Object Oriented Ontology

In Object Oriented Ontology pretty much anything can be an object. An object is defined as something that cannot be undermined or overmined without loosing it's object-ness. - Undermining is where things are simply reduced to their smallest forms. For example, a hammer is made of wood and metal and ultimately atoms. But saying that does not describe what a hammer is. - Overmining is where things are reduced upwards to their effects. For example, saying a hammer is for getting nails into things does not describe what a hammer is. - The truth of a hammer lies somewhere between those two things. This is called emergence - where an object is more than the sum of its parts.

  • Object Oriented Ontology operates within the concept of a Flat ontology. This means that everything inside starts off as uncategorised. This is, however, just the starting point.
    • As a Theory of Everything should say both what is the common thread between all things, and also the difference between various kinds of things. OOO starts with a flat ontology so that the first can be achieved. Many theories of everything start with a not-flat ontology, which makes the second bit easy (difference between things) but the first bit hard (commonalities between all things).
    • A Flat ontology is an interesting starting point but a boring ending.
    • In Object Oriented Ontology it is established that the truth of an object is unknowable. It is established that an object is more than the sum of its parts. This infers that we cannot 'know' an object merely by listing its parts (referred to in OOO as its qualities).
  • Let's take an apple as an example. There is more to an 'apple' than all of its qualities listed. Therefore there is a tension between an object and its qualities.
  • An objects qualities can change over time - if the apple ripens, it is still the same apple. If an apple is cut in half, it is still the same apple. Experience is primarily through objects rather than qualities.
  • As an object is unknowable, there is some sort of inner quality which we cannot access. This means that the object can be split into four parts:
  • The 'real' object, which is unknowable. Let's call this the I-apple.
  • its 'real' qualities,
  • the 'sensual' object, which is the concept we interact with (an apple)
  • it's 'sensual' qualities (the qualities we interact with.)
  • Although we cannot access the 'real' object, we can get a glimpse of it through metaphor. Take the metaphor, 'the cypress is like the ghost of dead a flame'. We glimpse at the real object (cypress) through it's sensual qualities (like a dead flame).
  • However, OOO assets that the real object always receeds (and is unknowable). Since in OOO qualities must always be hung off an object, the only object left is we - the reader of the metaphor. Therefore metaphors are fundamentally theatrical. We play the part of the cypress and feel the flame like qualities. Through the connection we glimpse the real object of the cypress.
  • Clearly, this can only happen if the metaphor is effective and we believe it. We have to live it to get access to the real object.

Last update: 2022-02-26 22:24