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. 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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  15. 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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  16. The Absurd. [REVIEW]Bara Zraik - manuscript
    In this paper I explore the absurdity of Camus’s Sisyphus.
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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. There Are No Uninstantiated Words.James Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Kaplan (1990; 2011) argues that there are no unspoken words. Hawthorne and Lepore (2011) put forward examples that purport to show that there can be such words. Here, I argue that Kaplan is correct, if we grant him a minor variation. While Hawthorne and Lepore might be right that there can be unspoken words, I will argue that they fail to show that there can be uninstantiated words.
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  21. 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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  22. Should an Ontological Pluralist Be a Quantificational Pluralist?Byron Simmons - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different fundamental ways of being. Recent defenders of this view—such as Kris McDaniel and Jason Turner—have taken these ways of being to be best captured by semantically primitive quantifier expressions ranging over different domains. They have thus endorsed, what I shall call, quantificational pluralism. I argue that this focus on quantification is a mistake. For, on this view, a quantificational structure—or a quantifier for short—will be whatever part or aspect of reality’s structure (...)
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  23. Engineering Existence?Lukas Skiba - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper investigates the connection between two recent trends in philosophy: higher-orderism and conceptual engineering. Higher-orderists use higher-order quantifiers (in particular quantifiers binding variables that occupy the syntactic positions of predicates) to express certain key metaphysical doctrines, such as the claim that there are properties. I argue that, on a natural construal, the higher-orderist approach involves an engineering project concerning, among others, the concept of existence. I distinguish between a modest construal of this project, on which it aims at engineering (...)
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  24. Existence and Modality in Kant: Lessons From Barcan.Andrew Stephenson - forthcoming - Philosophical Review.
    This essay considers Kant’s theory of modality in light of a debate in contemporary modal metaphysics and modal logic concerning the Barcan formulas. The comparison provides a new and fruitful perspective on Kant’s complex and sometimes confusing claims about possibility and necessity. Two central Kantian principles provide the starting point for the comparison: that the possible must be grounded in the actual and that existence is not a real predicate. Both are shown to be intimately connected to the Barcan formulas, (...)
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  25. 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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  26. Possibility Precedes Actuality.Tuomas E. Tahko - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper is inspired by and develops on E. J. Lowe’s work, who writes in his book The Possibility of Metaphysics that ‘metaphysical possibility is an inescapable determinant of actuality’ (1998: 9). Metaphysics deals with possibilities – metaphysical possibilities – but is not able to determine what is actual without the help of empirical research. Accordingly, a delimitation of the space of possibilities is required. The resulting – controversial – picture is that we generally need to know whether something is (...)
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  27. Entities and Their Genera: Slicing Up the World the Medieval Way--And Does It Matter to Formal Ontology?Luis M. Augusto - 2022 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (2):4-47.
    Genera, typically hand-in-hand with their branching species, are essential elements of vocabulary-based information constructs, in particular scientific taxonomies. Should they also feature in formal ontologies, the highest of such constructs? I argue in this article that the answer is “Yes” and that the question posed in its title also has a Yes-answer: The way medieval ontologists sliced up the world into genera does matter to formal ontology. More specifically, the way Dietrich of Freiberg, a Latin scholastic, conceived and applied strictly (...)
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  28. An Account of Suhrawardī’s Allegories in Light of the Illuminationist Philosophy.Mahdi Homazadeh - 2022 - International Journal of Platonic Tradition 16:1-20.
    In this paper, I seek to explain Suhrawardī’s method of writing his allegories – how he draws upon his philosophical principles to construct forms and plots of his stories. To do so, I begin by delineating two key doctrines of his Illuminationist (Ishrāqī) ontology: the world of Forms (‘ālam al-muthul) and the discontinuous imaginal world (‘ālam al-mithāl al-munfaṣil). I provide an account of the history of these two doctrines and the nature of these two worlds, and then consider some of (...)
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  29. 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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  30. Introduction to the Ontology of Knowledge Iss. 20211125.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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  31. 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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  32. A Problem for Easy Ontology.Sybren Heyndels - 2021 - Disputatio 10 (16).
    Thomasson’s easy ontology approach (2015) aims at deflating existence questions through a revival of Carnap’s (1950) distinction between internal and external questions. Importantly, her account depends on an analysis of the ordinary meaning of ‘exist(s)’ as a second-order predicate. I do two things in this paper. First, I show that Thomasson’s analysis fails to do justice to the complexity of the English predicate ‘exist(s)’. Against Thomasson, I argue that there are cases in which ‘exist(s)’ functions as a first-order predicate. Because (...)
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  33. Proof Theory and Semantics for a Theory of Definite Descriptions.Nils Kürbis - 2021 - In Anupam Das & Sara Negri (eds.), TABLEAUX 2021, LNAI 12842.
    This paper presents a sequent calculus and a dual domain semantics for a theory of definite descriptions in which these expressions are formalised in the context of complete sentences by a binary quantifier I. I forms a formula from two formulas. Ix[F, G] means ‘The F is G’. This approach has the advantage of incorporating scope distinctions directly into the notation. Cut elimination is proved for a system of classical positive free logic with I and it is shown to be (...)
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  34. Existentialism: Changing the Fate of Sisyphus (Paper Outline).Claudia Meadows - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Houston-Downtown
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  35. Ser, existencia y facticidad.David Torrijos Castrillejo - 2021 - In Manuel Alejandro Serra Pérez (ed.), La cualidad metafísica del ser respecto a la forma: Estudio de la crítica de Lawrence Dewan a Étienne Gilson. Pamplona: EUNSA. pp. 93-108.
    This paper tries to understand existence as identified with Aquinas' esse in a right way. The author distinguishes among facticity and existence, because facticity it a mere negative understanding of existence as the negation of nothing. But existence is not only a negative thing, but a positive one, therefore it is not still described by this negative definition. Existence includes facticity but is not only facticity. Existence is the actuality of essence and that description does not diminish Aquinas' understanding of (...)
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  36. A Mechanism That Realizes Strong Emergence.J. H. van Hateren - 2021 - Synthese 199:12463-12483.
    The causal efficacy of a material system is usually thought to be produced by the law-like actions and interactions of its constituents. Here, a specific system is constructed and explained that produces a cause that cannot be understood in this way, but instead has novel and autonomous efficacy. The construction establishes a proof-of-feasibility of strong emergence. The system works by utilizing randomness in a targeted and cyclical way, and by relying on sustained evolution by natural selection. It is not vulnerable (...)
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  37. Is There Reason to Believe the Principle of Sufficient Reason?Jordan David Thomas Walters - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (2):1-10.
    Shamik Dasgupta (2016) proposes to tame the Principle of Sufficient Reason (PSR) to apply to only non-autonomous facts, which are facts that are apt for explanation. Call this strategy to tame the PSR the taming strategy. In a recent paper, Della Rocca (2020a) argues that proponents of the taming strategy, in attempting to formulate a restricted version of the PSR, nevertheless find themselves committed to endorsing a form of radical monism, which, in turn, leads right back to an untamed-PSR. Suppose, (...)
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  38. Dwojaka natura ontologiczna znaków językowych i problem ich wzajemnych relacji.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 2021 - Ruch Filozoficzny 77 (1):7-24.
    The subject matter of this work covers the issues or problems listed below: * The problem of the ontological status of language signs and a more general philosophical problem connected with it: * What is language as a system of signs, which – on the one hand – serves to: 1) represent our knowledge about the reality which is being recognized, and, on the other one to: 2) a. explore and better cognize or discover it, b. describe it in an (...)
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  39. 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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  40. 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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  41. 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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  42. Synthisophy - Integrating the Wisdoms of History Into Present Culture: Part 1, Summary of Chapters 1-15.Andre Houle - 2020 - Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.
    Introduction to Synthisophy: roots, mission, description and conclusion.
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  43. Synthisophy - Integrating the Wisdoms of History Into Present Culture: Part 2, Summary of Chapters 16-30.Andre Houle - 2020 - Research Association for Interdisciplinary Studies.
    Introduction to synthisophy; roots, mission, description, conclusion.
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  44. 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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  45. 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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  46. I Do Not Believe in Meigas, but There Are Such. A Meinongian Empirical Case Based on Galician ‘Meigas’.Olga Ramírez 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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  47. 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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  48. The Fragmentation of Being. [REVIEW]Kelly Trogdon - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):149-153.
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  49. 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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  50. 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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