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Selected Problems of Metaphysics and Ontology


Renáta Kišoňová

The presented text offers a basic overview of the terms and topics of the very wide philosophical discipline called metaphysics. The text includes, besides an overview of individual problems, reflections to consider and recommended literature. Readers will become familiar with the basic terms (metaphysics, ontology, existence, being), with the metaphysics of archaic nations, Parmenides’s approach to understand being as The One, the understanding of time and events of the Greeks, the problem of categories according to Aristotle and Kant, the problem of intuition and fundamental ontology.


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6. Metaphysics as a Categorical Description


37 6. Metaphysics as a Categorical Description The subject of metaphysics is, according to some philo- sophical conceptions (e.g. Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Hartmann), the most basic aspects of our reality decla- ration about how we see the world. We usually divide the world into a complex structure of various kinds of things. We speak of plants, animals, people, means of transport, cities, etc. The basic divisions, which result from our perception of reality, are the subject of con- ceptions which analyse metaphysics as a  categorical description (Carr, 1987). Let us compare how two paradigmatic authors, Aris- totle and Kant, deal with the categories.     38 6.1. Aristotelian Categories Aristotle in the treatise Categories (Statements), which he wrote before Metaphysics, states ten categories: “Expressions which are in no way composite signify sub- stance, quantity, quality, relation, place, time, position, state, action, or aff ection. To sketch my meaning roughly, examples of substance are ‚man‘ or ‚horse‘, of quantity, such terms as ‚two cubits long‘ or ‚three cubits long‘, of quality, such attributes as ‚white‘, ‚grammatical‘. ‚Double‘, ‚half‘, ‚greater‘, fall under the category of relation; ‚in the market place‘, ‚in the Lyceum‘, under that of place; ‚yesterday‘, ‚last year‘, under that of time. ‚Lying‘, ‚sitting‘, are terms indicat- ing position, ‚shod‘, ‚armed‘, state; ‚to lance‘, ‚to cauterize‘, actions; ‚to be lanced‘, ‚to be cauterized‘, aff ections” (Aristo- tle, The Categories, 2009). All the things, beings which exist, can be, accord- ing to Aristotle, divided into the ten above mentioned categories. The fi rst...

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