The New Ontology and the Problem of Being in 20th Century PhilosophyJune 28, 2021
Throughout history, especially philosophers have wanted to base the thoughts on man and the universe on a certain basis.
This orientation has enabled them to treat information in a way that is consistent within a string. It is possible to see this systematic thinking in other fields as well. The events in the 20th century and the developments in science have forced thinkers to look for methods in order to systematically process thought and to be productive in the future.
Hartman says that the most problematic situations in philosophy are metaphysical issues. He states that the method sought for the resolution of these issues is based on logic in the history of philosophy and that this way has been tried from Aristotle to the New Kantians. He argues that the view put forward based on the method of logic creates a problem at the point of overlapping with the truth. It draws attention to the fact that not every situation that is logically correct will always give the truth.
He sees the work of logical methods in philosophy as weak. For this reason, he thinks that philosophy should be given a system through a field that gives information. Stating that the nature of knowledge should be known, Hartman argues that ontology (the science of being) is definitely needed in this way and that the categorical relations between entities should be examined.
It tries to analyze the structure and functioning of beings and to explain it through the empirical field. In this way, Hartman, who deals with existence materially and spiritually, tries to solve the problems of existence with the method he developed through the perspectives of materialism and idealism. According to him, being is composed of matter and spirit. The most important aspect of the soul is thinking, and although the formation of knowledge requires a thinking subject, the share of the being thought should not be forgotten. Therefore, Hartman argues that in every branch of knowledge (philosophy, art, sociology, law, etc.) people who deal with that field of knowledge (philosopher, artist, sociologist, lawyer, etc.) should recognize the entity that their profession comes into contact with. Stating that this is a method work, Hartman argues that the new ontology is to meet this need.
Hartman’s method is generally constructed with an epistemology reduced to ontology. It involves examining the interrelationship of all beings in order to understand the various entities. In this respect, Hartman states that there are basically four layers between entities.
Hartmann’s Asset Layers
– Spiritual Layer
Human, thought, freedom, culture, religion, morality and arts. Spirit or mind is used effectively. Spiritual experiences become universal by turning into products. Towards this layer freedom increases, strength decreases. Philosophy deals with this layer.
– Spiritual Layer
There are people and animals. Although not fully conscious, they are conscious and spiritual experiences. This layer provides the source for the spiritual layer. Psychology deals with this layer.
– Organic Layer
Living beings, single-celled organisms, plants, animals and humans. Intuition is used effectively. This layer provides resources from the inorganic layer. Biology deals with this layer.
– Inorganic Layer
Inanimate objects and matter. Perception is used effectively. Assets in this tier have space-occupying, warming, and falling properties. Physics deals with this layer.
These layers are formed as a result of the separation of entities from each other in terms of quality. According to Hartmann, this is a categorical separation and does not mean that they are completely separate from each other.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook