Existence

Edited by T. Parent (Nazarbayev University)
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  1. Reality as a Vector in Hilbert Space.Sean M. Carroll - manuscript
    I defend the extremist position that the fundamental ontology of the world consists of a vector in Hilbert space evolving according to the Schrödinger equation. The laws of physics are determined solely by the energy eigenspectrum of the Hamiltonian. The structure of our observed world, including space and fields living within it, should arise as a higher-level emergent description. I sketch how this might come about, although much work remains to be done.
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  2. What is Conservatism? [REVIEW]Louis deRosset - manuscript
    In Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary, Daniel Z. Korman defends a view he calls conservatism. Conservatives hold that there are ordinary objects, but no extraordinary objects. But Korman never explicitly characterizes what would qualify an object as ordinary in the relevant sense. We have some paradigm cases of ordinary objects, including tables, dogs, and trees; and we have some paradigm cases of extraordinary objects of sorts familiar from the philosophical literature. Here I attempt to fill this gap, surveying a (...)
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  3. How to Speak About a Supreme Being.Jude Arnout Durieux - manuscript
    If the transcendence tree to which our world belongs has a root, and that root is a mind, then what can be known about that mind? It seems there are two sources of knowledge, theology (that mind may have revealed itself to us) and philosophy (we may be able to reason about it from first principles). Here we shall look into that latter aspect.
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  4. Transcendent Mediocrity is the Neutral Position.Jude Arnout Durieux - manuscript
    In the light of the principle of mediocrity, naturalism is in fact transcendent exceptionalism - as opposed to transcendent mediocrity. As such, it has the burden of proof - and the "inverse criterion" defeats many of such alleged proofs.
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  5. Über die logische Notwendigkeit des EINEN.Helmut Hansen - manuscript
    1078 schlug Anselm von Cantury ein Argument für die Existenz Gottes vor, welches als ontologischer Beweis bekannt wurde. Es basiert auf der Erkennt-nis, dass die Nicht-Existenz Gottes zu einem Widerspruch führt, weswegen die Existenz Gottes als logisch notwendig erscheint. Obwohl diese Schlussfolgerung heutzutage als bedeutungslos kritisiert wird, ist sie immer noch Gegenstand philosophischer und theologischer Betrachtungen. In diesem Aufsatz wird eine moderne, d.h. wissenschaftliche, Metaphysik vorgestellt, die zu derselben Schlussfolgerung führte wie der ontologische Beweis – freilich aus einem ganz anderen (...)
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  6. Meinongian Merits and Maladies.Samuel Hoadley-Brill - manuscript
    According to what has long been the dominant school of thought in analytic meta-ontology––defended not only by W. V. O. Quine, but also by Bertrand Russell, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and many others––the meaning of ‘there is’ is identical to the meaning of ‘there exists.’ The most (in)famous aberration from this view is advanced by Alexius Meinong, whose ontological picture has endured extensive criticism (and borderline abuse) from several subscribers to the majority view. Meinong denies the identity of being (...)
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  7. Bare Life.Gavin Keeney - manuscript
    Brief essay on Giorgio Agamben's concept of "bare life" from Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (1998), with reference to The Time that Remains: A Commentary on the Letter to the Romans (2005).
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  8. Information Monism - and its Concepts of Substance, Attributes, and Emergent Modes.Dan Kurth - manuscript
    In this paper I try to combine the objectology of Meinong with a neutral substance monism of the kind originally proposed by Spinoza (deus sive natura). Yet Spinoza was still stuck in the Cartesian paradigm and therefore rather gave a dual monism (extensio et intellectus) than a proper neutral monism. I propose that there are only two attributes of the one substance: existence and non-existence. Everything else is/are mere modes of them.
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  9. Postscripts.Paul Merriam - manuscript
    Postscripts to McTaggart meets Schrodinger's Cat.
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  10. A Dialogue with I ! حوار مع أنا.Salah Osman - manuscript
    هل يمكن إذن أن أكون أنا لست أنا بانطباعات الزمان على جسدي وفكري؟ أليس لي جوهرٌ ثابتٌ تتبدل عليه الأعراض من حين إلى آخر، ومن ثم لا أفقد هويتي الحقيقية؟ لقد وُلدت منذ سنوات خلت، وتعلمت وعلمت أنني هو أنا، ويعلم المحيطون بي أنني هو أنا، بل يستطيع العلم المعاصر أن يُثبت أن لي تركيبًا جينيًا وراثيًا يميزني عن غيري، وأن لي بصمات أصابع وبصمة صوت لا تتطابق مع بصمات غيري، وسيحاسبني ربي يوم العرض عليه بوصفي شخصًا واحدًا هو أنا؛ (...)
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  11. Ontologia singularităților gravitaționale.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Relativitatea generală permite singularități. Trebuie să înțelegem ontologia singularităților gravitaționale dacă vrem să înțelegem natura spațiului și a timpului în universul actual. Deșii unii fizicieni consideră că singularitățile indică un eșec al relativității generale, alții cred că singularitățile deschid în fapt un orizont nou în cosmologie, cu fenomene fizice reale care pot ajuta la un progres profund în înțelegerea noastră a lumii. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31766.50242.
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  12. Singularitățile ca limite ontologice ale relativității generale.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Singularitățile la care se ajunge în relativitatea generală prin rezolvarea ecuațiilor lui Einstein au fost și încă mai sunt subiectul a numeroase dezbateri științifice: Există sau nu, singularități? Big Bang a fost o singularitate inițială? Dacă singularitățile există, care este ontologia acestora? Este teoria generală a relativității o teorie care și-a arătat limitele în acest caz? În acest eseu argumentez faptul că există singularități, iar teoria generală a relativității, ca de altfel oricare altă teorie științifică din prezent, nu este valabilă (...)
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  13. Becoming What One Is: Thinking-About Trauma and Authenticity.Ryan Wasser - manuscript
    Ecce Homo, Nietzsche's autobiography, is distinguished it the rest of his oeuvre and discloses, in no uncertain terms, by its profound candor in bringing to question a topic of vital importance that has remained a central concern of the cultural zeitgeist especially as a reaction to various events of the 21st century: trauma. Trauma [τραῦμα], a Grecian term that traditionally refers to "a wound," underpins much of Nietzsche's writing, and is present in observations of his own lived experience, those of (...)
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  14. The Ontological Significance of Foundherentism.Ryan Wasser - manuscript
    There will always be something endearing about a theorist who is willing to adopt a "third way" to a given problem, even if that third way is no more complicated than adopting the strengths of two competing positions, and mitigating the weakness in an attempt to resolve the issue at hand. In continental philosophy, Ricour gained notoriety by utilizing such an approach in his treatment of the Gadamer and Habermas debates, and Haack achieved similar renown in her attempt to bridge (...)
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  15. On the Notion of Existence.Piotr Witas - manuscript
    I argue that a slight shift in our understanding of the notion of existence is needed in order to cope with the problem of external world and the problem of mind and body. As a consequence of it being taught by "givenness" of the subjective mind, and despite its applicability in objective contexts, it should be considered a "tool" akin to qualia, rather than pertaining to a "true", objective reality. In plain language, one's supposed relation with their surroundings is known (...)
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  16. On Being.Xinyan Zhang - manuscript
    “Being” or “being and beings” might be the meta-notion when philosophy and science were still sharing the same mind or minds in ancient Greek and Europe. To find its meaning and to become a part of the meaning are however more and more vital nowadays, not for philosophy but for science, especially for physics and biology. The author proposes in this essay that this concept may mean to us nothing more or less than the unity or unification of Parmenides’ idea (...)
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  17. The Absurd. [REVIEW]Bara Zraik - manuscript
    In this paper I explore the absurdity of Camus’s Sisyphus.
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  18. Vernünftige Existenz als Weltbewältigung. Eine Kritik der weltanschaulichen Neutralität säkularer Vernunft bei Jürgen Habermas.Maximilian Runge - 2015
    Since Jürgen Habermas' speech for the Peace Price of the German Book Trade in October 2001, secular reason – personified by one of its main protagonists – has been able to debate with religion anew. For the purpose of an unbiased encounter between philosophy and religion, Habermas introduced the term “postsecular” back then in order to emphasize that this dialogue was inevitably necessary, all the more in the face of religiously motivated terrorism. Nonetheless, this willingness to debate was accompanied by (...)
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  19. Continuité temporelle de soi et pratique de la botanique chez Rousseau.Pierre Landou - unknown - In Pascal Bouvier (ed.), to be published. Université de Savoie.
    Article où l'on propose une lecture égologique de la botanique rousseauiste. La botanique certifierait la continuité temporelle d'un moi menacé de fragmentation.
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  20. Explaining Why There is Something Rather Than Nothing.Andrew Brenner - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    It is sometimes supposed that, in principle, we cannot offer an explanation for why there is something rather than nothing. I argue that this supposition is a mistake, and stems from a needlessly myopic conception of the form explanations can legitimately take. After making this more general point, I proceed to offer a speculative suggestion regarding one sort of explanation which can in principle serve as an answer to the question “why is there something rather than nothing?” The suggestion is (...)
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  21. Aristotle on Being.George Couvalis - forthcoming - Modern Greek Studies (Australia and New Zealand).
    Aristotle explains existence through postulating essences that are intrinsic and percep- tion independent. I argue that his theory is more plausible than Hume’s and Russell’s theories of existence. Russell modifies Hume’s theory because he wants to allow for the existence of mathematical objects. However, Russell’s theory facilitates a problematic collapse of ontology into epistemology, which has become a feature of much analytic philosophy. This collapse obscures the nature of truth. Aristotle is to be praised for starting with a clear account (...)
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  22. Dwa typy abstrakcjonizmu w ontologii fikcji.Maciej Sendłak - forthcoming - Przegląd Filozoficzno-Literacki.
    "The main aim of the paper is to compare two types of abstractionistic accounts of fictional objects, and to analyze their consequences for interpretation of existential quantification. According to a proponent of general abstractionistic theory, fictional objects have abstract nature in a way similar to contracts, marriages, and the likes. This view is an alternative to strongly realistic accounts of fictional objects, defended by Terence Parsons or David Lewis. Within abstractionistic theories, as in all philosophical areas, one can find divergences (...)
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  23. On the Explanatory Demands of the Special Composition Question.Joshua Spencer - forthcoming - Synthese:1-14.
    The Special Composition Question may be formulated as follows: for any xs whatsoever, what are the metaphysically necessary and jointly sufficient conditions in virtue of which there is a y such that those xs compose y? But what is the scope of the sought after explanation? Should an answer merely explain compositional facts, or should it explain certain ontological facts as well? On one natural reading, the question seeks an explanation of both the compositional facts and the ontological; the question (...)
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  24. Real Patterns and Indispensability.Abel Suñé & Manolo Martínez - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (5):4315-4330.
    While scientific inquiry crucially relies on the extraction of patterns from data, we still have a far from perfect understanding of the metaphysics of patterns—and, in particular, of what makes a pattern real. In this paper we derive a criterion of real-patternhood from the notion of conditional Kolmogorov complexity. The resulting account belongs to the philosophical tradition, initiated by Dennett :27–51, 1991), that links real-patternhood to data compressibility, but is simpler and formally more perspicuous than other proposals previously defended in (...)
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  25. Ontological Pluralism and Notational Variance.Bruno Whittle - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics.
    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different ways to exist. It is a position with deep roots in the history of philosophy, and in which there has been a recent resurgence of interest. In contemporary presentations, it is stated in terms of fundamental languages: as the view that such languages contain more than one quantifier. For example, one ranging over abstract objects, and another over concrete ones. A natural worry, however, is that the languages proposed by the pluralist (...)
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  26. Grounding and the Myth of Ontological Innocence.Jonathan Barker - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):303-318.
    According to the Ontological Innocence Thesis (OIT), grounded entities are ontologically innocent relative to their full grounds. I argue that OIT entails a contradiction, and therefore must be discarded. My argument turns on the notion of “groundmates,” two or more numerically distinct entities that share at least one of their full grounds. I argue that, if OIT is true, then it is both the case that there are groundmates and that there are no groundmates. Therefore, so I conclude, OIT is (...)
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  27. Introduction to the Ontology of Knowledge Iss. 20210402.Jean-Louis Boucon - 2021 - Philpapers.
    We can only know what determines us as being and by the fact that it determines us as being. Our knowledge is therefore logically limited to what determines us as being. Since representation is defined as the act that makes knowledge dicible, our representation is logically limited to what dynamically determines us as being. Our representation is included in our becoming. Nothing that we represent, no infinite, can exceed the mere necessity of our becoming. The world, my physical being and (...)
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  28. A puzzle about Moorean metaphysics.Louis Doulas - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):493-513.
    Some metaphysicians believe that existence debates are easily resolved by trivial inferences from Moorean premises. This paper considers how the introduction of negative Moorean facts—negative existentials that command Moorean certainty—complicates this picture. In particular, it shows how such facts, when combined with certain plausible metaontological principles, generate a puzzle that commits the proponents of this method to a contradiction.
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  29. Existentialism: Changing the Fate of Sisyphus (Paper Outline).Claudia Meadows - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Houston-Downtown
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  30. Discussions on Physics, Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Interpreting Quantum Mechanics.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2020 - Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina
    This thesis inquires what it means to interpret non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM), and the philosophical limits of this interpretation. In pursuit of a scientific-realist stance, a metametaphysical method is expanded and applied to evaluate rival interpretations of QM, based on the conceptual distinction between ontology and metaphysics, for objective theory choice in metaphysical discussions relating to QM. Three cases are examined, in which this metametaphysical method succeeds in indicating what are the wrong alternatives to interpret QM in metaphysical terms. The (...)
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  31. Ontological Investigations in the Quantum Domain: A Deflationary Approach on Ontology of Physics.Lauro de Matos Nunes Filho - 2020 - Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina
    The aim of this thesis is to propose a deflationary approach towards the ontological analysis of physical theories. Such an approach sustains that the development of ontologies for physical theories must be neutral relatively to the debate between realists and anti-realists in philosophy of physics. Mainly, our attention will be oriented towards what we called "quantum domain", which includes the non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics and variants of the Quantum Field Theory. This meta-ontological approach consists in an attempt to provide a methodology (...)
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  32. A Constructive Thomistic Response to Heidegger’s Destructive Criticism: On Existence, Essence and the Possibility of Truth as Adequation.Liran Shia Gordon & Avital Wohlman - 2020 - Heythrop Journal 61 (5):825-841.
    Martin Heidegger devotes extensive discussion to medieval philosophers, particularly to their treatment of Truth and Being. On both these topics, Heidegger accuses them of forgetting the question of Being and of being responsible for subjugating truth to the modern crusade for certainty: ‘truth is denied its own mode of being’ and is subordinated ‘to an intellect that judges correctly’. Though there are some studies that discuss Heidegger’s debt to and criticism of medieval thought, particularly that of Thomas Aquinas, there is (...)
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  33. Między językami: przekład, motyw, ciało. Pytanie o bycie / Between Languages: Translation, Motive, Body. The Question of Being (in Polish).Anton Marczyński - 2020 - In Mateusz Falkowski (ed.), Myślenie dziś VII. Warsaw: Barbara Skagra Foundation for Thinking. pp. 61-71.
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  34. Existence Predicates.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):311-335.
    Natural languages generally distinguishes among different existence predicates for different types of entities, such as English 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain'. The paper gives an in-depth discussion and analysis of a range of existence predicates in natural language within the general project of descriptive metaphysics, or more specifically ‘natural language ontology’.
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  35. I Do Not Believe in Meigas, but There Are Such. A Meinongian Empirical Case Based on Galician ‘Meigas’.Olga Ramirez Calle - 2020 - E-Logos Electronic Journal for Philosophy 27 (1):4-20.
    This paper aspires to meet a philosophical challenge posed to the author to give treatment to what was seen as a particularly nice Meinongian case1; namely the case of Galician Meigas. However, through the playful footpaths of enchanted Galician Meigas, I rehabilitate some relevant discussion on the justification of belief formation and come to some poignant philosophical insights regarding the understanding of possibilities. I hope both the leading promoter of the challenge and, of course, other philosophical readers are satisfied with (...)
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  36. Aristotle's Ontology of Change.Mark Sentesy - 2020 - Chicago, IL, USA: Northwestern University Press.
    This book investigates what change is, according to Aristotle, and how it affects his conception of being. Mark Sentesy argues that change leads Aristotle to develop first-order metaphysical concepts such as matter, potency, actuality, sources of being, and the teleology of emerging things. He shows that Aristotle’s distinctive ontological claim—that being is inescapably diverse in kind—is anchored in his argument for the existence of change. -/- Aristotle may be the only thinker to have given a noncircular definition of change. When (...)
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  37. The Fragmentation of Being. [REVIEW]Kelly Trogdon - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):149-153.
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  38. Aristotle on Ontological Priority.Hikmet Unlu - 2020 - Acta Philosophica 1 (29):137-158.
    There are several passages in the Metaphysics where Aristotle explains ontological priority in terms of ontological dependence, but there are others where he seems to adopt a teleological conception of ontological priority. It is sometimes maintained that the latter priority too must be construed in terms of the former, or that the priorities in question are not both endorsed (or simultaneously endorsed) by Aristotle. The goal of this paper is to show otherwise; I argue that what is at issue are (...)
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  39. Where Human and Divine Intimacy Meet: An Insight Into the Theodicy of Marilyn McCord Adams.Ionut Untea - 2020 - Sophia 59 (3):525-547.
    Marilyn McCord Adams’s perspective on the intimacy with God as a way of defeating horrendous evils in the course of a human being’s existence has been met with a series of objections in contemporary scholarship. This is due to the fact that the critiques formulated have focused more on the debilitating impact of suffering on the sufferer’s body and mind, on intimacy as mere intermittent relationships between God and humans, or on what is lost or gained from the presence or (...)
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  40. Aiôn: temporalità dell'evento-virus.Fabio Vergine - 2020 - Kasparhauser 1:0-0.
    Riflessione sulla temporalità dell'evento a partire dalla pandemia di SARS-CoV2.
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  41. Crises, and the Ethic of Finitude.Ryan Wasser - 2020 - Human Arenas 1 (Arena of Crises):1-9.
    In his postapocalyptic novel, Those Who Remain, G. Michael Hopf (2016) makes an important observation about the effect crises can have on human psychology by noting that "hard times create strong [humans]" (loc. 200). While the catastrophic effects of the recent COVID-19 outbreak are incontestable, there are arguments to be made that the situation itself could be materia prima of a more grounded, and authentic generation of humanity, at least in theory. In this article I draw on Heidegger's early, implicit (...)
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  42. The Ontology of Nature or God.Xinyan Zhang - 2020
    Scientism denies change and creation in science, and humanism denies change and creation in humanity. They leave no room for freedom, equality and fraternity. This book is written as the deconstruction of both scientism and humanism.
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  43. 'On a Supposed Puzzle Concerning Modality and Existence'.Thomas Atkinson, Daniel J. Hill & Stephen K. McLeod - 2019 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 26 (3):446-473.
    Kit Fine has proposed a new solution to what he calls ‘a familiar puzzle’ concerning modality and existence. The puzzle concerns the argument from the alleged truths ‘It is necessary that Socrates is a man’ and ‘It is possible that Socrates does not exist’ to the apparent falsehood ‘It is possible that Socrates is a man and does not exist’. We discuss in detail Fine’s setting up of the ‘puzzle’ and his rejection, with which we concur, of two mooted solutions (...)
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  44. Gatherings Symposium: Beyond Presence?Jussi M. Backman, Taylor Carman, Daniel Dahlstrom, Graham Harman, Michael Marder & Richard Polt - 2019 - Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual 9:145-174.
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  45. Aquinas, Geach, and Existence.Damiano Costa - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (3):175-195.
    Aquinas’ theory of being has received a growing amount of attention from contemporary scholars, both from a historic and a philosophical point of view. An important source of this attention is Geach’s seminal Form and Existence. In it, Geach argues that Aquinas subscribes to a tensed notion of existence and a theory of time according to which past and future entities do not exist in act. Subsequent commentators, such as Kenny in his Aquinas on Being, have agreed with Geach on (...)
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  46. Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):289-301.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  47. Existence, Really? Tacit Disagreements About “Existence” in Disputes About Group Minds and Corporate Agents.Johannes Himmelreich - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4939-4953.
    A central dispute in social ontology concerns the existence of group minds and actions. I argue that some authors in this dispute rely on rival views of existence without sufficiently acknowledging this divergence. I proceed in three steps in arguing for this claim. First, I define the phenomenon as an implicit higher-order disagreement by drawing on an analysis of verbal disputes. Second, I distinguish two theories of existence—the theory-commitments view and the truthmaker view—in both their eliminativist and their constructivist variants. (...)
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  48. Quine, Ontology, and Physicalism.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2019 - In Robert Sinclair (ed.), Science and Sensibilia by W.V. Quine: The 1980 Immanuel Kant Lectures. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 181-204.
    Quine's views on ontology and naturalism are well-known but rarely considered in tandem. According to my interpretation the connection between them is vital. I read Quine as a global epistemic structuralist. Quine thought we only ever know objects qua solutions to puzzles about significant intersections in observations. Objects are always accessed descriptively, via their roles in our best theory. Quine's Kant lectures contain an early version of epistemic structuralism with uncharacteristic remarks about the mental. Here Quine embraces mitigated anomalous monism, (...)
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  49. Analytic Idealism: A Consciousness-Only Ontology.Bernardo Kastrup - 2019 - Dissertation, Radboud University Nijmegen
    This thesis articulates an analytic version of the ontology of idealism, according to which universal phenomenal consciousness is all there ultimately is, everything else in nature being reducible to patterns of excitation of this consciousness. The thesis’ key challenge is to explain how the seemingly distinct conscious inner lives of different subjects—such as you and me—can arise within this fundamentally unitary phenomenal field. Along the way, a variety of other challenges are addressed, such as: how we can reconcile idealism with (...)
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  50. Jürgen Habermas on the Way to a Postmetaphysical Reading of Kierkegaard.Klaus Viertbauer - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 11 (4):137-162.
    Habermas’s postmetaphysical reading of Kierkegaard is paradigmatic for his understanding of religion. It shows, why Habermas reduces religion to fideism. Therefore the paper reconstructs Habermas’s reception of Kierkegaard and compares it with the accounts of Dieter Henrich and Michael Theunissen. Furthermore it demonstrates how Habermas makes use of Kierkegaard’s dialectics of existence to formulate his postmetaphysical thesis of a cooperative venture.
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1 — 50 / 168