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Explanation of a quote from Spinoza

Notandum, dari necessario unius cujusque rei existentis certam aliquam CAUSAM, propter quam existit. Et notandum, hanc causam, propter quart aliqua res existit, vel debere contineri in ipsa natura et ...
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A test for objectivity?

One could define the objective world that we believe to exist independent of us, as that part of our experience that is simultaneously experienced by other observers as well(And this common ...
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Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
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Are mental objects timeless?

Let's suspend for a moment the How? of the body mind problem and suppose an ontological paradigm where there are two classes of objects: mental and physical. Also that physical objects are spatially ...
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What is the difference between the spiritual and the metaphysical

According to this (old) page, metaphysics is the study of things beyond anything humans can perceive. Because of this fact, metaphysics is relatively faith-based discipline and, compared to science, ...
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Duns Scotus : how can the “ concept of being” be univocal without there being a nature common to God and to creatures?

Source : Paul Vincent Spade, Survey Of Medieval Philoosphy (https://pvspade.com/Logic/index.html) Dunst Scotus is said to hold the thesis of univocity of being: i.e. the thesis according to which the ...
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Could there be a universe where the concept of order and logic and numbers and objects and space and time don't exist?

Could there be a universe where the concept of order and logic and numbers and objects and space and time don't exist ? This would preclude math as we know it. Maybe there is something better than ...
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How do concepts like “change” and “structure” fit with the object - property distinction?

I've been pondering about the distinction between the object/concrete/particular vs property/abstract/universal.... (side note: I used to think that properties are more "general" than objects, but ...
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How definition relates to abstract/concrete objects?

I am having a hard time to understand what a definition does. Is it an abbreviation we use instead of using too many words? But then why mathematicians define mathematical objects? Does it mean they "...
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Life from Non-living Stuff [closed]

The most amazing thing about a living system is that it is made up of non-living atoms and molecules!!! This beautiful thought just got me awestruck, the abstract feelings that we have are just some ...
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Are facts objects of some kind?

What is a fact, exactly? A table, for instance, is an object located within a particular region of space. But what about facts? Are they one kind of object, and if so, what kind of objects are they?
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What happened to ( aristotelian) substantial forms in cartesian ontology? On which ground ( metaphysical or physical) are they rejected?

In aristotelian philosophy, there are no bare particulars ( contrary to what is the case in Plato, according to P.V. Spade) but internally structured ( substantial) particulars in which 2 "parts"/...
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What are some examples of things that are ontologically parasitic

To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing. For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically ...
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What is the ontological status of the laws of logic? [duplicate]

Are the laws of logic abstract objects that exist independently of physical things? Are they the same in all possible worlds? Are they man-made constructs, nothing more than ideas in our minds? Or ...
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What is the most internally-consistent theory of forms?

I'm trying to construct a fictional reality out of the Socratic-era (ideally) theories of Forms, but every philosopher's attempt seems to have at least one fatal flaw (and most of them several big ...
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What types of theories are there?

How do I describe the difference between a theory that is purely descriptive in nature, vs one that is predictive? I.e. the former gives a rigorous description of the physical state of a system, while ...
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Is it reasonable to conflate being and truth?

Let x be something that exists unequivocally. Then "x exists" is true, but does it make sense to say x itself is true? And vice versa - the proposition "x exists" is true, but is there a sense in ...
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How Does One Define a Keyboard?

Suppose we have 3 keyboards and we take out all the switches. Would we call these objects still "keyboards"? Someone could argue that these objects don't have switches so they can't be called "...
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What are problems that arise by taking a point vs space as the most primitive notion in geometry?

I hear the notion of a point being the most primitive notion in geometry. But to talk about a point, one needs to think of a space of some sort. Only then, the point can be understood as a position ...
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Is there any philosophy which proposes that whatever you believe or imagine is true or exists?

Every day, we have conflicts with almost everyone about what we think and what we believe (there are religious conflicts, conflicts of opinions...). Also, there are people who think about alternative ...
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Jarrett’s Argument against an intuitive interpretation of P4, Part I of Spinoza’s Ethics

On first sight, an intuitive way of understanding proposition 4, part I, of Spinoza’s Ethics, is the following: For all x and for all y, if not x=y, then either (there is a z and a z' such that z ...
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Relationism, Substantivalism, and Simultaneity?

I've been breaking my head open lately over special relativity and its conception of spacetime's dynamical as well as kinematical features. One thing that has stuck in my head is that of whether the ...
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What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? [closed]

What is a both sufficient and necessary condition for not treating people merely as a means? To me the meaning of a concept is equivalent to a sufficient and necessary condition with which to ...
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Assigning “self-awareness” to qualia as a necessary attribute [duplicate]

The teleportation question which I'm sure most of you have researched, If I replicate you atom for atom, which one of them will be you? The issue of materialistic basis for consciousness posits a ...
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In What Sense is Substance Epistemically Prior?

In Metaphysics Z (1028a32), Aristotle outlines different senses in which a substance can be considered to be "first": there are several senses in which a thing is said to be first; yet substance is ...
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What exactly are emotions ontologically?

We put categories on things that we see outside in the world. We say an explosion is an event, a happening in time and space. We say stuff is made out of matter. Yet we all know that emotions exist ...
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Perdurantism applied to non-physical objects

I have recently been reading up a lot on perdurantism aka four dimensionalism including papers by Rea, Sider, Bittner and Donnelly among others and I was interested in knowing whether there was any ...
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Does Existence Belong to the Nature of Substance?

In Proposition 7, Part I of the Ethics Spinoza claims: Existence belongs to the nature of substance. This means that substance exists necessarily or, to put it even simpler, that each substance ...
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Prop. 2, Part I of Spinozas “Ethics”

Spinoza's proof for Proposition 2 of part I of the Ethics, "Two substances whose attributes are different have nothing in common", is confusing. This is the proof: 1, prop 2, demo - Also evident ...
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What's the difference between noneism and Quine's ontology?

The SEP entry on Richard (Routley) Sylvan says From 1965 on, Sylvan argued that, through the influence of Quine, contemporary philosophy is committed to a fundamental mistake. Such a mistake, ...
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Mathematical models of dynamic algorithmic processes

This question primarily concerns dynamical or time-dependent phenomena in philosophy and to what extent such heuristic discourse features in more precise mathematical settings. In order to model ...
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Comparisons between two notions of existence

I have the following, rather naive question: To what extent can the a priori existence of mathematical objects be reasonably compared with the seemingly a posteriori existence of objects established ...
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Are there Identity Conditions for Spinoza's modes?

A common interpretation of the relation of Substance to it's modes in Spinozas states that modes are properties of the Substance [1]. Let's assume this for now: Modes are properties of Substance. I ...
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In Quine's ontology, why does a 'recognition' of something lead to ontological commitment while a 'feeling' does not?

We are discussing Quine's On What There Is in a metaphysics class I am in. I felt like I understood what he meant, that if something has to be predicated for in a sentence, we are ontologically ...
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Is there a logical argument for the limit of knowledge?

It is justifiable to assert that certain knowledge could not be disseminated without the invention of writing. One could say that humanity needed the knowledge of writing before further knowledge ...
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On Universals and Particulars

I was thinking about the ontological problem of Universals versus Particulars and there is one thing that I can't understand well about the concept of Universal. If I have a cat (let's call it Steve) ...
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Why did Berkeley denounce 'abstract' ideas?

George Berkeley- Berkeley is best known for his early works on vision (An Essay towards a New Theory of Vision, 1709) and metaphysics (A Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge, 1710; ...
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How did Bertrand Russell distinguish between being and existence?

In his book, "Principles of Mathematics", Russell makes the following claim: Being is that which belongs to every conceivable term, to every possible object, of thought-in short to everything that ...
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How do philosophers formally characterise mathematical objects?

In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article, 'Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics', the following formalisation is given for the existence of a mathematical object: Existence can be ...
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How/when can categorization of things be correct?

How/when can categorization of things be correct? Meaning just "categorization" in general. It's intuitive that categorization is a "primitive" cognitive and linguistic phenomenon. Without ...
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Is God's existence either impossible or necessary?

This is meant as a supplement to a modal ontological argument to show that God's existence is either logically impossible or necessary. Am I committing a fallacy or a logical error of some kind or ...
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Where can I learn about identifying and defining objects?

I guess I am asking a vague question about blurred lines in philosophy/language/actions and where/who I can learn more about this from. here is the passage: "A step further, existentialism says ...
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In what way does the following solve the Substance/finite modes problem in Spinoza?

Critics of Spinoza's concept of the 'immanence' of substance maintain that if everything in the universe is a manifestation of 'deus/sive natura/ sive substantia' then Spinoza cannot account for the ...
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What is the argument posed by Katherine Hayles in “The Condition of Virtuality” as to the relation between matter and virtuality and why?

I am learning in class of the influence new media have on old-aged dichotomies such as matter-mind, subject-object and their like. Our new-media teacher asked us to read the paper "The condition ...
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A Kantian Platonist view of mathematics

So my question, essentially, is this: is there any reasonable way in which one can say that mathematical Platonism is compatible with Kantian constructivism? For the sake of context, I was asked to ...
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Has Alexandre Grothendieck ever expounded a particular stance on metaphysics or ontology?

It seems that in Recoltes et Semailles, he does go into quite a bit of philosophizing. the only thing of relevance I've found is that he notes how Riemann "in passing" said how he thought perhaps the "...
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To exist vs. to be [duplicate]

All languages I know of have a word for "to be". Of course, this conjugates in english: How does being compare to existence, as far as philosophy is concerned? Is there no difference at all?
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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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