Heinrich WatzkaCorresponding author

A New Realistic Spirit
The Analytical and the Existential Approaches to Ontology

16/1 - Spring 2011, pages 7-28
Date of online publication: 24 March 2011
Date of publication: 24 March 2011


I shall distinguish between two periods of analytic ontology, one semi-idealistic, the other post-idealistic. The former fostered the very idea of a conceptual scheme within which questions of ontology could be formulated and answered in the first place; the latter rejected this idea in favour of the view that ontological inquiry neither presupposes a framework, nor provides the framework for science or everyday speech. Since then, ontology is what it always have been, the systematic study of the most fundamental categories of being, not of thought. Unfortunately, such a category theory becomes aporetic in its search for a solution of the problem of the “temporary intrinsic” (D. Lewis). Experience cannot tell us, whether entities persist by “perduring” or by “enduring.” One can take an alternative route and seek to broaden the conceptual basis of ontology by focussing on “Being” (Sein) in contrast to entities, or being (Seiendes). The controversy on perdurantism and endurantism emerges as a dispute over two conflicting ways of being in time, not of Being itself.


Cite this article

Watzka, Heinrich. “A New Realistic Spirit: The Analytical and the Existential Approaches to Ontology.” Forum Philosophicum 16, no. 1 (2011): 7–28. doi:10.35765/forphil.2011.1601.02.


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