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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61 views

The importance of a state without a prior state?

Does the existence of a state with no prior time throw models we use for explaining the existing universe for a loop? Or does it even matter?
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What would Kant say, if I asked him about the ontological status of the integers?

I understand that Kant remarked that Space & Time are forms that the intuition take. Would he also say that of the integers? Are they judgements? That is they lie within his Category of Quantity.
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Why are concepts without intuitions blind?

I think at this point I understand all the transcendental arguments of CPR except this one - and probably this could considerably change my understanding of Kant as a whole. Here is my confusion. ...
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What are some examples of things that are ontologically parasitic

To be ontologically parasitic, a thing must exist only in reference to another thing. For example, in the excellent video "How Many Holes Does a Human Have?", holes are identified as ontologically ...
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What exactly are emotions ontologically?

We put categories on things that we see outside in the world. We say an explosion is an event, a happening in time and space. We say stuff is made out of matter. Yet we all know that emotions exist ...
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Perdurantism applied to non-physical objects

I have recently been reading up a lot on perdurantism aka four dimensionalism including papers by Rea, Sider, Bittner and Donnelly among others and I was interested in knowing whether there was any ...
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Is there a logical argument for the limit of knowledge?

It is justifiable to assert that certain knowledge could not be disseminated without the invention of writing. One could say that humanity needed the knowledge of writing before further knowledge ...
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How do philosophers formally characterise mathematical objects?

In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article, 'Platonism in the Philosophy of Mathematics', the following formalisation is given for the existence of a mathematical object: Existence can be ...
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With or without opposition between A and B, how many ways are there for A not to be B?

I'm looking for references and "loci" regarding the concepts of opposition, distinction, diversity, and negation. I'm not certain if one must distinguish the case in which A and B stand for concepts ...
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Looking for references regarding the history of metaphysics, and specially of ontology

Although many histories of ethics, of esthetics or of logic are available, it seems more difficult to find histories regarding other domains of philosophy. This is the case for epistemology and for ...
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Philosophers dealing with fundamental structure of everything

I'm looking for authors dealing with the fundamental structure of everything, starting with no prior assumptions. One such authors is Hegel, which in Science of Logic does the following: Hegel aims ...
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What is Quine’s reductionism?

I am especially interested in how reductionism is related to the fact that even though science broadly comprehends a number of subjects, physics is paradigmatic.
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What are problems that arise by denying the existence of abstract things? [closed]

Suppose if we only regarded the concrete as real, and that abstraction is only a process of using the concrete to represent other concrete things. For example, a number is not a real thing, but it is ...
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What are the identity conditions for “ a truth” [closed]

Here I'm not talking about "truth" in general ( as when one says " truth is correspondence between thought and reality") but about truth considered as a particular truth, as when one says " this ...
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Grounding without fundamental relations

Philosophers from Leibniz to John Heil have proposed the reduction/elimination of relations to non-relational features of their relata; essentially, they seek to formulate an ontology which does not ...
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Can an eternalist think that pastness and futureness are properties?

I take an eternalist to be someone who believes there are no past/future things, it all exists "at once". I understand the position as it applies to concrete objects, but I am not so clear on what the ...
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What branch of metaphysics studies things like “Nowhere”, “Limbo”, “Non-being”, “Neither dead nor alive”, “neither present nor absent”?

Recently, when thinking about metaphysics and in particular the notion of abstract concepts, while also reading various settings of movies, games and books, I noticed that usually, entities that are ...
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Russell on Negative Facts

Okay. I am reading Russell's paper "On Propositions: What They are and How They Mean". Since the truth or falsehood of a belief depends upon a fact to which the belief "refers", and propositions are ...
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What was Putnam's position re truth and/or word/world relationship at the time of his death.

The formidable philosopher of science and mathematics, Hillary Putnam, died last year, at 89, shortly [relatively] after his retirement. His was an intellectually peripatetic career. Though he ...
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Just what is it that makes todays theoretical posits so different, so appealing?

... from those of yester-years, or yester-millenias? Westerhoff, writes in his transaltion of the Nagarjunas Madhyamakarika (Verses on the Middle Way) that: The idea of fire-atoms as ultimately real ...
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On travelling through a void, constantly [closed]

I posted a question some time ago on how SR conceptualised space in the 'frame' of a photon - which appears as a kind of void - even though admittedly standardly its a move not allowed; but it was a ...
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Is Simondon's ontogenesis compatible with Badiou's ontology?

Is Simondon's ontogenesis compatible with Badiou's ontology? Simondon's belief is that an individual can only be understood as an individuation, presupposing a pre-individual metastable reality, ...
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Ontology and Moral Axioms

Would a moral axiom necessarily result from ontology? I define a moral axiom as that which dictates behavior, where the action itself is designated as ethical or not (i.e. the judgment of the ...
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Are information carrying systems of the same complexity equivalent? (integrated information theory)

I have just come into contact with the integrated information theory of consciousness (and its relatives), which would have it that consciousness stems from information-rich (and integrated) systems. ...
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Blue Plane vs Pink Plane - existing philosophical category?

In The Act of Creation (Arkana) 1964, Arkana Reissue Edition, Paperback, ISBN 0140191917 by Arthur Koestler he sets up a Contrast between the Pink Plane and the Blue Plane. In it he describes the ...
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Why is there a God rather than nothing? [closed]

Theists ask, "Why is there something rather than nothing?" How would they answer the question, "Why is there a God rather than nothing?" Is this a valid objection to theism?
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How to start Philosophy and find the branches that are related to my questions?

From Wikipedia: Ontology: philosophical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations. Epistemology: study of the nature ...
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Since any human language describes objects, does it therefore contain some knowledge of the Nature and laws of its development? [closed]

This question complements the question: Do higher level comprehensive Laws, which govern the phenomena of Nature, exist? One philosophical debate in epistemology and ontology is whether knowledge ...
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Does the Axiom of Choice violate the law of excluded middle?

Both the affirmation of the AC and its denial are consistent in set theory, but is there in any way that one can say it must be the case that one of them is actually true? I understand what it means ...
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Does reincarnation require amnesia?

In Eastern philosophy souls are eternal, and do not die, but live again and again many times. Bernard Williams argues that living forever would get boring and we would eventually want death. Therefore,...
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Gödel's ontological proof and the incompleteness theorem

In Gödel's ontological proof, he concludes: "necessarily, God exists" (Theorem 4) Does Gödel's second incompleteness theorem apply to this proof?
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Mathematical universe hypothesis: Why shouldn't all imaginable universes exist?

In his paper on mathematical universe hypothesis, Max Tegmark only responses with a single paragraph to this assumption: The MUH and the Level IV multiverse idea does certainly not imply that all ...
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How can you assign a finite value to an outcome of infinite value?

Source: 10 minutes 53 seconds juncture; Lecture 5, Video 4 (transcription); MITx: 24.00x Introduction to Philosophy; by MIT Associate Prof Caspar Hare PhD (Princeton) [...] where infinite rewards ...
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Can a point of space be identified?

Consider a single particle in empty space; by what argument can we say that it always occupies the same position or place? Space itself has no identifying mark or label being everywhere the same. ...
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The essence of real Europeans [closed]

I'm a European living in America. A fellow countryman is trying to coerce me into doing something for him. He claims that if I was a "True European", I would do what he wants. I've not done a lot of ...
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418 views

Should we think twice about dualism?

With the rise of Materialism and Physicalism a dualistic ontology has fallen out of favor. The successes of Science makes makes us comfortable to deny any entity beyond the "Observable Universe". ...
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Is a relativistic particle 'Kantian'?

Newton, in the Principia, conceived time as flowing everywhere at the same rate (this was anticipated also in Aristotle's Physics). Time here is independent of bodies and particles. In a sense it is ...
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409 views

What do we mean by the symbolic representation of nothing?

The word 'nothing' symbolically represents nothing-in-itself. But how can we refer to something that by definition is not there? To make this clearer: the word 'horse' refers to an actual living ...
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The selfless gene

Richard Dawkins, in a fine bit of rhetoric in his book the selfish gene, asserts that from one perspective, that our bodies are merely the means by which genes reproduce themselves. We are mortal, but ...
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How could a prophet prove its authenticity?

In the event of an existing god wanting to deliver a message to mankind and choosing one person for it, how could this person prove, if possible, that he speaks in the name of God? Edit: Please note ...
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Is a pile of ants a, more or less, intelligent being?

Due to the definition of life an ant colony acts and reacts like a life form. There is even a "Ant colony optimization" Example Algorithm... Does this mean that the whole pile of ants, not its ...
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Is it necessary for something to be observed for it to exist?

Say something was to happen in the universe, so minuscule that no one notices it, and it has no effect on history whatsoever. Is it correct to say that it never happened, because when we say something ...
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Can the concept of the Trinity be logically supported as the belief in one God rather than three Gods?

Christianity has its roots in Judaism, as such some of the teachings in the Old Testament have carried into and are reaffirmed in the New Testament, one such being is the monotheistic belief in one ...
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Explanation of a quote from Spinoza

Notandum, dari necessario unius cujusque rei existentis certam aliquam CAUSAM, propter quam existit. Et notandum, hanc causam, propter quart aliqua res existit, vel debere contineri in ipsa natura et ...
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Who first said that words express emotions, and do not describe objects?

I was reading a critique of Daniel Dennett's 'From Bacteria to Bach and Back', and in this criticism it is alleged that Dennett's conception of words as object descriptions is false. The suggestion ...
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My thought experiment on consciousness

Scenario 1: Somebody removed your brain, destroyed it, and then replaced it with another which was identical (and replaced all the connections as they were). Essentially every atom/molecule would be ...
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Can more than 2 things be in direct opposition?

What I mean by this, is something which is exactly opposite to say both positive and negative, just as much as the two are in opposition to each other. This idea arose and evolved when I was thinking ...
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246 views

How is conceptual irreducibility of the mental possible given a physicalist ontology?

In 'Mental Events' Davidson wrote "...mental events are mental only as described". Many have taken this and other of his remarks as showing that he holds that the anomalousness and irreducibility of ...
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Reference request: the Brahma-Sûtra-Bhâshya of Śaṅkara

The Brahma-Sûtra-Bhâshya of Śaṅkara is the commentary by Śaṅkara of the Brahma-Sûtra. Śaṅkara was one of the greatest Hindu philosopher. The Brahma-Sûtra is one the greatest text on ontology of the ...
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If I delete and replace a character in a computer document, to what extent is it the same character?

This is a question partly about philosophical terminology and categorisation as well as existence. Suppose I type the random string "janwekxq" into a Word document. I then accidentally ...

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