What Is the Difference Between Ontology and Existentialism?

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Diego Sanchez

When it comes to philosophy, there are a plethora of different schools of thought and theories that can be difficult to differentiate. Two such theories are ontology and existentialism.

While they may sound similar, they differ in their approach to understanding the world and our place within it. In this article, we will explore the key differences between ontology and existentialism.

What is Ontology?

Ontology is a branch of metaphysics that deals with the nature of existence itself. It aims to answer questions about what exists in the world and what relationships exist between these things. Ontology is concerned with identifying the fundamental categories of existence and understanding how these categories relate to one another.

Key points:

  • Ontology deals with questions about existence itself.
  • It aims to identify fundamental categories of existence.
  • It seeks to understand how these categories relate to one another.

What is Existentialism?

Existentialism, on the other hand, is not concerned with objective reality or fundamental categories of existence. Instead, it focuses on individual human experience and subjective meaning-making. Existentialists believe that we create our own meanings in life through our actions, choices, and experiences.

Key points:

  • Existentialism focuses on individual human experience.
  • It prioritizes subjective meaning-making over objective reality.
  • Existentialists believe that individuals create their own meanings in life through their actions, choices, and experiences.

The Differences Between Ontology and Existentialism

The main difference between ontology and existentialism lies in their approach to understanding the world around us. Ontologists seek to identify fundamental categories of existence whereas existentialists prioritize individual human experience over objective reality.

Another key difference between ontology and existentialism is their focus. Ontology is concerned with the nature of existence itself and seeks to understand the relationships between different categories of existence. Existentialism, on the other hand, is focused on subjective meaning-making and individual experience.

Conclusion

In summary, ontology and existentialism may sound similar, but they are fundamentally different in their approach to understanding the world and our place within it. While ontology seeks to identify fundamental categories of existence and understand how they relate to one another, existentialism prioritizes individual human experience and subjective meaning-making. By understanding these key differences, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the diversity of philosophical thought and gain a better understanding of our own beliefs about the world.