Tag Archives | Ontology

It’s Groundhog Day All over Again! – Living in the Era of the Ontological Movie

peake“It’s like The Matrix, isn’t it?” We’ve heard the phrase many times and probably said it ourselves. We live in a time when mind-bending perspectives on the nature of reality are both commonly abroad in the culture as well as entertained by cutting-edge scientists. But it wasn’t always the case.

The mainstream success of movies such as The Matrix, Groundhog Day, and Inception have spread the word that was previously only heard by philosophers, hippies and adherents of eastern mysticism. So, what does it mean to live in the age of the ontological movie?

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Why the World Does Not Exist


Kazimir Malevich, Black Square [1915]

Does the world itself exist? Do unicorns exist? German philosopher Markus Gabriel talks to four by three about his latest book Why the World Does Not Exist, tackling the big questions of ontology, why we should abandon metaphysics and why his theory of fields of sense can help us overcome the failures of post-modernism.

Even though you have argued that society has materially and spiritually benefited from attempting to grasp the world in its entirety, you deny that the world exists in your latest book Why the World Does Not Exist [Polity Press, 2015]. What motivated you to reject the concept of the world and why should we repudiate this profoundly familiar conviction? And how does your account differ from that of other philosophers, such as Heidegger or Wittgenstein?

Markus Gabriel: The idea that there is such a thing as the world in its entirety, in particular, very early on in Greek philosophy, comes to be understood as the view that there are overall principles/laws governing everything there is.… Read the rest

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Dreaming Of Paradox

photo credit: James W. Jesso

photo credit: James W. Jesso

Originally Published On Adventures Through The Mind

Check out the crowdfunding campaign for author’s newest book here.

I’ve been having this reoccurring sensation; a feeling that the reality I experience as my waking life is really a dream that I am just about to wake from.

I start to get a light glimpse of each person within this waking reality – directly present and historically referenced – to be dream characters and creations of my mind. Like a wonderfully sewn yarn, each character in this unfolding dreamscape has become present at the exact moment necessary to further me along a process of awakening to this truth.

Simultaneous to this sense of pending lucidity, there exists a grand paradox of perception; an equally profound but significant counter observation. Though “I” am the only being that exists and all of waking reality is the illusion of my dream constructed around me in an unfolding process intended to slowly awaken me to my true existence, I can feel that every other person that exists – though to my perception is only a fragment of my greater mind – is actually in the same state of awakening as “I” am.… Read the rest

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Bitcoin and the Ontology of Money

Image representing the decentralised Bitcoin network

Image representing the decentralised Bitcoin network

This was originally published on Philosophical Disquisitions.

Money is accordingly a system of mutual trust, and not just any system of mutual trust: money is the most universal and most efficient system of mutual trust ever created.

(Yuval Noah Harari 2011, 180)

Money has long fascinated me, and not for the obvious reasons. Although I’d like to have more of it, my interest is largely philosophical. It is the ontology of money that has always disturbed me. Ever since I was a child, collecting old coins and hoarding my pocket money, I’ve wondered why it is that certain physical tokens can function as money and others cannot. What is money made from? What is it grounded in? Why do certain monetary systems fail and others succeed?

For many years, I set these questions aside, convinced that I had a basic grasp of how they could be answered.… Read the rest

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