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 have philosophers had to say about something being ‘real’ vs ‘imaginary’?

How do philosophers approach this difference? Is the question the same as asking 'what is the difference between real and imaginary'? What makes something real vs imitation? And, why it is so ...
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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 ...
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Can the principle of indiscernibility of identicals be restated as “I am what I think”? [closed]

I was reading Leibniz recently and had this epiphany, and thought why not see if any others out there might share a similar intuition. Concerning Leibniz's two principles of identity The ...
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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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What is the meaning of “epistemic”, “epistemological” and “ontological” in this context?

I was reading The Outer Limits of Reason: What Science, Mathematics, and Logic Cannot Tell Us by Noson S. Yanofsky and in some paragraphs of this books, The writer uses the words "epistemic",...
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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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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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Can a disembodied soul form empirical beliefs?

Is it metaphysically possible for a disembodied Cartesian soul to so much as form any purportedly empirical beliefs, even if only ones that are false?
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Philosophical bravado in science

[TLDR: is the argument in the last quotation a fallacy?] I'm an (academic) engineer, and I've been reading some papers on cybernetics from the 1950s and 60s. I found it striking how often the authors ...
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Is there a reason that utilitarianism is the “default” moral system of thinking for many humans, and if so, why?

Over the past few centuries a shift has been seen, from the likes of strict adherence to Christianity (at least, in Europe) to greater reliance on science, etc. as observed by Friedrich Nietzsche. ...
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A clarification of nonexistence

This is similar to a question I asked long ago, but there was a misinterpretation. People often say that, for instance, unicorns don't exist, but isn't it more correct to say that there are no ...
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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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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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Are normal numbers evidence true randomness exists?

Is the existence of normal numbers evidence true randomness exists, and in every possible world at that? Another mind blowing fact is that most of real numbers are normal, so the normal numbers is not ...
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Does the analogy “dog is to proximal environment as human is to Reality” portend anything for a maximum theoretical level of intelligence?

As today has been a day for analogies: dog : proximal environment :: human : Reality A dog's ontology is presumably quite limited. A human's ontology is apparently maximal. While our average ...
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Basic question on nature of things

Is there anything that is beyond question and that which is beyond doubt? (as everything is temporal, including the subject)
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What is the essential something that Heidegger suggests that philosophers can learn from poetry?

In this transcript of a conversation between Simon Critchley & Badiou on Badiou's book Being and Event, Badiou states: And after that, I have also to understand why there is in modern times a ...
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Is it possible for there to exist a geometrically perfect square?

The corners of a geometrically perfect square should have no width. But if they have no width they don't exist. Therefore the corners must have a width. If they have a width they can be looked at as ...
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According to the major theories of concepts, where do meanings come from?

In all our intellectual pursuits, we use concepts like "atoms" for a structure or "ingredients" for a recipe. We all have to use them. For example, consider the concepts 'existence'...
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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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Is this argument equivalent to the argument of prime mover of Aristotle?

For alternation in the status of A to be a cause of the alteration in the status of B, we naively demand that the former alteration exists before the later, and so the later [i.e.; the alteration in ...
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The real world is infinite! [closed]

The real world is the totality of all objects existing in it. i.e. every object that exists in the real world is a PART of the real world. An infinite is defined as having a part of it that doesn't ...
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Logical expression that non-existent things don't do anything?

How could we express the idea that "something that doesn't exist cannot possibly do anything" using a logical argument? And if so, it is at all possible to prove that kind of proposition?
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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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Paradox of motion in the emptiness

The philosophers of the Eleatic school, analyzing the nature of the movement, came to this paradox: in order for the body to move, it needs emptiness. But what is emptiness? This is what exists, but ...
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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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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 ...
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Dependent existence of objects (non-properties)

"A magnetic field exists as long as the magnet (qua magnet) exists, but it is not a property of the magnet." Sadly, this simple example can be attacked in myriad ways: What are magnetic fields? Is it ...
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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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Pre-theoretic beliefs about non-existence [closed]

In ordinary thought and language there are obviously particulars and it is assumed they usually consist of parts. Ordinary language also supports "generalized, reified properties" (I'd say ...
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The Philosophy of Mutual Dreaming in the New SpongeBob Movie: Ontological as well as Metaphysical?

So, in the movie SpongeBob: Sponge on the Run, Patrick states that: "Two people cannot have the same dream, let alone be in that same dream at the same time. This is philosophically untenable.&...
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Which discipline of philosophy is most interested and relevant to studying the nature of change?

Often as a beginner, I wonder: who studies this idea? Is there a body of literature on 'change', and if so, which discipline of philosophy is most interested in the nature of 'change' and truths ...
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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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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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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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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, ...
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Collective Being

If, as a Collective of embodied selves (eSelves) we voted for ideas instead of individual eSelves - the objective being to construct a Reality that resonates with Existence itself - what would that ...
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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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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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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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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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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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Why are we not just a computer program? [closed]

The problem of how the Universe came about is probably too hard. So let us consider the following instead. Over years from now some huge collection of code run on a powerful computer achieves what can ...
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Facts and Patterns

I was sympathetic about an ontology of patterns, but it seem it is lacking. How can a monistic theory of patterns ( math, physical things, mental states can all be seen as patterns ) genuine deal ...
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Ontology and the Future [closed]

I know that we have no right to automatically discard claims that are not falsifiable, however i was curious as to whether some claims in Ontology could be falsifiable in the future. I've ...
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Was the reappraisal of time, space and motion by Einstein, in Kantian terms, a transcendental deduction?

According to the SEP a Transcendental Deduction is: In Kants conception, an argument of this kind begins with a compelling premise about our thought, knowledge or experience and then reasons to a ...
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The existence of unknown propositions? [closed]

My question may seem strange and nonsensical for some, therefore I will try to explain myself to the best of my ability. So to make it clearer what I mean with my question. I will start by quoting ...
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Is this an Immanuel Kant quote? [closed]

You can imagine the perfect chair in your mind but you cannot build the perfect chair. Or something very similar. I believe that is Kant but I cannot find any reference to the quote anywhere. Any ...
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Is there a hierarchy to image schemas?

Image schemas are primitive concepts that are studied in diverse fields such as linguistics, psychology, cognitive linguistics, neuroscience. The influences of image schemas is not only seen in ...

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