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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How does materialism understand affect?

Materialism seems very intuitive to me, so much so that when we speak of 'apparently' non-physical things (ie: belief, awareness, concepts, ideas, sensations), my initial reaction is that there must ...
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Presentism and simultaneity

Presentism is the position that all that exists, exists in the present. Though one can speak of the past, and of events in the past, strictly speaking (in this position), there is no temporal event ...
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How does a realist account for causation between universals and particulars?

With respect to universals nominalists maintain that there are no universals and only particulars exists. Conversely, realists says that there are universals. Here is a sketch of an argument against ...
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Which ontological commitments are embedded in a straightforward Turing machine model?

Let's assume that in response to a question or problem, a certain type of idealized finite Turing machine can be presented as an answer as if it would really (=physically) exist. Is the corresponding ...
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Are there philosophies that call for things which are not mind nor matter?

Physicalism is the idea that everything is matter. Idealism is the idea that everything is made up of a mental substance. Dualism claims that there are both matter and mind in the universe. It ...
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Can we know the fundamental nature of space and time?

Can you please point me to an argument by a notable contemporary philosopher arguing why we may know the fundamental (metaphysical) nature of space and time? In a recent answer to a question I wrote ...
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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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What is the difference between Derrida's Deconstruction and Heidegger's Destruktion?

Derrida's deconstruction, as far as I understand it, is to critically examine values as embodied in binary situations like signifier and signified where there is an implicit hierarchy of value - one ...
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Are “to exist” and “to have being” the same?

I recently read an introduction about ontology. A section was about the debate whether to exist and to have being is the same. One position says (attributed to Meinong), that some things exist and ...
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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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If God is pure act of being, where does the essence of being come from?

According to the Thomistic view in Ontology, essence and 'the act of being' (I'm translating from a romance language) are different, in which 'to be' is the act received by the essence, which is the ...
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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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How does an Immaterial being interact with the material realm?

By what means would an immaterial being(assuming such a thing exists) create or do things in the material realm? Is this an impossible activity? So philosophically, I'm asking how would one solve the ...
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Is the idea of intuitive intellect, generally attributed to God, accepted as possible?

The idea of non-discursive, or intuitive intellect, is the form of intellect where knowledge is not broken up into finite pieces (like humans), but rather a single act of understanding. This is ...
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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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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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What is actual is a metaphysical necessity?

You look out of the window and it's raining. You grab a bottle and pour some water into a glass. You probably don't consider these events as necessary: it could have been a sunny day and you were free ...
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Book on Meinong's theory of objects

Could anyone please recommend a book to begin to learn about Meinong's theory of objects and "Meinong's Jungle". I thought a good one might be "Meinong's Theory of Objects and Values" by Findlay (1963)...
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What does it mean for something to exist?

When we say something exists, what do we mean by X? Specifically, my question is about whether there's something more primitive than saying something exists. In mathematics, existence is asserted by ...
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Did Kant come to believe that we have access to things-in-themselves after all?

Kant's position on things-in-themselves is often described Socratically, of them we know only one thing, that they are. However, in an old but apparently still popular history of philosophy book I ...
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Are arguments based on conceivability refuted by ideas from fantasy and sci-fi?

There are several arguments in metaphysics which are based on "conceivability": The ontological argument for God's existence. Hilary Putnam's Twin Earth argument for semantic externalism (the idea ...
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What is the difference (if any) between the concepts of natural numbers and finite cardinals?

The definition of natural numbers from Wikipedia: In mathematics, the natural numbers are those used for counting (as in "there are six coins on the table") and ordering (as in "this is the third ...
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If P is a property, then is (not P) a property?

For a proposition, such as: P: Socrates is a man Then not P is also a proposition: Not P: Socrates is not a man But do the same goes for properties? One can argue in the following way: red ...
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Can there be Creation Ex Nihilo?

In Christian & Islamic Theology, one could argue that there can't be Creation Ex Nihilo since 'before' Creation there was God. In Philosophical Naturalism (which is not Physicalism - it subsumes ...
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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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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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How does Putnam reconcile having referents in language with rejection of realism?

Putnam is known for changing his mind often, but he seems to hold two views of linguistic meaning and reference simultaneously, combining which seems paradoxical. One is Quine's inscrutability of ...
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Perspectives on the nature of imaginary things?

I work in the field of information systems and cultural heritage. A significant part of my work is related to the description of things that are of interest to cultural heritage specialists such as ...
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For Husserl, how can we know things in themselves?

I don't quite understand the nature of "going back to things themselves". How does Husserl break away from Kant?
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What is the fallacy of defining a square as “a closed-plane figure whose sides are all equal”?

I am determined to prove my professor wrong. Here is a question from a recent exam: Using the six definitional criteria, evaluate the following definition. A square is a closed-plane figure whose ...
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What are some good introductions to analytic ontology?

What is/are the best introduction(s) of analytic ontology? I know about a book written by Edmund Runggaldier ‎and Christian Kanzian but still I don't have it. I would like to read clear, simple ...
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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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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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Absolute Truth - Is there existence?

I restate the question in a simpler and more specific way; is there a proof or has a philosopher proved, that things can be absolute and observed by each in the same way? Are there like conserved ...
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What is the Event according to Badiou?

What is the Event according to Alain Badiou? Might he give examples of such "events" in real life? I am having trouble understanding the explanations I have found.
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How would you define ‘existence’?

I was talking to a friend, and she said: even before the Big Bang and the origin of space and time, still something existed. That sparked the question: how would you define ‘existence’? What ...
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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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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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Succinct argument for the fundamental role of binary digits as information units

I will clear up the context of this question so that the potential answers can be effectively targeted towards what I'm looking for. Information (at least in the non-semantic, canonical sense of the ...
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Can an eternal universe be created?

In both Christian and Islamic thought the universe is created and this is taken to mean that the universe had a definite beginning. Philosophically we can justify this position by arguing that were we ...
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Does wave-particle duality pose a challenge to ontology?

Quantum mechanics poses a challenge to epistemology in terms of what is measurable, what is observable, and realism in general. But does it pose a challenge to ontology as well? Ontology is the ...
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Spinoza's a priori proof for the existence of God

I am currently studying some aspects of Spinoza's philosophy, mainly in contrast to Kant. It seems to me that Spinoza is just the kind of "dogmatic metaphysician" Kant criticises. I know that Kant ...
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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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What actually are meaningless symbols?

Some days ago our professor during the course of his lecture wrote the following definition of a polynomial. We say that an expression of the form a0 + a1x + a2x2 + ... + anxn is a polynomial of ...
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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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How materialism can be consistent in the context of qualia and simplicity?

Apologies for my English. Some thoughts from the camp of idealists. :) The following is the explanation of the question in the title. I think that the fact that in our days physicists may be ...
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If there is life, then there is more complex life as well?

Researchers in Switzerland have developed an Altruism algorithm that shows how altruism in a swarm of entities can, over time, evolve and result in more effective swarm behaviour. For an ant colony, ...
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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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Why did pre-Socratic philosophers take on the concept of 'being'?

Why did philosophers (starting from pre-Socratic f.e. Tales) take on the concept of 'being'? I see a chair and ... nothing. I do understand why they started to observe nature but why did they need to ...

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