This article explains aspects of being/doing/going assumptions made in living ontology. For a more technical view see ontology.


self claims

Existentialism regards being as a fundamental central concept. It is anything that can be said to 'be' in various senses of the word 'be'. The verb to be has many different meanings and can therefore be rather ambiguous. Because "to be" has so many different meanings, there are, accordingly, many different ways of being. See to be and E Prime for more on this problem and how to sort it out.

Self-claims about being are the most important in law and politics That is, it is central to be able to say "I am Canadian" or "I live in Toronto" or "I can vote here." All schools of ontology agree thatreflexive verbs that represent self-claims have special status as commit verbs, as this is "self committing self", and there is no subject-object problem as the object IS the subject.

Living Platform itself is an example of a self-claim made more collectively. See we for more on this.

There were two branches of major exploration from here:


The top-down philosophy of action retained assumptions of some sort of free will or choice, assumed it was being exercised, differentiated from the mindless reaction seen as characteristic of animals. As Wittgenstein put it, "What is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from the fact that I raise my arm?"


The philosophy of action, sociology, mathematical practice and cognitive science all offered challenges to the idea of any foundation axioms in mathematics. As of the end of that century, philosophy of mathematics was branching into cognitive science of mathematics and a competing formalism in which symbols had only meaning as assigned by individual bodies. This was part of a trend:

bodily instinct

"Postmodernists and" embodied philosophy - the "body philosophers" - "tried to reframe all these questions in terms of bodies taking some specific action in an environment. This relied to a great degree on insights derived from scientific research into animals taking instinctive action in natural and artificial settings — as studied by biology, ecology, and cognitive science." Behaviorism arose and its insights into the relation of infrastructural capital to individual capital and expecially child development were common knowledge, and influenced growth of industrial psychology. See also sustainable trades on this.

bodily environment

"The processes by which bodies related to environments became of great concern, and the idea of being itself became difficult to really define. What did people mean when they said "A is B", "A must be B", "A was B"...? Some linguists advocated dropping the verb "to be" from the English language, leaving "E Prime", supposedly less prone to bad abstractions. Others, mostly philosophers, tried to dig into the word and its usage.

versus common sense

Heidegger attempted to distinguish being and existence. His view was later important to the critique of common sense:

:"...self-deception about history prevents us from hearing the language of the thinkers... we take that language to be mere expression, setting forth philosophers' views, but the thinker's language tells us what it is. To hear it is in no case easy. Hearing it presupposes that we... acknowledge and respect it... letting every thinker's thought come to us as something in each case unique, never to be repeated, inexhaustible — and being shaken to the depths by what is unthought in his thought."

:"...The more original the thinking, the richer will be what is unthought in it. The unthought is the greattest gift that thinking can bestow. But to the commonplaces of sound common sense, what is unthought in any thikning always remains merely the incomprehensible.. never an occasion to stop an look at its own powers of comprehension, still less to notice their limitations... incomprehensible remains forever merely offensive, — proof enough to such comprehension, which is convinced it was born comprehending everything, that it is now being imposed upon with an untruth and a sham. The one thing of which sound common sense is least capable is acknowledgement and respect."