Theory and History of Ontology

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Table of Contents

For ease of reading, I made the following index (the function "Search" can be used to find a particular Author or Subject).

This is the list of the pages; "Ontologists" is a table with links to pages on the most important philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries working on Ontology.

History of Ontology

Heraclitus and Parmenides

Heraclitus and the Question of the One and the Many (under construction)

Parmenides and the Question of Being in Greek Thought

The Philosophy of Plato

Plato's Parmenides and the Dilemma of Participation

Semantics, Predication, Truth and Falsehood in Plato's Sophist

Platonism Established: The “Genera of Being” in Plato' Sophist (under construction)

Plato's Cratylus and the Problem of the “Correctness of Names” (under construction)

The Philosophy of Aristotle

Aristotle's Categories

See the section on the History of the Categories

Aristotle about the Subject Matter of Metaphyics

Aristotle's Definition of a Science of Being qua Being

Aristotle's definitions of the subject matter of First Philosophy (under construction)

The Birth of Aristotelianism

Aristotle: Bibliographical Resources on His Logical and Metaphysical Works

The Rediscovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum

Ancient Catalogues of Aristotle's Works:

Diogenes Laertius, Lives, V 22-27

Hesychius and Ptolemy al-Garib

Listes Anciennes des Ouvrages d'Aristote :

Diogène Laërce, Vies V, 22-27

Hésychius de Milet et Ptolémée el-Garib

Hellenistic Philosophy

Theophrastus of Eresus

Theophrastus's Metaphysics: Debating with Aristotle

Ancient Divisions of Philosophy

Early Stoicism

The Stoic Doctrine of "Something" as Supreme Genus

Plotinus and the Beginning of Neoplatonism

Plotinus: the One and the Hierarchy of Being (under construction)

Diogenes Laertius

Diogenes Laertius: Selected bibliography of the studies in English (A-Lea)

Diogenes Laertius: Selected bibliography of the studies in English (Lew-Z)

Proceedings of the Symposia on Ancient Philosophy

Proceedings of the Symposium Platonicum

Proceedings of the Symposium Aristotelicum

Proceedings of the Symposium Hellenisticum

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

Boethius' Metaphysics of Being and Goodness

The Neoplatonic Commentators

The Neoplatonic Commentators on Aristotle's Metaphysics

Eriugena and the Neoplatonic Metaphysics in the Early Middle Ages

Eriugena: Dialectic and Ontology in the Periphyseon

The Arabic Rediscovery of Aristotle's Metaphysics

Pseudo-Aristotle in the Middle Ages: the Theology of Aristotle

Al-Kindi's Metaphysics: First Philosophy as the Study of God

Al-Farabi on the Scopes of the Aristotelian Metaphysics

Ibn Sina (Avicenna) on the Subject and the Object of Metaphysics

Averroes (Ibn Rushd) on the Divine as the Subject of Metaphysics

The 'Second Beginning' of Metaphysics

Introducing Aristotle in Middle Ages: the Latin Translations of the Metaphysics

A Neoplatonic Metaphysics: the Liber de Causis

The Place of Metaphysics in the Medieval Classification of Sciences

Thomas Aquinas Doctrine of the Act of Being (Actus Essendi)

Duns Scotus: Univocity of Being and the Subject of Metaphysics

Properties of Being: the Medieval Doctrine of the Transcendentals

Metaphysics or Ontology? The Debate about the Subject-Matter of First Philosophy

Ontology in Modern Philosophy

Birth of a New Science: the History of Ontology from Suárez to Kant

Jacob Lorhard (1561-1609): The Creator of the Term "Ontologia"

I. From Fonseca to Poinsot (1560 - 1644)

II. From Scheibler to Lambert (1645 - 1777)

Bibliography of the Ontologists from 16th to 18th Centuries:

Francisco Suárez on Metaphysics as the Science of Real Beings

The Philosophy of René Descartes

René Descartes. Bibliographie Chronologique et Annotée (Première Partie: 1616-1640)

René Descartes. Bibliographie Chronologique et Annotée (Deuxième Partie: 1641-1650)

Descartes' Ontology: From the Rules for the Direction of the Mind to the Meditations on First Philosophy

Bibliographie des études sur les Regulae ad directionem ingenii et la recherche de la mathesis universalis

Ontology from Wolff to Kant

Christian Wolff's Ontology: Existence as "Complement of Possibility"

Kant from the Critique of Metaphysics to Transcendental Philosophy

The Rediscovery of Ontology in Contemporary Thought

(under construction)

Index of the Section Historians of Philosophy

Annotated Bibliographies of historians of Philosophy

Theory of Ontology

Definitions of Ontology by Leading Philosophers

What is Ontology? - First Part (From Christian Wolff to Edmund Husserl)

What is Ontology? - Second Part (From Nicolai Hartmann to the Present Time)

Key Terms in Ontology

Introductory remarks (Origin and development of some fundamental concepts with a selection of the most relevant texts)

Being (Linguistic and philosophical perspectives)

Existence (Definitions from some leading philosophers)

The Problem of Nonexistent Objects

Substance (The evolution of the concept from Ancient Greeks to Modern Times)

Mathesis Universalis: the Search for a Universal Science

Metaphysical Explanation

Annotated bibliographies:

Metaphysical fundamentality

Metaphysical grounding

History of metaphysical fundamentality and grounding

Ontological dependence

History of ontological dependence

For the contributions of Kit Fine see His Annotated bibliography in the Section Ontologists


Language and Ontology

Linguistic Relativism (Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis) vs. Universal Grammar

Universal Ontology vs. Ontological Relativity

Semiotics and Ontology

The Rediscovery of John Poinsot (John of St. Thomas)

John Deely. An Annotated bibliography

Modern Theories of Predication

The Frege-Russell 'Is' Ambiguity Thesis

Language as Calculus vs. Language as Universal Medium (two traditions in 20th century philosophy)

Ontologists of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Bernard Bolzano (1781-1848) Contributions to Logic and Ontology Critical judgments, excerpts from his works, bibliography of critical studies

Franz Brentano (1838-1917) Ontology and His Immanent Realism. Annotated bibliography of his works, of the English translations and of the most relevant critical studies

Franz Brentano: Editions and translations

Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) Bibliography on His Theory of Categories

Gottlob Frege (1848-1925) Ontology: Being, Existence, and Truth Excerpts from texts, studies and bibliography on his conceptions of being, existence and truth

Alexius Meinong (1853-1920) Theory of Objects Bibliography of his works (original edition and English translations) and of the most relevant critical studies

Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) Formal Ontology and Transcendental Logic Editions of the works in German and English, bibliography on formal ontology

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947)

Kazimierz Twardowski (1866-1938) The Content and Object of Presentations Bibliography of his works and of the most relevant critical studies

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) His Ontological Development Bibliography of studies on his ontological development

Nicolai Hartmann (1882-1950) Levels of Reality and Ontology) Bibliography of his works and of the most relevant critical studies

Adolf Reinach (1883-1917) States of Affairs (Sachverhalt) and Negative Judgments Bibliography of the works and translations; selection of the most relevant critical studies

Stanislaw Lesniewski (1886-1939) Logical Systems: Protothetic, Ontology, Mereology Bibliography of his works and of the most relevant critical studies

Tadeusz Kotarbinski (1886-1981) From Reism to Pansomatism Bibliography of his works and of the most relevant critical studies

Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) The Ontology of the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus Bibliography and critical judgments about the ontology of the Tractatus

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) Gesamtausgabe (Collected Works) List of the works in the German edition

Truth (Alethéia) as Unconcealment. Selected bibliography

The History of Metaphysics as Ontotheology. Selected bibliography

Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970)

Roman Ingarden (1893-1970) The Realism / Idealism Debate Bibliography of the works in German and of the translations; selection of the most relevant critical studies

Charles Hartshorne (1897-2000)

Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972)

Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989)

Gustav Bergmann (1906-1987). Selected bibliography with abstracts

Nelson Goodman (1906-1998)

Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000)

Arthur Norman Prior (1914-1969)

Annotated bibliography of the works by Justus Buchler (1914-1991)

Roman Suszko (1919-1979) The non-Fregean Logics Selected bibliography with abstracts (only the publications in English)

Mario Bunge (1919-2020). Selected bibliography

Fred Sommers (1923-2004) on the Logic of Natural Language

Hector-Neri Castañeda (1924-1991)

Selected bibliography of (David Malet) Armstrong (1926-2014)

Bogusław Wolniewicz on the Formal Ontology of Situations (1927) Emeritus Professor of Philosophy, Warsaw University

Reinhardt Grossmann (1931-2010) The Ontology of Categories

Selected bibliography of Panayot Butchvarov (1933) Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Iowa

The Conceptual Realism of Nino Cocchiarella (1933) Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Indiana University

Richard Sylvan [born Richard Routley] (1935-1996) Nonexistent Objects Selected bibliography with abstracts

Selected bibliography of George Englebretsen Professor Emeritus at Bishop's University, Canada

Jon Barwise (1942-2000)

Jerzy Perzanowski (1943-2009) Modal Logics, Ontology and Ontologics Complete bibliography of the works in English with abstracts

Annotated bibliography of Kit Fine (1946) Silver Professor of Philosophy and Mathematics, New York University

Annotated bibliography of Liliana Albertazzi (1947) (1947) Principal Investigator at the University of Trento Centre for the Mind and Brain (CIMeC)

Selected bibliography of Brian Cantwell Smith Professor of information, computer science, and philosophy at University of Toronto

History of Truth in Western Philosophy

Aletheia in the Ancient Greek Thought. General Introduction

Pre-Philosophical Concepts of Truth

Aletheia dans la Pensée Grecque d'Homère à l'Âge Hellenistique

Veritas in the Middle Ages from Augustine to Paul of Venice

Martin Heidegger on Aletheia (Truth) as Unconcealment

Pages under construction:



Plato's Doctrine of Truth

Aristotle's Definition of Truth





Theories of Truth in Modern Era from Descartes to Kant

History of the Doctrine of Categories

The Doctrine of Categories from an Historical Perspective

Semantics and Ontological Analysis in Aristotle's Categories

The Stoic Doctrine of Supreme Genera (Categories)

Plotinus' Criticism of the Doctrine of Categories (Enneads VI, 1-3)

Ancient Greek Commentaries on Aristotle's Categories

Eriugena, Periphyseon Book I: Aristotelian Logic and Categories

Latin Medieval Commentators on Aristotle's Categories

The Problem of Universals from the Antiquity to Middle Ages

Universals in Antiquity and Middle Ages

Peter Abelard and the Rise of Nominalism

The Realist Ontology of John Duns Scotus

The Nominalist Ontology of William of Ockham

Comparative Philosophy

Intercultural and Comparative Philosophy: An Overview

African Philosophy. A Survey of Contemporary Studies