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 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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Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place?

Does definition of Fact in philosophy have any relation with time and place? If yes, then is it justified to say that "Fact is a Fact irrespective of one's awareness of it being true"? For example: ...
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Is it possible to justify any purpose in life?

A long time ago I've come to believe that there is no inherent purpose for existence, that is, we can't find any single "unifying" goal of living. So - I thought - we all have to find a purpose for ...
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What state(s) (is/are) the next state of the universe dependant on?

Is the next state of the universe only dependent on the current state or is every state before the future have some play on the future state? (other than forming the states between them and the ...
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Do unverifiable statements provide any knowledge?

I believe the following three examples are equally self-contradictory: A: Nothingness is blue B: Objects don't exist when we are not looking at them C: There exists a parallel universe that never ...
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What are 'First Principles'?

I tend to view First Principles as 'getting to the bottom' of something; in this case the embodied self. I also understand that a first principle is one which cannot be 'built' from other concepts ...
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What is onto-theology (Heideggerian)?

From what I understand, it is a term that combines ontology and theology, at least in the case of Heidegger, to describe modern metaphysics. To understand what onto-theology is, I first tried to ...
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Can colour be considered as an aspatial and atemporal universal?

In physics, mass is a universal; one unit of mass is the same yesterday as it is today; as it is here or orbiting Betelgeuse; and if we accept the atomistic thesis then this result follows from the ...
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How does one differentiate epistemological and ontological claims?

I'm taking an introductory philosophy course and I find it fascinating. I can't really figure out an assignment though because I'm a bit foggy on what the difference between ontological and ...
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Platonic form of existence

I was reading that the platonic forms have the following principles 1. Commonality 2. Separation 3. Self-Predication 4. Purity 5. Uniqueness 6. Sublimity But if there is a Platonic form ...
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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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Does the history of our concept of reality, tell us something about Reality?

Whether looking at a human maturing or the progress of civilization, the idea about what Reality is, keeps on changing. And mostly it changes toward the more complex, more elusive, more difficult to ...
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How are epistemological and ontological realism related?

The SEP article on idealism begins: ... [this article] examines the relationship between epistemological idealism (the view that the contents of human knowledge are ineluctably determined by ...
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Are particulars knowable?

In the 13th thesis of the Incoherence, al-Ghazali refutes the claim of the falsafa (peripatetic) philosophers that particulars aren't knowable by the First (Principle). Is this claim made on the ...
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What is the philosophical originary thought for the empirical category of the wave?

Atoms, as is well known, were originated by Democritus to fend off Parmenides' challenge of an unchangeable, eternal one. The other large category of thought in modern physics is that of the wave. ...
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Eastern philosophy for a Western audience

I have been listening to and reading a lot of Alan Watts material on Eastern philosophy which I find to be greatly edifying literature. I am having difficulty finding information on who is currently ...
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What is the ontological status of a story plot?

A stage play, a movie, and a comic book can all have the same plot. And this despite being very different mediums physically, and even if they are set in completely different fictional universes. ...
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Does one have to become a Platonist to refuse to be a Platonist?

I believe the answer is no, but Scott Aaronson on his blog just gave in interesting argument to the contrary. This is in connection with the now famous paper Undecidability of the Spectral Gap, and ...
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Can we have Ethics without Ontology?

Just finished reading Ethics without Ontology (2004) by Harvard professor Hilary Putnam where he argues for a pragmatic pluralism, conceptual relativity, and the obligations to recognize and resist ...
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What were Plato's views on substance?

Forms are Plato’s substances, for everything derives its existence from Forms. In this sense of ‘substance’ any realist philosophical system acknowledges the existence of substances. Probably the ...
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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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What distinctions does Quine draw between ontological and ideological commitments?

Quine held in "On What There Is" the following: "A theory is committed to those and only those entities to which the bound variables of the theory must be capable of referring in order that the ...
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Is there a word for the idea that the world is “a collection of collections”?

I'm looking for a (possibly ontological) recognised term for a theory that acknowledges that things can be broken down into smaller things - essentially components, parts and eventually atoms, quarks ...
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Is there a third way, distinct from determinism and randomness? [closed]

The idea of free-will is often invoked to resolve some apparent philosophical problems, for example problems of assigning personal morality under determinism and the problem of evil. It seems to me ...
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A Ground or Foundation of Morality

I am currently reading the very fascinating paper Unspeakable Ethics, Unnatural Law by Arthur Allen Leff. It seems that the thrust of his paper is that there is no "naturalistic" way of grounding or ...
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What is the difference between The one, Buddha-nature, Brahman and Tao?

God in Christianity, Dharmakāya in Buddism, Brahman in Hinduism, Beneath Abstraction in Taoism and Flying Spaghetti Monster in Pastafarianism are all plays as a ultimate, eternal and absolute being. ...
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Something that has an end must have a beginning?

In the ancient Hebrew book (http://dafyomireview.com/article.php?docid=398#ch5), Gate of the Unity of God, dealing with logical proof of creation of the world. The following premise is established: ...
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What is the difference between “to exist” vs “to be real”?

What does it mean to say something exists and something is real? And what is the difference if there is any? For example, take a software program. Is it more fitting to say that it exists or that it ...
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How can we prove something exists?

As someone who likes a lengthy argument with many different points put across and many points shot down in the process, I was posed with this question which has made me struggle so far. My friend said ...
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Are abstract ideas concepts (sets) or invididuals in an ontology?

In an ontology, concrete concepts such as "Dog" or "Person" stand for sets (classes) of invididual instances. Abstract concepts, such as "love", "hate" or "wisdom" don't have any instances, but if ...
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Can observers be particles?

Generally Quantum mechanics divides a system into what is to be observed and an observer. This is usually taken to be some macroscopic measuring device (sometimes taken to be some human being in ...
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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 randomness be random?

In mathematics, a true random number generator it's impossible, because any formula defines a process that, however complex, is not random. A random event must be unrelated to any cause or condition, ...
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Does Quine's Predicate Functorese maintain the existence of relations?

Quine's predicate functorese has been proposed as a "feature-placing" language for ontological nihilism (Strawson, Azzouni, Dasgupta, Diehl). This is often used to eliminate objects and ...
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Where did Husserl say that in quantum mechanics spatial localisation is no longer a principle of individualisation?

According to Philosophy & Physics edited by Bernard d'Espagant: I am thinking of a text by Husserl, who was quite removed from physics, who said that the fundamental problem posed by QM is that ...
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Have David Wolpert's findings really “slammed the door” on scientific determinism?

I recently read an article describing how mathematician/physicist David Wolpert's research closed the door on scientific determinism. I have huge doubts about the implied conclusion, considering the ...
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Does physicalism *prove* that the universe is self-subsistent?

I've often heard/read people (Hawking, Dawkins etc) making out that Physics or Physicalism proves that there is no God, or no need for one. Yet it seems to me that it's an assumption that is ...
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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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What would it mean to “solve” metaphysics? [closed]

What would it mean to answer metaphysics and what might a solution look like? How could the contention that there is an answer be defended? What would be the implications for society if it were done? ...
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What is the ontology of points?

This might be broad so let me narrow it. Concerning points and mereology, is it coherent to make points - extentionless entities - compose extended objects? If so, then the idea of "material point ...
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Is it possible to have faith in science while espousing anti-realism?

Realism is the theory that there is a mind-independent reality which we can know and interact with. Anti-realism holds, in general, either that there is no such mind-independent reality or that if ...
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On what logic is all of classical mathematics true but undecidable statements are neither true nor false?

Not on classical logic obviously since it validates excluded middle, but less obviously not on intuitionistic logic either. Intuitionists identify truth and provability and discard excluded middle, ...
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How can one justify Newton's third law?

In one sense it is justified by the overall success if Newtonian Mechanics; still, one can ask are there arguments that can justify it from other principles; ie principle that are * a priori* in ...
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Is the word “I” a dangling linguistic pointer with no actual referent?

Is the word "I" a dangling linguistic pointer with no actual referent? Otherwise, what exactly is this slippery referent? Could it be possible the phrase "I am" is meaningless due to a lack of an ...
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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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Worldview hierarchy. Epistemology or ontology more fundamental?

When evaluating a worldview and checking for coherence, is one's ontology or epistemology a more fundamental building block? Could anything be more fundamental? I ask because I heard a criticism ...
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What is Kant's view of a mathematical object?

I wonder what are mathematical objects - say, the number 1, a circle, etc. - for Kant? Do they have some kind of special status for him compared to ordinary (empirical) objects? Where exactly does he ...

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