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 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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Can we know anything about the “outside”, if we are in a simulation?

Please note this question isn't about "simulation" as such. It is cast in this way to illustrate a particular sub-to-super ontology relationship: Given that all we see or seem, are the product of ...
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Questions on non-ontology

Ontology is one of the best known and most important branches of metaphysics - the study of "things", of "beings", or of "what there is" (in oppose to what "there isn't"). I have a few questions ...
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Can something sensible be said about a world of complete nothingness?

One thought that keeps me up at night is when I start to think about the world "before" the universe existed and "beyond" the universe itself. I know that it doesn't really make sense to speak about "...
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Meaning of Being in 'Being and Nothingness'?

I just started reading Sartre's magnum opus and right on page two he begins to mention that being and appearance dualism is no longer entitled to any "legal status within philosophy". What is the ...
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Should it be the String Hypothesis rather than String Theory?

The question here is what is signified by the lexical token 'theory' in String Theory. It's something of a rhetorical question because it is, I think, used in a special sense by physicists; for ...
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Ontology: How do ideas exist?

There are several ways of looking at ideas. There is a platonic way of looking at ideas which sees the ideas as kind eternal entities. Augustine puts these ideas in the mind of God. In either case ...
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Can an infinite be undifferentiated?

Starting in amthematics: The infinite in mathematics must be differentiated: we have the sequence - 0,1,2,3...; where each number is distinct. The same goes for infinite ordinals and cardinals. ...
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Qs about interpretations on Parmenides's claim

Parmenides's classic claim is that what does not exist cannot be thought about. (It has been read as a claim that every truth-bearer must have a truth-maker, since otherwise the truth-bearer is not ...
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Whn Badiou asserts that mathematics is Ontology what does he mean by Ontology?

Badious oeuvre can be succintly phrased in his slogan: mathematic is ontology. Mathematics I understand. So the question really is the other part of his slogan. I take his 'is' to be normal and ...
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Do multiverse theories undermine intelligent design arguments mathematically?

It is well known that the probability of life arising in a universe of our sort is vanishingly small. Theists have used this fact to argue that life is designed by God. However, if there are an ...
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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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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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Conceptual distinction between “ strength” , “ force” and “ power”?

Philosophers distinguish between 2 kinds of " powers": moral powers ( authority, right to order something) which corresponds to potestas in Latin and " physical power" ( ability to do something, or to ...
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Does Bostrom's simulation argument make sense?

Bostrom has famously argued that we live in a simulation. One of his key assumptions is that other civilizations exist that can simulate us. Why do we make this assumption? Why assume that other ...
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Ontology in the Nietzschean framework

Would you say that Nietzsche held any regard to the ontological question in his work? I know more or less his account on metaphysics, he seem to push the question aside as he considers it does not fit ...
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Ontology : being and kinds of being [closed]

Can we study being without making reference to kinds of being or the being of entities ? Can we identify pure being? Heidegger apparently thought we could and should. Did he really think this ? If so,...
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Monads, souls and rational souls

Leibniz defines monads as simple substances with no parts (Monadology, 1). Later on, we learn that some of those are souls which have memory (Monadology 19) and further others are rational souls ...
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What would be the correct abstraction for Thing and Action?

In an hierargical ontology definition I'm stating that: Artist <= Person <= Human <= Mamal <= Thing or Phone <= Product <= Thing. I could also do the same for Walking <= Moving &...
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Is Reality an intersection of Incompatible Ontologies?

Empiricists do not ask questions about the ontological status of mathematical or logical structures. Idealists don't explain how Ideas are developed, or how technological advancement in general takes ...
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Absolutes within modern philosophy

Are there any philosophies still claiming the existence of Absolute entities? By Absolute, I mean permanent and independent of cause and effect, such as Plato's One or Forms in general.
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Could someone help me out with Quine's theory of ontological commitment?

I'm kind of struggling with this. My prof gave an example of the problem of whether or not holes exist. In the case of a colander, a realist about holes could say that a colander is metal that has ...
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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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Language to describe that which is most fundamentally real

I'm trying to articulate my perception of reality for a blog post. Core to the clarity of this post is that it successfully transmit a certain very deep and abstract notion. I struggle to convey this ...
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What type of questions can we ask? (When, where etc)

About the question So, by 'type of questions', I really mean this from an ontological perspective. I imagine there is a complete set of (type of) questions, and thus any question that ever was or will ...
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Does Aristotle have anything to say about the interpretative paradoxes of QM?

This follows this question The same question, angled a little differently suggests a family resemblence with the measurement paradox in QM: First and most broadly, QM is standardly said to have an ...
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Must existence be a property, for bundle theory to work?

Kant argued that existence isn't a predicate; and presumably a similar argument would show that it is neither a property. But if ontologically we believe all that there is are bundles of properties; ...
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Must time flow?

In Newtons Principia he wrote: Absolute, true and mathematical time, of itself, and from its own nature flows equably without regard to anything external, and by another name is called duration. ...
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Which scholars argue that for art to be art, it must be for art's sake?

I understand this is partially supported by Nietzsche, but do others agree or adamantly disagree with this position? If so who?
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Do light particles exist [closed]

This question is kind of a mash between physics and philosophy. If I should delete this post and put it on the physics stackexchange, let me know. If light travels at 299,792,458 m/s, then does it ...
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Is the Problem of Universals still a prominent topic of debate?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy includes an entry for the Medieval version of the debate of universals, but not for anything contemporary. There's an entry on universals in the Internet ...
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Philosophy of information question on the nature of computation

What is the most general definition of computation, and how does it differ from the more common definitions of it? What is the most general definition of computation and how does it differ from the ...
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Is there a term for this strong form of actualism?

Actualism is the view that the actual world is the only possible world. But I was told that even most actualists believe in true counterfactuals, like, "It might have been the case that Adolf ...
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Does Marx make a metaphysical/ontological argument for Materialism anywhere?

As I understand it currently, I read Marx as more of a historian, economist and sociologist and I am finding it hard to locate any metaphysical argument against Hegel's 'idealism'. All I know is this ...
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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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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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What does 'mode' mean in Spinoza's Ethics?

He defines 'mode' in this way: By mode I understand the affections of a substance, or that which is in another through which it is also conceived. But it's not clear to me what this means. Could ...
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From Sartre's Being and Nothingness, what is the difference between reflective consciousness and self-reflective consciousness?

I am currently writing a philosophy paper for one of my graduate courses and one of the questions posed is "how can consciousness be pre-reflective, reflective, and self-reflective?" My ...
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If knowledge is structural, does “confirmation bias” follow as necessity?

That 'knowledge' is structural is fairly uncontroversial. Although there are certainly different types, I would like for sake of this question to characterize (what I see as) a generalization of the ...
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Do questions of Infinite regress, uncased cause and nothingness just point to our limits?

A lot of debates and conversations with theists seem to end up with the "ultimate" questions where the questions themselves seem to me to be conceptual/linguistic/psychological dead ends. Infinite ...
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Is Hegel's Logic an Ontology?

Stephen Houlgate, in his book The Beginning of Hegel's Logic, puts forward the argument that Hegel's Logic is to be seen as an ontology. But is this view convincing? I'll try my best to reconstruct ...
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How is the “I” the universe?

I have heard a lot of remarks claiming that the "I" is the universe. I understand that we are all part of the universe. But how AM I the universe? Some take it even further and claim that the "I" is ...
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For a clairvoyant able to perceive time as we perceive space, is the future determined?

We can think about a future event as unknown or not yet existing, but once it has happened, it can be only as it is. If I am in an instant of time t1 and in a subsequent instant t2 an event x occurs, ...
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Any good theories on the nature of time in which time is not fundamental?

I've noticed that most of the very successful formulas in physics, once you break them down, contain several references to quantities of time. And it has really begun to bother me that once you start ...
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Can a tool use itself?

I ask this question with connections to consciousness. It seems neuroscience has hit a plateau in explaining it materially since the smallest element of consciousness in the material brain seems to be ...
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What's the difference between a philosophical ontology and a computational ontology?

A computational ontology is supposed to be decidable and tractable, how else is it different from a philosophical ontology? Is there a peer-reviewed explanation of the similarities and differences ...
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Is there a philosophical categorization of mindsets?

This question is about personality and mindsets. I'm interested in categories of opinions, something more than left vs. right, conservative vs. liberal. Is there a set of basic questions that once ...
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Does fallibilism carry an ontological commitment?

When I was a grad student in psychology, I audited a 20th century philosophy of science course. I did my best to absorb all the great discussions, but one remark the professor made continues to bother ...
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What did Einstein make of Bohmian Mechanics?

Its well-known that Einstein was uncomfortable about the anti-realist and non-deterministic status of Quantum Mechanics, declaring that God does not play dice However, a realist and deterministic ...
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Is a void where the laws of physics hold actually a void?

I don't have much background in Cosmology, but an argument I've heard is that the universe sprang into existence from the void via a quantum fluctuation. That is both spacetime & its matter/energy ...

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