It’s only ontology.

From the Dictionary:


noun: ontology; plural noun: ontologies
the branch of metaphysics dealing with the nature of being.
a set of concepts and categories in a subject area or domain that shows their properties and the relations between them.
“what’s new about our ontology is that it is created automatically from large datasets”


early 18th century: from modern Latin ontologia, from Greek ōn, ont- ‘being’ + -logy.

I have long had a phrase I use “It’s only ontology”.  I use it to listen to people as they talk about Jesus, Chi, Shan, God, spirit or soul and so on.  My little phrase reminds me to listen to the person rather than get into a debate about the existence of this or that. Also, irrespective of the existence of stuff, ontology  “shows properties and the relations between” categories.  For an archetypal psychologist, for example,  there is a fundamental distinction between soul and spirit. Other people may use the words differently, yet they can reveal much about their world view.  It’s only ontology.

PSM_V10_D562_The_hindoo_earthScreen Shot 2020-07-27 at 11.19.24 PM

I am looking back on earlier posts in relationship to ontology.  Here is one where my phrase does not hold:

Moreno and social science

Moreno says: “The crux of the ontology of science is the status of the ‘research objects.’ Their status is not uniform in all sciences.”  That is such a profound insight.  Probably one that is quite common in continental philosophy.

People are not ‘objects’ i.e. they are, for Moreno ‘actors’, agents or subjects might be used for similar ideas in other ontologies.

And then in The Heidegger-Buber Controversy: The Status of the I-Thou

I quote something where I’m  already saying: “It’s only ontology”

Gordon’s work illuminates Heidegger’s complex and enlightening ontology–one that describes the everyday life of the human in such a way that there is no place for the I-Thou relationship. Buber, on the other hand, argues for the significance of the I-Thou relationship within human existence, and highlights the ways in which Heidegger’s philosophy fails to grasp this important point.

But I’m  all over the place… In this post,  Words  ontology, is of great importance… we create with words and they impact the real.

We use words to create structures between the real and nothing at all. They impact on the real. We invent them, but the invention has to stick, words are at the mercy of the collective.

Word making, shaping the metaxy

Ah, the metaxy.  Now there is a thing!

May the force be with you.