Ontology

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Am still plowing my way through the chapter on transcendence, little bits at a time. I did however have a light bulb moment this morning as I was trying to deal with stuff about lacks and potentialities and where in-itselfs fit with for-itselfs. The word ontology comes up a lot and it has been confusing me because usually it is used to mean a study of meta-physics or the way the world works. It does however, have a less used meaning and that is when it is used to describe a particular view of the way the world works and all the entities that fit under that world view. So for example if my hypothesis about the world is that the moon is made of rock, all the possible different types of moon rock would be part of that particular ontology. How is this relevant you ask? My epiphany this morning was that what Sartre is actually trying to do in Being and Nothingness is describe his ontology, his world view. All this stuff about for-itselfs and in-itselfs and temporality is an attempt to describe the parts of his ontology and how they work. It doesn’t really make it any easier to understand what he is on about, but at least I kind of understand where he is going with it, and it does raise some interesting questions. Firstly since we now tend to get most of view of how the world works from science and not philosophy is ontology still relevant? Secondly, does it have to be so complicated?

 

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