Issues in Ontology


a) Acquire a deep understanding of the meaning and specific characteristics of Ontology as the sought after science (zêtoumenê epistêmê) and of its interlinking with the other branches of philosophy and science
b) Acquire a deep understanding of the various approaches that have been taken in trying to provide an answer to ontological questions
c) Acquire detailed knowledge of a wide range of ontological concepts
d) Acquire increased proficiency in understanding, comparing and using these concepts critically and independently, and in interpreting and discussing ontological claims and questions
e) Acquire detailed knowledge of the fundamental texts in this field, with a mastering of past interpretations, of the current state of research and of all the relevant bibliography
f) Acquire the ability to carry out research work under supervision in this field that meets high scientific quality standards.
g) Acquire the ability to carry out independent research in this area.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Mário Jorge Pereira de Almeida Carvalho


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language



Not applicable.


Kant, I. (1900-). Gesammelte Schriften, ed. Preußische Akademie der Wissenschaften.

Berlin: Reimer, reed. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Kant, I. (1968-1977). Kants Werke, Akademie-Textausgabe. Berlin: de Gruyter.

Kant, I. (1983). Werke, ed. W. Weischedel. Frankfurt a. M./Darmstadt: Insel-Suhrkamp

/Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft,

Kant, I. (2017). Kant im Kontext III: Werke, Briefwechsel, Nachlass und Vorlesungen auf

CD-ROM. Komplettausgabe. Karsten Worm InfoSoftWare, (4. erw. Aufl).

Kant, I. (1993-). The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant, ed. P. Gruyter, A.

W. Wood. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kant, I. (1980-1986). Œuvres philosophiques (Bibliothèque de la Pléiade). Paris: Gallimard.



Teaching method

This curricular unit has a theoretical-practical character.

Seminar-oriented classes.

Reading and interpretation of and commentary on the relevant philosophical texts and related philosophical questions and concepts.

The teaching methodology combines: a) a thorough interpretation of the texts in question (of their different components and of their connection with other texts) b) a theoretical analysis of philosophical problems, and c) a discussion of alternative views, objections, counter-examples, etc. 


Evaluation method

Appraisal: Individual appraisal. Each student will have to present a research paper on a topic individually agreed upon with the Lecturer and then discuss this paper with the latter. This counts for 3/4 of final marks. Class participation (participation in the discussion) counts for 1/4 of final marks.

Subject matter

Kant and the question of metaphysics.

Contrary to a widespread view, Kant does not understand metaphysics only as an alleged branch of philosophical knowledge (i. e. as metaphysica artificialis). In his view, there is what he calls metaphysica naturalis viz. Metaphysik als Naturanlage: even if we are not aware of it, metaphysics is an essential (permanent, unavoidable and all-pervasive) component of our being. And so much so that, as he puts it in the Prolegomena, the end of metaphysics “is just as little to be expected, as that we would someday gladly stop all breathing so as never to take in impure air”.

But then the questions are: What is metaphysics? What is metaphysica naturalis? What is metaphysica artificialis? How are they related to each other? On what ground does Kant claim that there is any such thing as metaphysica naturalis (unavoidable metaphysics)? And what becomes of metaphysics (i.e. both of metaphysica artificialis and of metaphysica naturalis) in Kant’s critique?