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2016

Ontology

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Articles 1 - 18 of 18

Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Understanding Imperfection, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Because of their inherent abstraction, systems ideas are not themselves sufficient for gaining scientific knowledge or solving practical problems, but they can be a source of insights into the universality of imperfection, insights which can contribute to a new scientific world view. Systems theory offers a metaphysics, or more precisely an ontology, of imperfection. Through it, we can heed Spinoza's injunction, “Not to lament, not to curse, but to understand.”


Systems Theory And The Metaphysics Of Composition, Martin Zwick Dec 2016

Systems Theory And The Metaphysics Of Composition, Martin Zwick

Martin Zwick

Ideas from systems theory - recursive unity and emergent attributes - are applied to the metaphysical and meta-metaphysical debates about the ontological status of composites. These ideas suggest the rejection of both extremes of universalism and nihilism, favoring instead the intermediate position that some composites exist in a nontrivial sense - those having unity and emergent novelty - while others do not. Systems theory is egalitarian: it posits that what exist are systems, equal in their ontological status. Some systems are fundamental, but what exists is not merely the fundamental, and the fundamental is not merely the foundational. The status of composites raises non-trivial ...


Choosing To Choose: The Impact Of Technology On Choice, Aaron J. Alford Nov 2016

Choosing To Choose: The Impact Of Technology On Choice, Aaron J. Alford

Channels: Where Disciplines Meet

The development of modern technology has increasingly focused on efficiency over expression. Interfaces limit and scale down human choice and expression. Entertainment and communication now use interfaced technology for even basic human expression, artificially limiting the number of potential choices to the options presented by the interface. The logic of technology has become a totalizing phenomenon, bringing all areas of human life under it purview. According to Heidegger, Ellul, and Flusser, the result of this development is a different way of being-in-the-world for humans. The traditional man has been the constant in production and communication, which the medium and technology ...


"A Return To Reality": Mark Hansen's Metaphysics: Towards A New Relationality Of Twenty-First-Century Media, Sandra Moyano Ariza Sep 2016

"A Return To Reality": Mark Hansen's Metaphysics: Towards A New Relationality Of Twenty-First-Century Media, Sandra Moyano Ariza

All Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

This project is framed in the recent turn to speculation in philosophy which aims to develop new ontologies that deprivilege the human and human cognition, in turn claiming the capacity of all entities to hold agency in experiential processes. New philosophical scholarship is seeing the resurgence of an old problematic within this turn: the ontological debate of substances vs. relations. The study is structured around these two positions, represented by Graham Harman's object-oriented ontology which claims the essence of all entities and Steven Shaviro's understanding of relationality through Whitehead's structure of experience and becoming, respectively. These two ...


Evolutionary Continuity Of Personhood, Anne Benvenuti Sep 2016

Evolutionary Continuity Of Personhood, Anne Benvenuti

Animal Sentience

Rowlands applies the two organizing ideas of the Lockean concept of personhood — mental life and unity — to animals as potential persons. Especially valuable in this context is his descriptive phenomenology of pre-reflective self-awareness as a fundamental form of mental life that necessarily entails unity. Rowland describes certain fundamentals of mental experience that exist across species boundaries, challenging assumptions of early modern philosophers regarding the definition of human personhood and affirming the principle of evolutionary continuity. This opens the door to a broader and deeper set of questions, related to whether we should continue to attempt to apply to other animals ...


Argument Objectivity And Ontological/Logical Pluralism: Must Arguments Be Domain Sensitive?, Philip Rose May 2016

Argument Objectivity And Ontological/Logical Pluralism: Must Arguments Be Domain Sensitive?, Philip Rose

OSSA Conference Archive

The idea of ontological/logical pluralism raises an interesting question about the objectivity of arguments and argument forms: Are all arguments and argument forms domain dependent? In his recent work Bruno Latour outlines a radical form of ontological pluralism in which each domain or “mode of existence” has its own set of “felicity conditions” that serve as “veridiction” conditions unique to that mode. To “speak well” requires that one speak in the “interpretive key” proper to each mode. Since there is no “meta-language” that crosses all modes, then all modes must be assessed using the felicity or veridiction conditions peculiar ...


Theories Of Properties And Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay In Metaontology, Christopher Gibilisco Apr 2016

Theories Of Properties And Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay In Metaontology, Christopher Gibilisco

Philosophy Dissertations, Theses, & Student Research

This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties.

First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I argue considerations of explanatory adequacy cannot resolve the underdetermination, because every traditional theory of properties lacks the theoretical resources to adequately explain resemblance ...


Leibniz's More Fundamental Ontology: From Overshadowed Individuals To Metaphysical Atoms, Marin Lucio Mare Apr 2016

Leibniz's More Fundamental Ontology: From Overshadowed Individuals To Metaphysical Atoms, Marin Lucio Mare

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

I aim to offer an innovative interpretation of Leibniz’s philosophy, first by examining how the various views that make up his ontology of individual substance involve a persistent rejection of atomism in natural philosophy and secondly, by exploring the significance of this rejection in the larger context of Seventeenth-century physics. My thesis is structured as a developmental story, each chapter analyzing the discontinuities or changes Leibniz makes to his views on individuation and atomism from his early to late years. The goal is to illuminate underrepresented views on individuals and atoms throughout Leibniz’s works and thus bring a ...


A Black Art: Ontology, Data, And The Tower Of Babel Problem, Andrew J. Iliadis Apr 2016

A Black Art: Ontology, Data, And The Tower Of Babel Problem, Andrew J. Iliadis

Open Access Dissertations

Computational ontologies are a new type of emerging scientific media (Smith, 2016) that process large quantities of heterogeneous data about portions of reality. Applied computational ontologies are used for semantically integrating (Heiler, 1995; Pileggi & Fernandez-Llatas, 2012) divergent data to represent reality and in so doing applied computational ontologies alter conceptions of materiality and produce new realities based on levels of informational granularity and abstraction (Floridi, 2011), resulting in a new type of informational ontology (Iliadis, 2013) the critical analysis of which requires new methods and frameworks. Currently, there is a lack of literature addressing the theoretical, social, and critical dimensions of such informational ontologies, applied computational ontologies, and the interdisciplinary communities of practice (Brown & Duguid, 1991; Wenger, 1998) that produce them. This dissertation fills a lacuna in communicative work in an emerging subfield of Science and Technology Studies (Latour & Woolgar, 1979) known as Critical Data Studies (boyd & Crawford, 2012; Dalton & Thatcher, 2014; Kitchin & Lauriault, 2014) by adopting a critical framework to analyze the systems of thought that inform applied computational ontology while offering insight into its realism-based methods and philosophical frameworks to gauge their ethical import. Since the early 1990s, computational ontologies have been ...


The Philosophy Of Music, Andrew Kania Mar 2016

The Philosophy Of Music, Andrew Kania

Andrew Kania

Philosophy of music is the study of fundamental questions about the nature of music and our experience of it. Like any ‘philosophy of X’, it presupposes a knowledge of its target area of study. However, unlike philosophy of science, say, the target of philosophy of music is a practice most people have a significant background in, merely as a result of being members of a musical culture. Music plays a central role in many people's lives. Thus, as with the central questions of metaphysics and epistemology, not only can most people quickly grasp the philosophical questions music raises, they ...


What Is Memento? Ontology And Interpretation In Mainstream Film, Andrew Kania Mar 2016

What Is Memento? Ontology And Interpretation In Mainstream Film, Andrew Kania

Andrew Kania

At the end of the flashback, quite late in Memento, when we finally get to see what Leonard remembers of the incident that led to his memory impairment, the camera pans slowly away from a close-up of Leonard's head, oozing blood onto the tiles of his bathroom floor (E, 1:19:27). Just before the flashback fades out, and we return to the present in which Leonard is recounting this memory to Natalie, the frame includes only the bathroom floor, tiled entirely in white with the exception of two black tiles in opposite corners of the screen, like dots ...


Platonism Vs. Nominalism In Contemporary Musical Ontology, Andrew Kania Mar 2016

Platonism Vs. Nominalism In Contemporary Musical Ontology, Andrew Kania

Andrew Kania

Ontological theories of musical works fall into two broad classes, according to whether or not they take musical works to be abstract objects of some sort. I shall use the terms 'Platonism' and 'nominalism' to refer to these two kinds of theory. In this chapter I first outline contemporary Platonism about musical works—the theory that musical works are abstract objects. I then consider reasons to be suspicious of such a view, motivating a consideration of nominalist theories of musical works. I argue for two conclusions: first, that there are no compelling reasons to be a nominalist about musical works ...


Piece For The End Of Time: In Defence Of Musical Ontology, Andrew Kania Mar 2016

Piece For The End Of Time: In Defence Of Musical Ontology, Andrew Kania

Andrew Kania

Aaron Ridley has recently attacked the study of musical ontology—an apparently fertile area in the philosophy of music. I argue here that Ridley’s arguments are unsound. There are genuinely puzzling ontological questions about music, many of which are closely related to questions of musical value. While it is true that musical ontology must be descriptive of pre-existing musical practices and that some debates, such as that over the creatability of musical works, have little consequence for questions of musical value, none of this implies that these debates themselves are without value.


Book Reviews: Alien Phenomenology, Or What It’S Like To Be A Thing By Ian Bogost, Jet Plane: How It Works By David Macaulay, Andvibrant Matter: A Political Ecology Of Things By Jane Bennett, Nathaniel A. Rivers Feb 2016

Book Reviews: Alien Phenomenology, Or What It’S Like To Be A Thing By Ian Bogost, Jet Plane: How It Works By David Macaulay, Andvibrant Matter: A Political Ecology Of Things By Jane Bennett, Nathaniel A. Rivers

Criticism

In this review essay, I review Ian Bogost’s Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing (2012) and Jane Bennett’s Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things (2010) alongside David MacAuley’s Jet Plane: How It Works (2012), which is devoted to a child’s experience of airplanes. While composed for different audiences in traditionally discrete contexts, all three books do critical, speculative work in providing explicit articulations and implicit performances of alternative ontologies from which Critical Air Studies might benefit.


On The Role Of Mathematics In Scientific Representation, Saad Anis Feb 2016

On The Role Of Mathematics In Scientific Representation, Saad Anis

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

In this dissertation, I consider from a philosophical perspective three related questions concerning the contribution of mathematics to scientific representation. In answering these questions, I propose and defend Carnapian frameworks for examination into the nature and role of mathematics in science.

The first research question concerns the varied ways in which mathematics contributes to scientific representation. In response, I consider in Chapter 2 two recent philosophical proposals claiming to account for the explanatory role of mathematics in science, by Philip Kitcher, and Otavio Bueno and Mark Colyvan. My novel and detailed critique of these accounts shows that they are too ...


Physical Geometry, James P. Binkoski Jan 2016

Physical Geometry, James P. Binkoski

Doctoral Dissertations

All physical theories, from classical Newtonian mechanics to relativistic quantum field theory, entail propositions concerning the geometric structure of spacetime. To give an example, the general theory of relativity entails that spacetime is curved, smooth, and four-dimensional. In this dissertation, I take the structural commitments of our theories seriously and ask: how is such structure instantiated in the physical world? Mathematically, a property like 'being curved' is perfectly well-defined insofar as we know what it means for a mathematical space to be curved. But what could it mean to say that the physical world is curved? Call this the problem ...


Exploring Consciousness Through The Qualitative Content Of Equations, Ashok Narasimhan, Menas C. Kafatos Jan 2016

Exploring Consciousness Through The Qualitative Content Of Equations, Ashok Narasimhan, Menas C. Kafatos

Mathematics, Physics, and Computer Science Faculty Articles and Research

The majority of the focus on equations in physics has been on the mathematical and computational aspects. Here we focus on the qualitative content of what the relationships expressed in equations imply. In some sense, we are asking foundational questions about the ontology of equations.


Alternative Ontologies Of Number: Rethinking The Quantitative In Computational Culture, Elizabeth De Freitas, Ezekiel J. Dixon-Román, Patti Lather Dec 2015

Alternative Ontologies Of Number: Rethinking The Quantitative In Computational Culture, Elizabeth De Freitas, Ezekiel J. Dixon-Román, Patti Lather

Ezekiel J Dixon-Román

Introduction to special issue.