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Whereas ontology and metaphysics are about reality, epistemology is about how human consciousness can interact with that reality. Is there a God? What physical laws would have to be true in order for souls to exist?

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How can we know whether souls exist? Can human beings ever know whether there is a God? Slavoj Zizek is a Slovenian philosopher, highly influential in certain philosophical circles. His ontology is hard to describe in its specifics, but for starters, like many philosophers, he sees a deep split between reality and language. Language separates the world into all sorts of different parts and categories, but those categories are little more than useful fictions.

The fictions , though are real—real stories about fictional categories. Or, in other words, everything we can say about reality is fictional, but language itself is a reality of its own. This quote, often incorrectly attributed to C. Lewis, probably comes from a Quaker magazine in the s. Bodies, on the other hand, do belong to that category.


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But the consciousness currently reading these words is a soul. In a sense, ontology is one of the oldest forms of philosophy. The Greek philosophers were somewhat obsessive ontologists: in their desire for complete knowledge of the world, they tended to categorize things and argue about what the categories should be and what should belong to them. Thanks to the global trade networks of the ancient and medieval worlds, these philosophers all influenced one another; Arabs argued about Aristotle, Romans argued about the Indian Vedic traditions, and so on.

These traditions of ontology were never entirely separate from each other. The scientific revolution brought about a deep change in ontology.

The Politics of Ontology

Only physical laws, matter and energy seem to be measurable and obey reliable laws. Many of them also had religious beliefs, and some of them even carried out experiments concerning the supernatural, but for the most part, they found that it was necessary to assume that only the material world exists in order to carry out sensible experiments and derive laws of nature from them.

This scientific ontology has been so successful in terms of understanding nature and controlling it that it has come to dominate the way we think about everything, including, for some people, religion. But this seems a little confused and certainly would have surprised both believers and scientists during the scientific revolution. This makes a difference for the ontology of the Star Wars universe because it adds a new kind of being, and it also changes the metaphysics because the Star Wars universe now plays by slightly more familiar, scientific rules.

Game of Thrones is a rare example of a fantasy story with a very strange ontology but very realistic metaphysics. However, all these creatures behave according to fairly familiar laws, which gives the series a more realistic feel. At certain points, the show includes magic, but it is relatively rare and always seems surprising because otherwise the show is hyper-realistic.

Due to the relative absence of magic, the show can be said to have a pretty realistic metaphysics in spite of its fantasy ontology. Many students fall asleep during ontology lectures. Even many professional philosophers do not practice ontology. Of course this argument meets stiff resistance from many philosophers, which treat ontology as central; remember the foundationalists from section 1?

They would not agree that ontology is pointless. Moreover, ontology and metaphysics have gained some new energy lately, thanks to the mystifying implications of quantum physics and the science of consciousness, which are turning many scientists into philosophers, and vice-versa. All of the above.

Politics and Ontology | DEONTOLOGISTICS

Ladder of Nature. Pinnacle of Existence. Principle of Deduction. Categorical Imperative. Now I can relate my understandings to my research question. Manoj Onadan March 31, , am Reply. Mike Walker July 30, , pm Reply. That quote is from C. Pauline September 22, , am Reply. I found this most interesting and it gave me food for thought.

I will share this with other students. Thank you Pauline. Oladejo Abiola September 23, , pm Reply. I really like what I read about this ontology. Can someone who had a third class honor in my Geography at the Ubiversity of Ibadan be admitted into this program and which school offer this course? Bawar October 22, , am Reply. Thank you so much. In general, Plato presumes that all nouns e. Hence, in The Sophist Plato argues that Being is a Form in which all existent things participate and which they have in common though it is unclear whether "Being" is intended in the sense of existence , copula , or identity ; and argues, against Parmenides, that Forms must exist not only of Being, but also of Negation and of non-Being or Difference.

In his Categories , Aristotle — BCE identifies ten possible kinds of things that may be the subject or the predicate of a proposition. For Aristotle there are four different ontological dimensions: [17]. According to Avicenna c. Necessary being is that which cannot but be, since its non-being entails a contradiction.

Contingent qua possible being is neither necessary nor impossible for it to be or not to be. It is ontologically neutral, and is brought from potential existing into actual existence by way of a cause that is external to its essence. Its being is borrowed - unlike the necessary existent, which is self-subsisting and is impossible for it not to be. As for the impossible, it necessarily does not exist, and the affirmation of its being is a contradiction.

The concept of 'ontological formations' refers to formations of social relations understood as dominant ways of living.

The Science, Politics, and Ontology of Life-Philosophy (Bloomsbury Studies in Philosophy)

Temporal, spatial, corporeal, epistemological and performative relations are taken to be central to understanding a dominant formation. That is, a particular ontological formation is based on how ontological categories of time, space, embodiment, knowing and performing are lived—objectively and subjectively.

Different ontological formations include the customary including the tribal , the traditional, the modern and the postmodern. In the engaged theory approach, ontological formations are seen as layered and intersecting rather than singular formations. They are 'formations of being'. This approach avoids the usual problems of a Great Divide being posited between the modern and the pre-modern. From a philosophical distinction concerning different formations of being, the concept then provides a way of translating into practical understandings concerning how humans might design cities and communities that live creatively across different ontological formations, for example cities that are not completely dominated by modern valences of spatial configuration.

Here the work of Tony Fry is important. Descartes argued further that this knowledge could lead to a proof of the certainty of the existence of God , using the ontological argument that had been formulated first by Anselm of Canterbury.


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Certainty about the existence of "the self" and "the other", however, came under increasing criticism in the 20th century. Sociological theorists, most notably George Herbert Mead and Erving Goffman , saw the Cartesian Other as a "Generalized Other", the imaginary audience that individuals use when thinking about the self. According to Mead, "we do not assume there is a self to begin with.

Self is not presupposed as a stuff out of which the world arises. Rather, the self arises in the world". Schools of subjectivism , objectivism and relativism existed at various times in the 20th century, and the postmodernists and body philosophers tried to reframe all these questions in terms of bodies taking some specific action in an environment. This relied to a great degree on insights derived from scientific research into animals taking instinctive action in natural and artificial settings—as studied by biology , ecology , [24] and cognitive science.

The processes by which bodies related to environments became of great concern, and the idea of being itself became difficult to really define. Others, mostly philosophers, tried to dig into the word and its usage. Martin Heidegger distinguished human being as existence from the being of things in the world. Heidegger proposes that our way of being human and the way the world is for us are cast historically through a fundamental ontological questioning. These fundamental ontological categories provide the basis for communication in an age: a horizon of unspoken and seemingly unquestionable background meanings, such as human beings understood unquestioningly as subjects and other entities understood unquestioningly as objects.

Political Ontology

Because these basic ontological meanings both generate and are regenerated in everyday interactions, the locus of our way of being in a historical epoch is the communicative event of language in use. Some philosophers suggest that the question of "What is? One might readily catch on that this person simply calls a 'cup' a 'chair' and the oddity is explained. The question of What is? Hirsch interprets Hilary Putnam as asserting that different concepts of "the existence of something" can be correct. Common to all Indo-European copula languages is the double use of the verb "to be" in both stating that entity X exists "X is.

It is sometimes argued that a third use is also distinct, stating that X is a member of a class "X is a C". In other language families these roles may have completely different verbs and are less likely to be confused with one another. For example they might say something like "the car has redness" rather than "the car is red". Hence any discussion of "being" in Indo-European language philosophy may need to make distinctions between these senses.

In human geography there are two types of ontology: small "o" which accounts for the practical orientation, describing functions of being a part of the group, thought to oversimplify and ignore key activities. The other "o", or big "O", systematically, logically, and rationally describes the essential characteristics and universal traits. This concept relates closely to Plato's view that the human mind can only perceive a bigger world if they continue to live within the confines of their "caves".