Treatise on Basic Philosophy: Ontology I: The Furniture of the World / Edition 1by Mario BUNGE
Pub. Date: 06/30/1977
Publisher: Springer Netherlands
In this Introduction' we shall sketch the business of ontology, or metaphysics, and shall locate it on the map of learning. This has to be done because there are many ways of construing the word 'ontology' and because of the bad reputation metaphysics has suffered until recently - a well deserved one in most cases. 1. ONTOLOGICAL PROBLEMS Ontological (or
In this Introduction' we shall sketch the business of ontology, or metaphysics, and shall locate it on the map of learning. This has to be done because there are many ways of construing the word 'ontology' and because of the bad reputation metaphysics has suffered until recently - a well deserved one in most cases. 1. ONTOLOGICAL PROBLEMS Ontological (or metaphysical) views are answers to ontological ques tions. And ontological (or metaphysical) questions are questions with an extremely wide scope, such as 'Is the world material or ideal - or perhaps neutral?" 'Is there radical novelty, and if so how does it come about?', 'Is there objective chance or just an appearance of such due to human ignorance?', 'How is the mental related to the physical?', 'Is a community anything but the set of its members?', and 'Are there laws of history?'. Just as religion was born from helplessness, ideology from conflict, and technology from the need to master the environment, so metaphysics - just like theoretical science - was probably begotten by the awe and bewilderment at the boundless variety and apparent chaos of the phenomenal world, i. e. the sum total of human experience. Like the scientist, the metaphysician looked and looks for unity in diversity, for pattern in disorder, for structure in the amorphous heap of phenomena - and in some cases even for some sense, direction or finality in reality as a whole.
Table of Contents
of Ontology I.- 1. Ontological Problems.- 2. The Business of Ontology.- 3. Is Ontology Possible?.- 4. The Method of Scientific Ontology.- 5. The Goals of Scientific Ontology.- 6. Ontology and Formal Science.- 7. The Ontology of Science.- 8. Ontological Inputs and Outputs of Science and Technology.- 9. Uses of Ontology.- 10. Concluding Remarks.- 1. Substance.- 1. Association.- 1.1 Concatenation and its Ontological Interpretation.- 1.2. Axiomatic Foundation of Association Theory.- 1.3. Consequences.- 1.4. Atom Aggregates.- 1.5. Clustering.- 1.6. Historical Remark.- 2. Assembly.- 2.1. Juxtaposition and Superposition: Intuitive Idea.- 2.2. Formalization.- 2.3. Definitions.- 2.4. Some Consequences.- 2.5. Atoms and Levels.- 2.6. Alternative Formalizations.- 2.7. Concluding Remarks.- 3. Entities and Sets.- 3.1. The Null Individual and the World.- 3.2. Entities and Concepts.- 3.3. Existence and Individuation.- 4. Concluding Remarks.- 2. Form.- 1. Property and Attribute.- 1.1. Difference between Property and Attribute.- 1.2. Attribute-Property Correspondence.- 2. Analysis.- 2.1. Property in General and Property of a Particular.- 2.2. Intrinsic and Mutual, Primary and Secondary.- 3. Theory.- 3.1. Unarization and Dichotomization.- 3.2. Basic Assumptions and Conventions.- 3.3. Laws as Properties.- 3.5. Similarity.- 3.6. Indiscernibility.- 4. Properties of Properties.- 4.1. Identity and Difference of Properties.- 4.2. Property Weight.- 4.3. Resultants and Emergents.- 4.4. Properties of Properties.- 5. Status of Properties.- 5.1. The Reality of Properties.- 5.2. A Critique of Platonism.- 5.3. The Problem of Universals.- 6. Concluding Remarks.- 3. Thing.- 1. Thing and Model Thing.- 1.1. Thing: Definition.- 1.2. Assumptions.- 1.3. Thing and Construct.- 1.4. Model Thing.- 2. State.- 2.1. Centrality of the State Concept.- 2.2. State Function.- 2.3. Law Statements as Restrictions on State Functions.- 2.4. State Space: Preliminaries.- 2.5. Definition of a State Space.- 2.6. Equivalent Representations of States.- 2.7. State and State Preparation.- 2.8. Concluding Remarks.- 3. From Class to Natural Kind.- 3.1. Classes of Things.- 3.2. Ideals and Filters of Classes of Things.- 3.3. Kinds and Species.- 3.4. The Algebra of Kinds.- 3.5. Variety.- 4. The World.- 4.1. What Does the World Consist in and of?.- 4.2. Individuals, Populations, Communities, and Species.- 4.3. Existence Concepts.- 4.4. Nothingness and Virtual Existence.- 4.5. Existence Criteria.- 5. Concluding Remarks.- 4. Possibility.- 1. Conceptual Possibility.- 1.1. Possibility Concepts.- 1.2. Four Concepts of Conceptual Possibility.- 1.3. Conceptual Possibility: Relative.- 2. Real Possibility.- 2.1. Fact.- 2.2. Chrysippian Possibility.- 2.3. Real Possibility as Lawfulness.- 2.4. Factual Necessity.- 2.5. Possibility Criteria.- 3. Disposition.- 3.1. Intuitive Idea.- 3.2. Elucidation.- 3.3. Potency and Act.- 3.4. Unrealized Possibilities and Counterfactuals.- 4. Probability.- 4.1. Abstract Concept.- 4.2. Probability State Space.- 4.3. Propensity Interpretation.- 5. Chance Propensity.- 5.1. Irreducible Potentialities.- 5.2. Analysis.- 5.3. Upshot.- 6. Marginalia.- 6.1. Modal Logic and Real Possibility.- 6.2. Possible Worlds Metaphysics.- 6.3. Modality and Probability.- 6.4. Randomness.- 6.5. Probability and Causality.- 6.6. The Many Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics.- 7. Concluding Remarks.- 5. Change.- 1. Changeability.- 1.1. Preliminaries.- 1.2. Changeability.- 2. Event.- 2.1. The Ordered Pair Representation of Events.- 2.2. The Event Space.- 2.3. The Representation of Processes.- 2.4. The Space of Lawful Events.- 2.5. Keeping Track of Changing States.- 2.6. Rate, Extent, and Change Potential.- 3. Process.- 3.1. Serial Change: Types.- 3.2. General Concepts and Principles.- 4. Action and Reaction.- 4.1. Induced Change.- 4.2. Aggregates and Systems.- 4.3. Reference Frame.- 5. Panta Rhei.- 5.1. Fact.- 5.2. Dynamicism.- 5.3. Interconnectedness.- 5.4. Three Misconceptions.- 6. Concluding Remarks.- 6. Spacetime.- 1. Conflicting Views.- 1.1. The Three Main Views.- 1.2. Approaches to Chronotopics Building.- 2. Space.- 2.1. Interposition.- 2.2. A Philosopher’s Space.- 2.3. The Physicist’s Space.- 2.4. Bulk and Shape.- 2.5. Concluding Remarks.- 3. Duration.- 3.1. Intuitive Idea.- 3.2. Before and After.- 3.3. Duration.- 4. Spacetime.- 4.1. Spacetime, the Basic Network of Events.- 4.2. Position in Spacetime.- 4.3. Change in Spacetime.- 5. Spatiotemporal Properties.- 5.1. Does Spacetime have any Properties?.- 5.2. Time Reversal and Process Reversibility.- 5.3. Antecedence (“Causality”) Principle.- 5.4. Action by Contact.- 5.5. Spatiotemporal Contiguity.- 5.6. The Causal Relation.- 6. Matters of Existence.- 6.1. Existence in Space and Time.- 6.2. Existence of Space and Time.- 7. Concluding Remarks.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.
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It is highly recommended for scholars, professors and interested people like myself in Ontology. This book is about General Theory of Systems and it presents its basics and covers some important systems like social, bio, chemical ones. This is the second part of Ontology and the fourth volume in the Treatise on Basic Philosophy. The information therein is clear, "exact and systematic" (in M. Bunges' words) ontology.