A report on Ontology

Parmenides was among the first to propose an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of reality.

Branch of philosophy that studies concepts such as existence, being, becoming, and reality.

- Ontology
Parmenides was among the first to propose an ontological characterization of the fundamental nature of reality.

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Different approaches toward resolving the mind–body problem

Metaphysics

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Branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility.

Branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility.

Different approaches toward resolving the mind–body problem
The circled dot was used by the Pythagoreans and later Greeks to represent the first metaphysical being, the Monad or The Absolute.
The modern "yin and yang symbol" (taijitu)

Historically, it formed a major part of the subject alongside ontology, though its role is more peripheral in contemporary philosophy.

Existence

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Ability of an entity to interact with reality.

Ability of an entity to interact with reality.

In philosophy, it refers to the ontological property of being.

A brain in a vat that believes it is walking

Reality

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Sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary.

Sum or aggregate of all that is real or existent within a system, as opposed to that which is only imaginary.

A brain in a vat that believes it is walking
Reality-virtuality continuum.

Philosophical questions about the nature of reality or existence or being are considered under the rubric of ontology, which is a major branch of metaphysics in the Western philosophical tradition.

The Being according to Parmenides is like the mass of a sphere.

Being

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Material or immaterial existence of a thing.

Material or immaterial existence of a thing.

The Being according to Parmenides is like the mass of a sphere.

Ontology is the branch of philosophy that studies being.

The School of Athens (1509–1511) by Raphael, depicting famous classical Greek philosophers in an idealized setting inspired by ancient Greek architecture.

Philosophy

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Systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language.

Systematized study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence, reason, knowledge, values, mind, and language.

The School of Athens (1509–1511) by Raphael, depicting famous classical Greek philosophers in an idealized setting inspired by ancient Greek architecture.
The Vinegar Tasters (Japan, Edo period, 1802-1816) by Kanō Isen'in, depicting the three main philosophical figures in East Asian thought: Buddha, Confucius and Laozi.
Statue of Aristotle (384–322 BCE), a major figure of ancient Greek philosophy, in Aristotle's Park, Stagira.
A painting of the influential modern philosopher Immanuel Kant (in the blue coat) with his friends. Other figures include Christian Jakob Kraus, Johann Georg Hamann, Theodor Gottlieb von Hippel and Karl Gottfried Hagen.
A page of The Maxims of Ptahhotep, traditionally attributed to the Vizier Ptahhotep (c. 2375–2350 BCE).
An Iranian portrait of Avicenna on a Silver Vase. He was one of the most influential philosophers of the Islamic Golden Age.
Adi Shankara is one of the most frequently studied Hindu philosophers.
The parable of the blind men and the elephant illustrates the important Jain doctrine of anēkāntavāda.
Statue of the Neo-Confucian scholar Zhu Xi at the White Deer Grotto Academy in Lushan Mountain.
Kitaro Nishida, considered the founder of the Kyoto School of philosophical thought, c. 1943.
Painting of Zera Yacob from Claude Sumner's Classical Ethiopian Philosophy.
A Tlamatini (Aztec philosopher) observing the stars, from the Codex Mendoza.
Depiction of Pachacuti worshipping Inti (god Sun) at Coricancha, in the 17th century second chronicles of Martín de Murúa. Pachacuti was a major Incan ruler, author and poet.
Mary Wollstonecraft (1759-1797) was an English writer and philosopher.
The Beijing imperial college was an intellectual center for Confucian ethics and classics during the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties.
Dignaga founded a school of Buddhist epistemology and logic.
The beginning of Aristotle's Metaphysics in an incunabulum decorated with hand-painted miniatures.
Thomas Hobbes, best known for his Leviathan, which expounded an influential formulation of social contract theory.
Martin Luther King Jr.

Metaphysics includes cosmology, the study of the world in its entirety and ontology, the study of being, along with the philosophy of space and time.

Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC

Plato

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Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece.

Roman copy of a portrait bust c. 370 BC
Diogenes Laertius is a principal source for the history of ancient Greek philosophy.
Through his mother, Plato was related to Solon.
Speusippus was Plato's nephew.
Plato was a wrestler
Plato in his academy, drawing after a painting by Swedish painter Carl Johan Wahlbom
Bust of Pythagoras in Rome.
A detail of Spinoza monument in Amsterdam.
Bust of Socrates at the Louvre.
The "windmill proof" of the Pythagorean theorem found in Euclid's Elements.
What is justice?
A Venn diagram illustrating the classical theory of knowledge.
Oxyrhynchus Papyri, with fragment of Plato's Republic
Bust excavated at the Villa of the Papyri, possibly of Dionysus, Plato or Poseidon.
The Death of Socrates (1787), by Jacques-Louis David
Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Jan Saenredam, according to Cornelis van Haarlem, 1604, Albertina, Vienna
Painting of a scene from Plato's Symposium (Anselm Feuerbach, 1873)
Volume 3, pp. 32–33, of the 1578 Stephanus edition of Plato, showing a passage of Timaeus with the Latin translation and notes of Jean de Serres
First page of the Euthyphro, from the Clarke Plato (Codex Oxoniensis Clarkianus 39), 895 AD. The text is Greek minuscule.
Plato (left) and Aristotle (right) a detail of The School of Athens, a fresco by Raphael. Aristotle gestures to the earth while holding a copy of his Nicomachean Ethics in his hand. Plato holds his Timaeus and gestures to the heavens.
"The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality, 1929).

John Palmer notes "Parmenides' distinction among the principal modes of being and his derivation of the attributes that must belong to what must be, simply as such, qualify him to be seen as the founder of metaphysics or ontology as a domain of inquiry distinct from theology."

Detail of Plato in The School of Athens, by Raphael

Idealism

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Indistinguishable and inseparable from human perception and understanding; that reality is a mental construct closely connected to ideas.

Indistinguishable and inseparable from human perception and understanding; that reality is a mental construct closely connected to ideas.

Detail of Plato in The School of Athens, by Raphael
The sage Yajnavalkya (possibly 8th century BCE) is one of the earliest exponents of idealism, and is a major figure in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.
Statue of Vasubandhu (jp. Seshin), Kōfuku-ji, Nara, Japan.
The 20th-century British scientist Sir James Jeans wrote that "the Universe begins to look more like a great thought than like a great machine"

Ontologically, idealism asserts that the existence of things depends upon the human mind; thus ontological idealism rejects the perspectives of physicalism and dualism, because each perspective does not give ontological priority to the human mind.

Willard Van Orman Quine

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American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition, recognized as "one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century".

American philosopher and logician in the analytic tradition, recognized as "one of the most influential philosophers of the twentieth century".

His major writings include the papers "On What There Is" (1948), which elucidated Bertrand Russell's theory of descriptions and contains Quine's famous dictum of ontological commitment, "To be is to be the value of a variable", and "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (1951), which attacked the traditional analytic-synthetic distinction and reductionism, undermining the then-popular logical positivism, advocating instead a form of semantic holism.

René Descartes's illustration of dualism. Inputs are passed on by the sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit.

Mind–body dualism

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In the philosophy of mind, mind–body dualism denotes either the view that mental phenomena are non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable.

In the philosophy of mind, mind–body dualism denotes either the view that mental phenomena are non-physical, or that the mind and body are distinct and separable.

René Descartes's illustration of dualism. Inputs are passed on by the sensory organs to the epiphysis in the brain and from there to the immaterial spirit.
Four varieties of dualist causal interaction. The arrows indicate the direction of causations. Mental and physical states are shown in red and blue, respectively.
Another one of Descartes' illustrations. The fire displaces the skin, which pulls a tiny thread, which opens a pore in the ventricle (F) allowing the "animal spirit" to flow through a hollow tube, which inflates the muscle of the leg, causing the foot to withdraw.
Cartesian dualism compared to three forms of monism.

Ontological dualism makes dual commitments about the nature of existence as it relates to mind and matter, and can be divided into three different types:

Bust of Parmenides discovered at Velia, thought to have been partially modeled on a Metrodorus bust.

Parmenides

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Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia.

Pre-Socratic Greek philosopher from Elea in Magna Graecia.

Bust of Parmenides discovered at Velia, thought to have been partially modeled on a Metrodorus bust.
Being according to Parmenides is like a sphere.
Parmenides. Detail from The School of Athens by Raphael.

Parmenides has been considered the founder of ontology or metaphysics and has influenced the whole history of Western philosophy.