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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Indirect Realism – what are the main objections?

In dialog with others about philosophy, I have generally assumed that the basis of epistemology is a settled question – I. E. that the Locke/Russel/Popper approach, that our worldview is a hypothetico-...
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Can something be both objective and subjective to me at the same time?

Many of us understand subjectivity as the opposite of objectivity; that they are mutually exclusive concepts. Evidence for that is all around; for example, take Wiktionary: subjective (adj.): ...
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How many different usages of being is there in this short paragraph of Heidegger?

Quite close to the beginning of Being and Time, [SuZ p. 7] in what might be taken as the preamble and introduction; Heidegger writes the following: Regarding, understanding, grasping, choosing and ...
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Does category theory solve Benacerrafs problem adequately?

In 1965, Benacerraf published a paradigm-changing article What numbers could not be which stimulated structuralism in the philosophy of mathematics. The article argued that it wasn't possible to ...
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Quine's “to be is to be the value of a bound variable”

Quine's definition "to be is to be the value of a bound variable" seems uncontroversial and in fact quite natural as it's compatible with modern approaches to the semantics of natural language. My ...
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How does “is” work?

What is the difference between an object K and the thing which satisfies ( is an extension of', 'is an instance of' ) the property P ( or 'universal', 'predicate' , 'qualia', 'concept' ) : P(...
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If materialism is true, then what accounts for pleasure and pain?

[I went and wrote a long answer to a question that was in the interim deleted, so rather than waste that, I thought I'd do my best to reproduce it here. Credit to Micheal Lee for the original, some ...
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Is composition more than the composite parts

Sorry for the somewhat dumb question! Please do see if you can make sense of the latter, and put it in formal or whatever terms. If a chariot is equal to its parts then the chariot is not its "being" ...
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Badiou, Deicide & the return of the Transcendent

Badious philosophy is predicated on Set Theory, in its incarnation as the materialist set theory ZFC. He calls mathematics the very site of ontology. Nietszche famously declared the death of God (in ...
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Sentences and reality

Would sentences have meaning even if humans did not exist? For example, would "the earth is round" have meaning if humans did not exist? Would it be true?
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Is there a poset based/category theoretical definition of God?

As a current atheist, who was a former theist, I feel that God is not a logically incoherent concept. However, many definitions of God, especially those that involve omnipotence, omniscience etc. are ...
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What is Ontological Commitment?

What is Ontological Commitment? I can infer some understanding from its usage in philosophical texts, but I would like to have a definitive answer to be able to confidently use the notion on my own. ...
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The Indispensability Argument and Impure Set Theory

Assume for the sake of this question that mathematics is reducible to set theory in such a way that the only mathematical objects there really are, are sets. Suppose further that the Indispensability ...
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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 the 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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Is this event undetermined?

You toss a coin in an ideal, perfectly isolated box. If nothing and no one will ever check what face it shows, is this event objectively undetermined? (My guess is yes – if the isolation is perfect ...
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Is nothing an entity?

An entity cannot not be and the definition of nothing is not being. Can we include "nothing" among the abstract entities or should we differentiate nuances of nothing, eg. the mathematical nothing, ...
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How does one bring mind and matter into a single ontology that accounts for subconscious mind?

How does one define mind and matter coherently... do these categories even make sense in a single framework? I can refer to my consciousness and the contents of my consciousness as "mind", this leaves ...
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Metaphysically, what comes before the cognitive ability to make distinctions?

Descartes, for example, makes the distinction between body and mind by recognizing the body as an idea born from 'extension' and the mind as an idea born from 'consciousness'. He further recognizes '...
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What would be the difference between property and kind?

Philosopher E.J. Lowe states that There is a clear difference between saying something like ‘Rover is a dog’, in which we assign Rover, a particular animal, to a certain natural kind or species, ...
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Defining the universe

The etymology of the word universe comes from the Latin words uni, meaning one, and versus, meaning turn and is attested from Late Middle English. It suggests that the universe is 'mortal', having a ...
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Principle of universal connection

I am looking for reflections related to relationships between things, connections, interconnections, in the context of understanding/explaining the essence of things (e.g, in the field of ontology). ...
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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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Does mathematical formalism have an opinion on semantics?

Mathematical formalism regards mathematics as a syntactic matter, where symbols are manipulated according to rules and the symbols need not have any meaning. I am wondering though whether it has ...
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How is 'existence' defined? [closed]

How would you define 'existence'? Is it a requisite for an entity to be able to interact with other entities to be considered as 'existent'? What if there are real objects in the universe which ...
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Does the adjective “physical” apply only to worlds that obey the laws of physics? [duplicate]

Note: My question assumes a conceptual distinction between minds and the external world, regardless of whether they're actually two different kinds of substances. There seems to be widespread ...
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What is property?

Suppose , I have two objects A and B. A has a set of properties P and B has a set of properties Q. It is possible that when I combine A and B the combination has a property c that is neither in P nor ...
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Is everyone able to learn philosophy? If not, what kind of person is able to learn philosophy? [duplicate]

Is everyone able to learn philosophy? If not, what kind of person is able to learn philosophy? Does learning philosophy require a certain intelligence or talent? If I start at the age of 18, is it ...
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Ontologically closed statements

"I think therefore I am" is a much disputed "proof". As an argument, it presupposes many posits. Being more cautious, one might make the claim, "I only know what I feel." Is this an ontologically ...
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Can the correspondence theory of truth really be completely avoided?

Let us assume that 'truth' is a construct of the human mind. In this case truth is defined as some product of the mind's 'verification', and nothing else. What 'makes' a statement true is simply the ...
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What distinguishes species from genus?

In Categories, Aristotle claims that all things that exist are either complex or simple; and the simple things can be classified into ten categories. The first and most basic category includes ...
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Is an electron a bundle of properties?

Classically, particles are described by mass, spin, and charge. Can we consider then that particles are bundles of properties? For all particles which have the same value for these properties ...
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What are some good philosophical resources on nonlocality?

Bernard d'Espagnat offers a good treatment of nonlocality as it pertains to physics, in his 2006 On Physics and Philosophy. What I'm interested is whether nonlocality has been observed and discussed ...
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Are electron fields physically real?

Although atoms had been discussed since antiquity as a theory of matter it was only at the beginning of the 20th century that convincing evidence was found, through brownian motion - in fact this was ...
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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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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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Why do we have an expectation of symmetry?

After all there are some indications that we shouldn't: Who first studied "logical (ir)reversibility"? And even the fundamental nature of symmetry is in question: Is symmetry real? ...
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Is there such a thing as philosophical rigour?

Is rigour always related to definitions and axioms? Whatever be the case, can a set of philosophical analyses be rated in terms of rigour?
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Is there a name for the concept that an object can contain its own history?

There is a notion that an object's history is contained within itself. For example, a rock that have been smiled at will be somehow different than a rock that has been frowned on. It has been ...
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Has any philosopher argued our concepts resemble reality along this line?

There are 2 cases. Either (1) Some of our concepts (thoughts) resemble what really exists out there or (2) None of our concepts (thoughts) resemble what really exists out there If we take (1) = p ...
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What are some recommendations for guidebooks or companion-books to Heidegger's “Being and Time”?

I'm looking for a guidebook or some other companion to Heidegger's "Being and Time". Ideally, I'd like to find a book that steps through the entire original work, providing summary and background to ...
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Ontology…Epistemology…and (insert here)

If ontology is a study of being (reality) and epistemology is a study of knowledge, then what would be considered a study of 'doing', or 'action'? I am interested because a statement was made to me ...
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What are the theoretical limits of self-awareness?

Let us sidestep fundamental questions such as whether there is in fact self-awareness. In this, let us define self-awareness in its common form of usage, typically meaning awareness of one’s ...
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Inconceivable objects. What can make them become conceivable?

Are there such objects or phenomena that we can't comprehend or imagine? Can objects like round square or the largest number be reffered as inconceivable? Can we assume that objects that are ...
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Searching for book on Ibn Arabi

I'm looking for this book: The mystical philosophy of Muhyiddin Ibn Arabi by Afifi. Could anyone help?
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What are some current debates in metaphysics today?

What are some current debates in metaphysics today? I would be very interested to hear what the very most recent debates in this field focus on, what's hot, or whether some new views have emerged or a ...
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When Heidegger talks about “Being” is it related to the totality of all entities in a unity “Being”?

When Heidegger talks about "Being" is it related to the totality of all entities in a unity "Being"? That is, by analogy, is the Being in Heidegger something like "Para Brahman" (in Hindu Philosophy) ...
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Sartre's use of the word “Transcendence” and its meaning

I have been looking into some resources explaining Husserl's idea of transcendence and they point out that Sartre's idea of transcendence is based on Husserl's. Here are the different aspects/ideas of ...
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Would truly random events be strictly equivalent to events without a cause?

There are a couple of questions (one, another) about this topic, and as I was thinking about this for a while, I started wondering whether there has been any systematic research into this that raises ...
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How could Socrates state that he doesn't know anything?

How could he know that he really doesn't know anything ? Did he check everything to rule it out ? I think he should have said that he "Believe" he doesn't know anything and by that he would also avoid ...
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Why do fictional characters not exemplify properties?

I recently read about encoding and exemplifying. From what I understand - Detective Smith (a real person) exemplifies detectiveness, but Sherlock Homes does not. Sherlock Homes isn't real - and if,...

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