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Title: Metaontology
Author: Tarver, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0001 0821 9638
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 1985
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The Ontological Question 'What exists?' dates back over two thousand five hundred years to the dawn of Western philosophy, and attempts to answer it define the province of ontology. The history of the Western philosophical tradition itself has been one of the differentiation and separation of the various sciences from the primordial stuff of ancient philosophy. Physics was first to break away from the tutelage of philosophy and established its independence in the seventeenth century. The other sciences followed suit fairly rapidly, with perhaps psychology being the last to separate. The results for modern philosophy - of this breakup of what was once a great empire over human reason - have been mixed. An inevitable result has been that questions considered in ancient times to belong to philosophy have fallen within the ambit of other disciplines. So speculations about the material composition and genesis of the universe that interested Thales, Heraclitus and Leucippus, are continued by contemporary cosmologists in well equipped research laboratories, and not by philosophers. However ontology, unlike cosmology, has not broken away from its parent discipline and the Ontological Question as to what exists is still argued by philosophers today. That ontology has failed to make the separation that cosmology has, is a reflection on the weakness of the methodology for settling ontological arguments. Unlike their great Rationalist predecessors, most modern philosophers do not believe that logic alone is sufficient to provide an answer as to what is. But neither do observation or experiment, in any direct way, seem to help us in deciding, for example, whether sets or intentions should be admitted to exist or not. In consequence, the status of ontology as an area of serious study has to depend on the devising of a methodology within which the Ontological Question can be tackled. The pursuit of such a methodology is the concern of metaontology and is also the concern of this thesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General) ; BD Speculative Philosophy