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Metaphysics

Taxonomy (Or Why Modern Biological Categories are Wrong)

Aristotle was the first to systematically lay out various living things in the world. According to him, they could be divided into three categories: plants, animals and rational beings (humans). Insofar as biology is concerned, human beings are animals. Therefore, there were two biological categories: plants and animals. Carl Linnaeus extended this knowledge to cover many new kinds of plants and a...

Stories & Philosophy

Stories are fun to read, a part of everyone’ s life and something that is interesting to discuss. Any philosophical analysis begins with a definition and a discussion of the existence of the topic, so I will start there. Stories are a connected series of event(s) involving at least one character. Anything that fits this definition is a story. Some of these stories will be good and many will ...

Essence and Existence

I have shown that there are two problems with universals and particulars. If there were a way to distinguish between individuals and universals, then there would be a solution to these problems. The distinction between an existence and an essence is such a thing. Each individual has a distinct existence but a universal has a common essence. Universals are any thing that has a name. For example, re...

Being

It is self-evident that something exists. We know this simply from the fact that we are aware of something. Absolutely all of our knowledge entails this. When we speak of something that exists in general, we call that being. The two most fundamental questions in regards to being are what is it and why is it. We know that something exists. To speak of that something in general, without speaking of ...

Good and Evil: Illusion?

In my last post, I showed that there were three theories on just what good and evil were. Either “good” and ” evil” are applied to something because of something in the thing or because of something in the person applying the label. If it is something in the thing, then it is either in the thing as a whole or in part. But if “good” and “evil” are in ...

Words and Concepts

In a previous series, I showed that words are about concepts. Concepts are either about things or about other words. Issues with differing languages can come into the picture and mess things up though. It is there that the distinction between a word and a concept really starts. Words are always in a particular language, even if two different words express the same concept. Words and concepts are d...

Pure Appearances?

In my last post, I discussed the connection between appearances and theories of the world. Many of our appearances are also theories of the world. There are no appearances that we could have that are not also theories of the world – at least in part. If there are some appearances that are not also theories of the world, then those appearances must contain the raw sense data favored by empiricists....

Recognition and Concept Formation

In my last post on this series, I explained that thoughts are formed by having one part of our experiences represent other parts. This means that thoughts are just like words. In a different post I claimed that perception is not enough on its own to generate concepts. I also claimed that merely pointing out one particular feature counted as having a concept of that feature. Gaining a new concept i...

Thoughts

I had previously distinguished between words and concepts by showing that concepts necessarily represent what they are concepts of while words may always but never necessarily do so. This distinction allows us to determine if something is a word or a concept. In order to finish understanding what words and concepts are, we must examine thoughts. Thoughts are always words because we use one element...

Representation

Representation is when one thing is used in place of another. In any discussion on the nature of concepts, representation needs to be understood in order to understand the intentionality found in concepts. Things may be representations in two ways. The first way is when something is always a representation. These are called words. Specific combinations of sounds, letters or hand-signs that pick ou...

Intentionality and Rational Action

Previously I have shown that rationality is linked to the formation of concepts but not perception. In order to further understand the difference between rational intentionality and natural intentionality, I am going to investigate that other property of rational beings – rational action. Rational action is when a person makes an affirmation true that was false apart from his action. Rational acti...

Intentionality and Reasoning

I have previously shown that rational intentionality is different from natural intentionality. In order to understand how it is different, concepts that are distinctive of rationality must be examined. One of these concepts is that of reasoning. Now all reasoning proceeds by beginning with a fact and moving from that to what is not known. So it is probably best to classify reasoning as another nam...

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