In metaphysics (in particular, ontology), the different kinds or ways of being are called categories of being or simply categories. Metaphysics is the branch of Philosophy investigating principles of reality transcending those of any particular science In Philosophy, ontology (from the Greek, genitive: of being (part Disambiguation For the Wigwam album see Being (album, for spiritual or religious beingness, see Ego (spirituality According to the Aristotelian tradition, a being is anything that can be said to be in the various senses of this word. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Hence, to investigate the categories of being is to determine the most fundamental senses in which things can be said to be. A category, more precisely, is any of the broadest classes of things - 'thing' here meaning anything whatever that can be discussed and cannot be reduced to any other class. Philosophers sometimes distinguish classes from types and kinds. Reduction is the process by which one object property concept theory etc
An exhaustive account of the categories that humans need be concerned with continues to be hoped for. Some have desired ontological category schemes that were more than exhaustive, by virtue of admitting nonexistent or even logically impossible objects. The category schemes of Alexius Meinong are a case in point. Alexius Meinong ( July 17, 1853 - November 27, 1920) was an Austrian Philosopher. A distinction between such categories, in making the categories or applying them, is called an ontological distinction. An exhaustive scheme makes many distinctions.
The common or dominant ways to view categories as of the end of the 20th century.
Any of these ways can be criticized for either seeking to make distinctions that aren't as universal as claimed (greedy reductionism), for serious bias in point of view (subject-object problem or God's eye view), for relying on theological or spiritual claims a priori, for relying too much on surface conflict or current investigative priorities to point out differences, for ignoring action, for ignoring the perceived or biospheric context, or the cognitive mechanisms that perceive and invent categories or for relying on a complex empirical process of investigation that is poorly understood and only recently embarked upon. Bundle theory, originated by the 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume, is the ontological theory about objecthood in which an object consists only In classical Philosophy, dialectic (διαλεκτική is controversy the exchange of arguments and counter-arguments respectively advocating Propositions Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding how why and to what degree humans should or do value things whether the thing is a person idea object or anything else In Cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphor refers to the understanding of one idea or Conceptual domain in terms of another for example understanding Quantity Cognition is a concept used in different ways by different disciplines but is generally accepted to mean the process of awareness or thought Cognitive science may be broadly defined as the multidisciplinary study of mind and behavior Greedy reductionism is a term coined by Daniel Dennett, in the book Darwin's Dangerous Idea, to distinguish between what he considers acceptable and erroneous Bias is a term used to describe a Tendency or Preference towards a particular perspective, Ideology or result especially when the tendency interferes The subject-object problem is a longstanding philosophical issue The subject-object problem is a longstanding philosophical issue "A priori" redirects here For other uses see A priori. In Philosophy, action has developed into a sub-field called Philosophy of action. Environmental psychology is an interdisciplinary field focused on the interplay between humans and their surroundings Gaia philosophy (named after Gaia, Greek Goddess of the Earth) is a broadly inclusive term for related concepts that living organisms on Embodiment Philosophers cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence researchers who study embodied cognition and the embodied mind argue In process philosophy, this last is the only possibility, but historically philosophers have been loath to conclude that nothing exists but process. Process philosophy (or Ontology of Becoming) identifies metaphysical Reality with Change and Dynamism.
A seemingly simpler way to view categories is as arising only from intuition. Philosophers argue this evades the issue. What it means to take the category physical object seriously as a category of being is to assert that the concept of physical objecthood cannot be reduced to or explicated in any other terms - not, for example, in terms of bundles of properties but only in terms of other items in that category. In Physics, a physical body (sometimes called simply a body or even an object) is a collection of Masses taken to be one Bundle theory, originated by the 18th century Scottish philosopher David Hume, is the ontological theory about objecthood in which an object consists only
In this way, many ontological controversies can be understood as controversies about exactly which categories should be seen as fundamental, irreducible, or primitive. To refer to intuition as the source of distinctions and thus categories doesn't resolve this.
Modern theories give weight to intuition, perceptually observed properties, comparisons of categories among persons, and the direction of investigation towards known specified ends, to determine what humanity in its present state of being needs to consider irreducible. Human beings, humans or man (Origin 1590–1600 L homō man OL hemō the earthly one (see Humus They seek to explain why certain beliefs about categories would appear in political science as ideology, in religion as dogma, or in science as theory. Political science is a branch of Social sciences that deals with the theory and practice of Politics and the description and analysis of Political systems An ideology is a set of beliefs aims and Ideas especially in politics A religion is a set of Tenets and practices often centered upon specific Supernatural and moral claims about Reality, the Cosmos Dogma (the plural is either dogmata or dogmas, Greek, plural) is the established Belief or Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding The word theory has many distinct meanings in different fields of Knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion.
A set of ontological distinctions related by a single conceptual metaphor was called an ontological metaphor by George Lakoff and Mark Johnson, who claimed that such metaphors arising from experience were more basic than any properties or symbol-based comparisons. In Cognitive linguistics, conceptual metaphor refers to the understanding of one idea or Conceptual domain in terms of another for example understanding Quantity "Lakoff" and "Professor Lakoff" redirect here Mark L Johnson (born 24 May 1949 in Kansas City Missouri) is Knight Professor of Liberal Arts and Sciences in the Department of Philosophy at the Experience as a general concept comprises Knowledge of or skill in or Observation of some thing or some event gained through involvement in or Their cognitive science of mathematics was a study of the embodiment of basic symbols and properties including those studied in the philosophy of mathematics, via embodied philosophy, using cognitive science. The cognitive science of mathematics is the study of mathematical ideas (concepts using the techniques of Cognitive science. The philosophy of mathematics is the branch of Philosophy that studies the philosophical assumptions foundations and implications of Mathematics. Embodiment Philosophers cognitive scientists and artificial intelligence researchers who study embodied cognition and the embodied mind argue Cognitive science may be broadly defined as the multidisciplinary study of mind and behavior This theory comes after several thousand years of inquiry into patterns and cognitive bias of humanity. For an article about the conceptual problems of the mind see Cognitive closure (philosophy.
Nowadays, these categories are commonly seen as having a value that is merely historical, in part because Aristotle's notion of substance is commonly rejected. Aristotle (Greek Aristotélēs) (384 BC – 322 BC was a Greek philosopher a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. Categories ( Lat Categoriae, Greek Κατηγορίαι Katēgoriai) is a text from Aristotle 's Organon that Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its This rejection often stems from a misunderstanding of his real meaning, which was that substance is that which exists of itself and not in another.
In special relativity, the term; 'invariant mass' means the same as if we would say; (Aristotle's)substance of mass. The difference being that, 'substance' may be used to describe properties of several other concepts than mass.
Given this understanding, to deny that substance exists amounts to saying that everything exists in another, which in turn implies that nothing exists. But if we assume that things do in fact exist, then at least one substance must be admitted, unless we allow things to nest in other things in either an infinite or a circular fashion. The latter option seems rather implausible, but the former option is conceivable if matter is assumed infinitely divisible, i. e. , if atoms are denied.
Charles Peirce, who had read Kant closely and who also had some knowledge of Aristotle, proposed a system of merely three phenomenological categories: Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness, which he repeatedly invoked in his subsequent writings. The Critique of Pure Reason (Kritik der reinen Vernunft by Immanuel Kant, first published in 1781, second edition 1787, is one Immanuel Kant (ɪmanuəl kant 22 April 1724 12 February 1804 was an 18th-century German Philosopher from the Prussian city of Königsberg Quantity is a kind of property which exists as magnitude or multitude In the vernacular quality can mean a high degree of excellence (“a quality product” a degree of excellence or the lack of it (“work of average quality” or a property of Reality, in everyday usage means "the state of things as they actually exist" In Logic and Mathematics, negation or not is an operation on Logical values for example the logical value of a Proposition A statute of limitations is a Statute in a Common law Legal system that sets forth the maximum period of time after certain events that legal proceedings A Relation of Ideas, in the Humean sense is the type of knowledge that can be characterized as arising out of pure conceptual thought and logical operations (in contrast to Inherence refers to Empedocles' idea that the qualities of matter come from the relative proportions of each of the Four elements Subsistence is the food necessary to sustain life The following is a list of subsistence techniques: Hunting and Gathering Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its An accident is a specific identifiable unexpected unusual and unintended external event which occurs in a particular time and place without apparent or deliberate Causality (but not causation) denotes a necessary relationship between one event (called cause and another event (called effect) which is the direct consequence Causality (but not causation) denotes a necessary relationship between one event (called cause and another event (called effect) which is the direct consequence In common usage existence is the world of which we are aware through our senses but in Philosophy the word has a more specialized meaning and is often contrasted with In Criminal law, necessity may be either a possible justification or an exculpation for breaking the Law. Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced purse) (September 10 1839 &ndash April 19 1914 was an American Logician mathematician, philosopher Edmund Husserl (1962, 2000) wrote extensively about categorial systems as part of his phenomenology. Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl (ˈhʊsɛrl April 8 1859 – April 26 1938) was a philosopher, known as the father of
Contemporary systems of categories have been proposed by Wilfrid Sellars (1974), Grossman (1983), Johansson (1989), Hoffman and Rosenkrantz (1994), Roderick Chisholm (1996), and Barry Smith (ontologist) (2003). Wilfrid Stalker Sellars ( May 20, 1912 - July 2, 1989) was an American philosopher Roderick M Chisholm (born Seekonk Massachusetts in 1916 died Providence Rhode Island in 1999 was an American philosopher known for his work Barry Smith (born 4 June 1952) is Julian Park Distinguished Professor of Philosophy in the University at Buffalo (New York USA and Research
For Gilbert Ryle (1949), a category (in particular a "category mistake") is an important semantic concept, but one having only loose affinities to an ontological category. Gilbert Ryle ( 19 August 1900 - 6 October 1976) was a British Philosopher, and a representative of the generation of A category mistake, or category error, is a Semantic or ontological error by which a property is ascribed to a thing that could not possibly have that property
Philosophers have many differing views on what the fundamental categories of being are. In no particular order, here are at least some items that have been regarded as categories of being by someone or other:
Physical objects are beings; certainly they are said to be in the simple sense that they exist all around us. In Physics, a physical body (sometimes called simply a body or even an object) is a collection of Masses taken to be one So a house is a being, a person's body is a being, a tree is a being, a cloud is a being, and so on. They are beings because, and in the sense that, they are physical objects. One might also call them bodies, or physical particulars, or concrete things, or matter, or maybe substances (but bear in mind the word 'substance' has some special philosophical meanings). With regard to living things, a body is the integral physical material of an individual In Metaphysics, particulars are one might say identified by what they are not they are not Abstractions not multiply-instantiated --i Concrete is a construction material composed of Cement (commonly Portland cement) as well as other cementitious materials such as Fly ash and Slag Matter is commonly defined as being anything that has mass and that takes up space. Substance theory, or substance attribute theory, is an ontological theory about objecthood, positing that a substance is distinct from its
Minds -- those "parts" of us that think and perceive -- are considered beings by some philosophers. MIND ( Moving In New Directions) (est 1975 is an alternative education high school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Each of us, according to common sense anyway, "has" a mind. Common sense (or when used attributively as an Adjective, commonsense, common-sense, or commonsensical) based on a strict construction Of course, philosophers rarely just assume that minds occupy a different category of beings from physical objects. Some, like René Descartes, have thought that this is so (this view is known as dualism, and functionalism also considers the mind as distinct from the body), while others have thought that concepts of the mental can be reduced to physical concepts (this is the view of physicalism or materialism). Dualism denotes a state of two parts The word's origin is the Latin duo, "two". Functionalism is a theory of the mind in contemporary Philosophy, developed largely as an alternative to both the Identity theory of mind and Behaviourism Reduction is the process by which one object property concept theory etc Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its Physical properties; that is that there are no kinds of things other The Philosophy of materialism holds that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is Matter, and is considered a form of Physicalism. Still others maintain though "mind" is a noun, it is not necessarily the "name of a thing" distinct within the whole person. In this view the relationship between mental properties and physical properties is one of supervenience – similar to how "banks" supervene upon certain buildings. In Philosophy, supervenience is a kind of dependency relationship typically held to obtain between Sets of properties. See Philosophy of mind. Philosophy of mind is the branch of Philosophy that studies the nature of the Mind, Mental events Mental functions mental properties
We can talk about all human beings, and the planets, and all engines as belonging to classes. Philosophers sometimes distinguish classes from types and kinds. Within the class of human beings are all of the human beings, or the extension of the term 'human being'. In any of several studies that treat the use of signs for example in Linguistics, Logic, Mathematics, Semantics, and Semiotics, the In the class of planets would be Mercury, Venus, the Earth, and all the other planets that there might be in the universe. A planet, as defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU is a celestial body Orbiting a Star or stellar remnant that is Classes, in addition to each of their members, are often taken to be beings. Surely we can say that in some sense, the class of planets is, or has being. Classes are usually taken to be abstract objects, like sets; 'class' is often regarded as equivalent, or nearly equivalent, in meaning to 'set'. For other uses see Abstract In Philosophy it is commonly considered that every object is either abstract or concrete Denying that classes and sets exist is the contemporary meaning of nominalism. Nominalism is a metaphysical view in Philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist but that either universals
The redness of a red apple, or more to the point, the redness all red things share, is a property. In modern Philosophy, Mathematics, and Logic, a property is an Attribute of an object; thus a red object is said to have the property One could also call it an attribute of the apple. Very roughly put, a property is just a quality that describes an object. This will not do as a definition of the word 'property' because, like 'attribute', 'quality' is a near-synonym of 'property'. But these synonyms can at least help us to get a fix on the concept we are talking about. Whenever one talks about the size, color, weight, composition, and so forth, of an object, one is talking about the properties of that object. Some -- though this is a point of severe contention in the problem of universals -- believe that properties are beings; the redness of all apples is something that is. The problem of universals is an ancient problem in Metaphysics about whether universals exist To deny that universals exist is the scholastic variant of nominalism. Scholasticism was the dominant form of theology and philosophy in the Latin West in the Middle Ages, particularly in the 12th 13th and 14th centuries Nominalism is a metaphysical view in Philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist but that either universals
An apple sitting on a table is in a relation to the table it sits on. Charles Sanders Peirce (pronounced purse) (September 10 1839 &ndash April 19 1914 was an American Logician mathematician, philosopher So we can say that there is a relation between the apple and the table: namely, the relation of sitting-on. So, some say, we can say that that relation has being. For another example, the Washington Monument is taller than the White House. The Washington Monument is a large tall sand-colored Obelisk near the west end of the National Mall in Washington D See also Executive Office of the President of the United States The White House, formerly known as the Executive Mansion, is the Official residence Being-taller-than is a relation between the two buildings. We can say that that relation has being as well. This, too, is a point of contention in the problem of universals. The problem of universals is an ancient problem in Metaphysics about whether universals exist
Space and time are what physical objects are extended into. There is debate as to whether time exists only in the present or whether far away times are just as real as far away spaces, and there is debate as to whether space is curved. In the Philosophy of time, presentism is the Belief that only the present exists and the Future and the Past are unreal Eternalism is a philosophical approach to the ontological nature of time. Curved space often refers to a spatial geometry which is not “flat” where a flat space is described by Euclidean Geometry. Many contemporary thinkers actually suggest that time is the fourth dimension, thus reducing space and time to one distinct ontological entity, the space-time continuum. SpaceTime is a patent-pending three dimensional graphical user interface that allows end users to search their content such as Google Google Images Yahoo! YouTube eBay Amazon and RSS SpaceTime is a patent-pending three dimensional graphical user interface that allows end users to search their content such as Google Google Images Yahoo! YouTube eBay Amazon and RSS
Propositions are units of meaning. In Logic and Philosophy, proposition refers to either (a the content or Meaning of a meaningful Declarative sentence They should not be confused with declarative sentences, which are just sets of words in languages that refer to propositions. In Linguistics, a sentence is a grammatical unit of one or more words bearing minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it often preceded and followed Declarative sentences, ontologically speaking, are thus ideas, a property of substances (minds), rather than a distinct ontological category. For instance, the English declarative sentence "snow is white" refers to the same proposition as the equivalent French declarative sentence "neige est blanc"; two sentences, one proposition. Similarly, one declarative sentence can refer to many propositions; for instance, "I am hungry" changes meaning (i. e. refers to different propositions) depending on the person uttering it.
Events are that which can be said to occur. To illustrate, consider the claim "John went to a ballgame"; if true, then we must ontologically account for every entity in the sentence. "John" refers to a substance. But what does "went to a ballgame" refer to? It seems wrong to say that "went to a ballgame" is a property that instantiates John, because "went to a ballgame" does not seem to be the same ontological kind of thing as, for instance, redness. Thus, events arguably deserve their own ontological category.
Properties, relations, and classes are supposed to be abstract, rather than concrete. --> Abstraction is the process or result of generalization by reducing the information For other uses see Abstract In Philosophy it is commonly considered that every object is either abstract or concrete Many philosophers say that properties and relations have an abstract existence, and that physical objects have a concrete existence. That, perhaps, is the paradigm case of a difference in ways in which items can be said to be, or to have being.
Many philosophers have attempted to reduce the number of distinct ontological categories. For instance, David Hume famously regarded Space and Time as nothing more than psychological facts about human beings, which would effectively reduce Space and Time to ideas, which are properties of humans (substances). David Hume (26 April 1711 25 August 1776 Scottish Philosopher, Economist, and Historian is an important figure in Western philosophy Nominalists and realists argue over the existence of properties and relations. Nominalism is a metaphysical view in Philosophy according to which general or abstract terms and predicates exist but that either universals Contemporary philosophical realism is the belief in a Reality that is completely Ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes linguistic practices beliefs Finally, events and propositions have been argued to be reducible to sets (classes) of substances and other such categories.