Theory and History of Ontology

by Raul Corazzon | e-mail:

FEBRUARY 18th, 2018: THIS SITE WILL BE NO FURTHER UPDATED. PLEASE USE: Theory and History of Ontology

ebook: Ontology | Logic

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  • "History Logic" and "Bibliographia" are my other websites. "Table of Contents" gives the list of the pages, for other indexes see the "Sitemap". "Modern Ontologists" contains a table with links to the pages on the most important philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries who have written on ontology. The "Search" function can be used to find a particular author or subject.



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

"Table of Contents" (left menu) give the complete list of projected pages; "Ontologists" is a table with links to pages on the most important philosophers of the 19th and 20th centuries working on Ontology; for the links to the bibliographies see the Index of the Sections.




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)

The Vocabulary of 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)


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

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)

Modern Theories of Predication

Existence and Predication:

The Frege-Russell 'Is' Ambiguity Thesis

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



Heraclitus and Parmenides: Metaphysics of the One vs. Metaphysics of Being

Heraclitus and the Question of the One and the Many

Parmenides and the Question of Being in Greek Thought

Semantics and Predication in Plato's Dialogues

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

Plato's Cratylus and the Problem of the “Correctness of Names”


Aristotle and the Debate about the Subject Matter of First Philosophy

Aristotle's Definition of a Science of Being qua Being

The Rediscovery of the Corpus Aristotelicum and the Birth of Aristotelianism

Ancient Catalogues of Aristotle's Works:

Diogenes Laërtius, 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



Theophrastus's Metaphysics: Debating with Aristotle

The Place of Metaphysics in the 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


Boethius' Metaphysics of Being and Goodness

Boethius' Metaphysics. An Annotated Bibliography: First Part: A - J

Boethius' Metaphysics. An Annotated Bibliography: Second Part: K - Z

Boethius' Contribution to the Quadrivium. Selected Bibliography

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


Rise and Fall of Ontology in the Modern Era from Suárez to Kant

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

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

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

Francisco Suárez on Metaphysics as the Science of Real Beings

The Philosophy of René Descartes: An Overview

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

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

Descartes: Biographies, Bibliographies, Dictionnaires, Lexiques

Descartes. Bibliographies, Concordances, Dictionaries, Lexica

Bibliographie des études en français sur la philosophie de Descartes

Bibliography of the studies in English on Descartes' philosophy

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

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)


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



Plato's Doctrine of Truth

Aristotle's Definition of Truth





Veritas in the Middle Ages from Augustine to Paul of Venice

Theories of Truth in Modern Era from Descartes to Kant

Martin Heidegger on Aletheia (Truth) as Unconcealment

History of the Doctrine of Categories

The Doctrine of Categories from an Historical Perspective. Introduction

Semantics and Ontological Analysis in Aristotle's Categories

Annotated Bibliography on 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

Selected Bibliography on the Latin Medieval Commentators

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

Pages on the History of Philosophy

Entia Rationis. History of the Theories on Non-existent Objects

Mathesis Universalis: the Search for a Universal Science


Bernard Bolzano's (1781-1848) Contributions to logic and ontology. Critical judgments, excerpts from his works, bibliography of critical studies

Franz Brentano's (1838-1917) Immanent Realism. Excerpts and bibliography of his works, of the English translations and of the most relevant critical studies

Charles S. Peirce (1839-1914) Ontology and Semiotics. The Theory of Categories. Bibliography of his writings and about his conception of semiotics and the theory of categories

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

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

Edmund Husserl (1858-1938) Formal Ontology and Transcendental Logic. Editions of the works in German and English, bibliography on formal ontology

Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) (under construction)

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

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

Nicolai Hartmann's (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's (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's (1889-1951) The Ontology of the Tractatus-Logico-Philosophicus. Bibliography and critical judgments about the ontology of the Tractatus logico-philosophicus

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

Truth ( Alethéia) as Unconcealment. His conception of Truth as Unconcealment in the Greek thought

The History of Metaphysics as Ontotheology. The history of Metaphysics view under the paradigm of Ontotheology

Rudolf Carnap (1891-1970) (under construction)

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) (under construction)

Ludwig von Bertalanffy (1901-1972) (under construction)

Konrad Lorenz (1903-1989) (under construction)

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

Nelson Goodman (1906-1998) (under construction)

Willard Van Orman Quine (1908-2000) (under construction)

Arthur Norman Prior (1914-1969) (under construction)

Justus Buchler (1914-1991) The Metaphysics of Natural Complexes. Selected bibliography

Roman Suszko (1919-1979) The Non-Fregean Logics. Selected bibliography with abstracts (all the publications in English)

Fred Sommers (1923-2014) on the Logic of Natural Language. Complete annotated bibliography

Hector-Neri Castañeda (1924-1991) (under construction)

The Moderate Realism of D. M. (David Malet) Armstrong (1926-2014)

Reinhardt Grossmann (1931-2010) The Ontology of Categories. Selected bibliography with abstracts

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

Jon Barwise (1942-2000) (under construction)

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


George Bealer

Ermanno Bencivenga

Jocelyn Benoist

Mauricio Beuchot

Keith Campbell

Arindam Chakarabarti

Arkadiusz Chrudzimski

Jan Dejnožka

Jorge J. E. Gracia

Rom Harré

John Heil

Jaakko Hintikka

Herbert Hochberg

Joshua Hoffman

Thomas Hofweber

Peter van Inwagen

Jacek Julius Jadacki

Ingvar Johansson

Saul Kripke

Karel J. Lambert

Henry Laycock

Jean-Luc Marion

Uwe Meixner

Donald W. Mertz

Kevin Mulligan

Frédéric Nef

Mieczyslaw Omyla

Terence Parsons

Jacek Pasniczek

Lorenzo Peña

Jean Petitot

Alvin Plantinga

Roberto Poli

Graham Priest

Hilary Putnam

William Rapaport

Nicholas Rescher

Gary Rosenkrantz

Edmund Runggaldier

Nathan Salmon

Theodore Sider

Peter Simons

Barry Smith

David Woodruff Smith

John F. Sowa

Amie Lynn Thomasson

William Vallicella

Achille Varzi

David Weissman

Jan Westerhoff

David Wiggins

Stephen Yablo

Edward Zalta


Study Guides to Comparative Philosophy

General Studies on Comparative Philosophy (a selection of reference works about non-Western Ontology and Logic)

African Philosophy. A Survey of Contemporary Studies (introductory works and studies about African conceptions of Being and Truth)

Ancient Chinese Logic (a survey of contemporary studies)

Ancient Indian Logic and Ontology (with particular reference the Nyaya-Vaisesika School)

Buddhist Logic and Ontology (Indian and Tibetan developments of Buddhist logic)

Islamic (Arabic and Persian) Logic and Ontology (the introduction of Greek philosophy in the Islamic world)



Jan A. Aertsen

John P. Doyle

Jean École

Joseph S. Freedman

Édouard Jeauneau

Giorgio Tonelli


HISTORIANS OF LOGIC (On the website "History of Logic")

E. J. Ashworth

L. M. de Rijk

Mauro Nasti de Vincentis

Wilhelm Risse