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The Nature of Existence: Neglected Questions at the Foundations of Ontology

English title The Nature of Existence: Neglected Questions at the Foundations of Ontology
Applicant Correia Fabrice
Number 150289
Funding scheme Project funding (Div. I-III)
Research institution Institut de philosophie Faculté des lettres Université Neuchâtel
Institution of higher education University of Neuchatel - NE
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.11.2013 - 31.12.2016
Approved amount 482'555.00
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Keywords (18)

Ontological monism; W.V.O. Quine; Being; A. Meinong; Metaontology; Naturalness; Ontology; Existence; Unrestricted / restricted quantifiers; Reality; T. Sider; Intrinsicality; Existential quantification; Fundamentality; Essence; Ways of being; Ontological pluralism; Aristotle

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Ce projet réunit un groupe de métaphysiciens autour de questions concernant la nature de l’existence, et a l’ambition de mettre en place de nouvelles lignes de recherche dans le domaine de la métaontologie - cette branche de la philosophie qui s’occupe des aspects métaphysiques, épistémologiques, sémantiques et méthodologiques de l’ontologie, discipline dont la question centrale est : quels genres de choses existent ?
Lay summary

Contenu et objectifs

Bien que cette question centrale de l’ontologie ait été, et soit toujours discutée, en philosophie, la question de la nature de l’existence, bien que constituant une thématique importante à certaines époques de l’histoire de la philosophie, a été largement négligée dans la tradition analytique contemporaine jusqu’à une époque très récente. Les deux objectifs principaux de ce projet sont les suivants : (i) mettre (ou remettre) sur le devant de la scène de la recherche en métaontologie certaines questions métaphysiques portant sur la nature de l’existence ; (ii) examiner les implications plus larges que les réponses à ces questions peuvent avoir sur la recherche actuelle en ontologie.

Contexte scientifique

Il est rare en philosophie contemporaine que soit donnée la possibilité d’effectuer des avancées majeures sur un sujet aussi large et central que celui de la nature de l’existence. L’ambition première de ce projet est de mettre en place une plateforme de recherche originale et de large portée, capable de donner une nouvelle jeunesse aux discussions sur le sujet et de fixer un agenda pour de futures recherches.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 26.10.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Is There a True Self?
Frischhut Akiko (2018), Is There a True Self?, in Altobrando Andrea (ed.), Springer International Publishing, Cham, 15.
Nothing to Come: A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time
Correia Fabrice (2018), Nothing to Come: A Defence of the Growing Block Theory of Time, Springer, London.
An Impure Logic of Representational Grounding
Correia Fabrice (2017), An Impure Logic of Representational Grounding, in Journal of Philosophical Logic, 46(5), 507.
Brentano and Marty:Correctness, Value, States of Affairs and Language.
Mulligan Kevin, Cesalli Laurent (2017), Brentano and Marty:Correctness, Value, States of Affairs and Language., in Kriegel Uriah. (ed.), Routledge, London and New York, 1.
Brentano's Knowledge, Austrian Verificationisms, and Epistemic Accounts of Truth and Values
Mulligan Kevin (2017), Brentano's Knowledge, Austrian Verificationisms, and Epistemic Accounts of Truth and Values, in The Monist, 100(1), 88.
Presentism and Temporal Experience
Frischhut Akiko (2017), Presentism and Temporal Experience, in Phillips Ian (ed.), Routledge, London, 249.
Emergence Reinflated
Skiles Alex (2016), Emergence Reinflated, in The Philosophical Quarterly, 66(265), 833-842.
Form(s) and MOdes of Being: The Ontology of Roman Ingarden
Richard Sébastien (ed.) (2016), Form(s) and MOdes of Being: The Ontology of Roman Ingarden, Peter Lang, Brussels.
How to Marry Phenomenology and Pragmatism: Scheler's Proposal
Mulligan Kevin (2016), How to Marry Phenomenology and Pragmatism: Scheler's Proposal, ?, ?.
In Defence of Disjunctive
Skiles Alexander (2016), In Defence of Disjunctive, in Inquiry, 59(5), 471-487.
On the Logic of Factual Equivalence
Correia Fabrice (2016), On the Logic of Factual Equivalence, in Review of Symbolic Logic, 9(1), 103-122.
Persons and Acts: Collective and Social. From Ontology to Politics
Mulligan Kevin (2016), Persons and Acts: Collective and Social. From Ontology to Politics, in Salice Alessandro (ed.), Springer, ?, 17-45.
Against Grounding Necessitarianism
Skiles Alexander (2015), Against Grounding Necessitarianism, in Erkenntnis, 717.
Essence in Abundance
Skiles Alexander (2015), Essence in Abundance, in Canadian Journal of Philosophy, 100.
From Grounding to Truth-Making: Some Thoughts
Correia Fabrice (2015), From Grounding to Truth-Making: Some Thoughts, in Reboul Anne (ed.), Springer, ?, 85.
Logical Grounding and First Degree Entailments
Correia Fabrice (2015), Logical Grounding and First Degree Entailments, in Grazer Philosophische Studien, Special Issue, 3-55.
Logical Grounds
Correia Fabrice (2015), Logical Grounds, in Review of Symbolic Logic, 31.
Presentism without Presentness
Correia Fabrice, Rosenkranz Sven (2015), Presentism without Presentness, in Thought, 4(1), 19-27.
Return of the living Dead: Reply to Braddon-Mitchell
Correia Fabrice, Rosenkranz Sven (2015), Return of the living Dead: Reply to Braddon-Mitchell, in Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, 376.
What Experience Cannot Tell Us About Time
Frischhut Akiko (2015), What Experience Cannot Tell Us About Time, in Topoi, 143.
Diachronic Unity and Temporal Transparency
Frischhut Akiko (2014), Diachronic Unity and Temporal Transparency, in Journal of Consciousness Studies, 34.
Is There a Dilemma for the Truthmaker Non-Maximalist?
Skiles Alexander (2014), Is There a Dilemma for the Truthmaker Non-Maximalist?, in Synthese, 3649.
Phenomenology and the Perception of Time
Frischhut Akiko (2014), Phenomenology and the Perception of Time, in Santoianni Flavia (ed.), Springer, ?, 109.
Primitivism about Intrinsicality
Skiles Alexander (2014), Primitivism about Intrinsicality, in Francescotti Robert (ed.), De Gruyter, Berlin, 221.
Review of Fabrice COrreia and Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding:Understanding the Structure of Reality (2012, CUP)
Skiles Alexander (2014), Review of Fabrice COrreia and Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding:Understanding the Structure of Reality (2012, CUP), in Analysis, 543.
Review of Toni Ronnow-Rasmussen, Personal Value (2011 OUP)
Mulligan Kevin (2014), Review of Toni Ronnow-Rasmussen, Personal Value (2011 OUP), in Utilitas, 221.
Formal Concepts
Mulligan Kevin (2013), Formal Concepts, in Mulligan Kevin (ed.), Palgrave Macmillan, London, 205.
Time, Modality, and the Unbearable Lightness of Being
Frischhut Akiko, Skiles Alexander (2013), Time, Modality, and the Unbearable Lightness of Being, in Thought, 264.
Correctness-Makers vs. Truth-Makers
Mulligan Kevin, Correctness-Makers vs. Truth-Makers, in Cumpa Javier (ed.), OUP, Oxford, 1.
Logical Norms, Logical Truths and Normative Grounding
Mulligan Kevin, Logical Norms, Logical Truths and Normative Grounding, in Schnieder Benjamin (ed.), OUP, Oxford, 1.
Presentism and the Experience of Temporal Passage
Frischhut Akiko, Presentism and the Experience of Temporal Passage, in Phillips Ian (ed.), Routledge, London, 1.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Professor Benjamin Schnieder Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Kathrin Koslicki United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Dan López de Sa Spain (Europe)
- Research Infrastructure
Dr Sven Rosenkranz Spain (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure
Professor Fraser MacBride Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Professor Kit Fine United States of America (North America)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Dr. Richard Woodward Germany (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results

Scientific events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
Kinds of Indeterminacy 11.11.2016 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Grounding the Quantum World 19.09.2016 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Haecceitism and Individuals 26.08.2016 Neuchatel, Switzerland
SpaceTime and Fundamentality 17.06.2016 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Ground, Essence and MOdality 08.06.2016 Helsinki, Finland
Fraser MacBride's Genealogy of Universals 07.04.2016 Geneva, Switzerland
First-Order and Second-Order Problems in Metaphysics 16.07.2015 Ovronnaz, Switzerland
Existence, Non-Existence and Intentionality 04.07.2015 Geneva, Switzerland
Truth and Grounds 24.05.2015 Ascona, Switzerland
Swiss Society for Logic and Philosophy of Science Conference on Logical PLuralism 28.10.2014 Neuchatel, Switzerland
Grounding and Existence 26.09.2014 Geneva, Switzerland
Colloque de jeunes chercheurs de la SoPhA 01.03.2014 Ovronnaz, Switzerland

Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
159472 Essences, Identities and Individuals 01.04.2015 Project funding (Div. I-III)
147685 Grounding - Metaphysics, Science, and Logic 01.12.2013 Sinergia
164937 Haecceitism as a Theory of Individual Essences 01.09.2016 Doc.Mobility
157792 The Metaphysics of Time and its Occupants: Reconciling the Manifest Image and Contemporary Science 01.08.2015 Temporary Backup Schemes
135262 Essence and Metaphysical Grounds 01.09.2011 SNSF Professorships
127488 Intentionality as the Mark of the Mental - Metaphysical Perspectives on Contemporary Philosophy of Mind 01.10.2009 Sinergia
114758 La théorie de l'essence 01.09.2007 SNSF Professorships
164396 Ontological Interdependence and Emptiness in Buddhist Philosophy 01.10.2015 International short research visits

Abstract

This project brings together a group of metaphysicians to investigate questions about the nature of existence in order to provoke novel and productive lines of research into the foundations of ontology. The foundations of ontology - or metaontology, as it is now known - is a wide-ranging branch of philosophy concerned with the metaphysics, epistemology, semantics, methodology, and theoretical prospects of ontology: the branch of philosophy that asks, “which kinds of things exist?”. Although questions about which kinds of things exist continue to be extensively discussed in the contemporary philosophical literature, questions about what it is for a thing to exist at all - despite their ancient pedigree and importance to both ontology and metaontology - have been unduly neglected in mainstream analytic philosophy until quite recently. The two main contributions of this project will be (i) to bring distinctively metaphysical questions about the nature of existence back to the forefront of contemporary research in metaontology and (ii) to investigate the broader implications that answers to these questions bear for ongoing research in ontology. To achieve these goals, the overall project will be organized around two independent, yet complementary, research questions that will be investigated by two research groups:i. Subproject A: Are there many fundamentally different ways to exist? This research group will comprehensively investigate the recently revived dispute over whether different things can enjoy different kinds of existence, and explore its implications for classical disputes in metaphysics. Lead investigators: Mulligan and Frischhut.ii. Subproject B: Are there any shared essential characteristics of existence?This research group will investigate whether there are any interesting truths about what it is for a thing to exist at all, focusing in particular on whether facts about the existence of particular things are (i) reductively unanalyzable, (ii) intrinsic, or (iii) perfectly natural. Lead investigators: Correia and Skiles. It is rare in contemporary philosophy that an opportunity emerges to make major advances on such a broad and canonical topic as the nature of existence. It is the primary ambition of this project to provide a groundbreaking and comprehensive research platform that will rejuvenate discussions of this topic and set the agenda for further investigations into it for years to come.
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