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A traditional branch of metaphysics that deals with problems of being, existence, inner nature, meaning, etc. It is fundamental to problems involving normality and disease, individuality, responsibility, and the analysis of values. In recent years, it has been slowly assuming a place as a branch of medicine proper.


A formal specification of how to represent relationships among objects, concepts, and other entities belonging to a particular area of human experience or knowledge.

ontology (n·tˑ·l·gē),

n the metaphysical study of the state of being: focuses on the fundamentals of identity, disease, normalcy, and belief systems as they influence a person's existence.
References in periodicals archive ?
Murphy's version of physicalism is "nonreductive" causally, yet reductive ontologically.
Since purpose is logically and ontologically prior to act, the Church, as God's purpose, is logically and ontologically prior to creation.
Given their capacity to know God's will, that which is "right and just," we can infer that they are ontologically superior--they must be endowed with a superior epistemological capacity that allows them to see what others cannot.
Though this argument about the need for an information commons seems to me important, as could be expected from what has preceded I feel that there is a concept of "common" that, ontologically at least, goes beyond that offered by the liberal conceptualization of "the public" and, in fact, underlies this latter notion.
Hence, although God is ontologically independent of the changing cosmos, God includes the creative advance as a component in the divine reality.
While beings that are not Da-sein can be accessed either ontically (via the sciences) or ontologically, only a fundamental phenomenological ontology is appropriate to the existential analysis of Da-sein by virtue of its not being a simple objective presence in the first place.
While recognizing that it may express epistemological skepticism and a "mistrust [of] linguistic signification" (28), Macovski still presents dialogical agonism as ontologically and heuristically constructive.
What the reader does not build epistemically, she does not imagine ontologically, with the result that inference procedures construct the more complete character imagined to exist in the reference world.
Neither organisms nor communities of life are ontologically assured their existence.
The critics that scratch the surface of Erdoy-an and Davutoy-lu's texts have shown us that this couple does not believe in a single human civilization, but think that there exists an alleged Muslim civilization that is ontologically different from the Western one, arbitrarily disregarding the innumerous common points and cherry-picking only the differences that can easily be interpreted as signs of diversity within the same civilization.
Oscar and the hunk of matter are ontologically distinct, he says, because they have different persistence conditions.
Specific essays challenge naturalism and the concept of nature itself, materialism and the mysticism of a universe "composed of matter, without mind," how technology and artificiality undermines the wholeness of nature, a critical evaluation of facts as ontologically basic, mind and the brain as a mental construct, the actuality of normative principles, space and the void, the flow, and dimensions of time.

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