The Problems of Philosophy

The Problems of Philosophy

by John Grier Hibben

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Excerpt from book:
CHAPTER III THE PROBLEM OF BEING ("ONTOLOGY") THE problem of being, or ontology, is that department of philosophy which treats, in its most comprehensive significance, the fundamental nature of that which is. What is the common essence of all substances midst their varying forms of manifestation? We may compare a plant, a stone, an animal, a man, and ask the question, Is there a common element at the basis of all these particular things from which the plant is fashioned after its kind, and the animal after its kind? There is an unexpressed philosophy in the solemn words, "ashes to ashes, and dust to dust," — a final reduction of all living forms to the inert mother of them all. But there is, on the other hand, a tendency to elevate matter into the sphere of mind, which is quite as pronounced as the attempt to reduce all things to matter. The problem of ontology, translated into popular phrase, is the much vexed question of the relations of mind and matter. The attempted solutions of this problem may be classified according to their expression of any one of the following characteristics : 1. Pluralism; 2. Dualism; 3. Monism. Pluralism. — Pluralism is a theory of the universe which recognizes several fundamental elements of being, which may be regarded as analogous in their nature to the original elements of chemistry. They cannot be further reduced to simpler forms, nor derived from anything else, nor from each other. The earliest expression of this theory is found in the atomismof Democritus. He insisted that the world was made up of innumerable atoms, independent, self-existing bits of being, which could not be referred to a common source, and which gave no indication of possessing a common nature. Later in the history of philosophic thought we have another illust...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9783337070687
Publisher: Bod Third Party Titles
Publication date: 04/25/2019
Pages: 216
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x 0.49(d)

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CHAPTER III THE PROBLEM OF BEING ("ONTOLOGY") THE problem of being, or ontology, is that department of philosophy which treats, in its most comprehensive significance, the fundamental nature of that which is. What is the common essence of all substances midst their varying forms of manifestation? We may compare a plant, a stone, an animal, a man, and ask the question, Is there a common element at the basis of all these particular things from which the plant is fashioned after its kind, and the animal after its kind? There is an unexpressed philosophy in the solemn words, "ashes to ashes, and dust to dust," a final reduction of all living forms to the inert mother of them all. But there is, on the other hand, a tendency to elevate matter into the sphere of mind, which is quite as pronounced as the attempt to reduce all things to matter. The problem of ontology, translated into popular phrase, is the much vexed question of the relations of mind and matter. The attempted solutions of this problem may be classified according to their expression of any one of the following characteristics : 1. Pluralism; 2. Dualism; 3. Monism. Pluralism. Pluralism is a theory of the universe which recognizes several fundamental elements of being, which may be regarded as analogous in their nature to the original elements of chemistry. They cannot be further reduced to simpler forms, nor derived from anything else, nor from each other. The earliest expression of this theory is found in the atomism of Democritus. He insisted that the world was made up of innumerable atoms, independent, self-existing bits of being, which could not be referred to a common source, and which gave no indication ofpossessing a common nature. Later in the history of philosophic thought we have another illust...

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