Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

Get access

Ontology
(770 words)

Ontology today is generally used in one of two senses, denoting (1) the sum total of whatever under a theory or in a language is assumed as given or existent, or (2) a philosophical discipline that emerged in the early modern period. Whereas ontology in the former sense by definition existed as far back as Greco-Roman antiquity, the word “ontology” (from the Greek on, pl. ónta, “that which exists”) is first attested in 1613 as a marginal note by Rudolf Goclenius, denoting the philosophia de ente (Latin; “theory of everything that [in any sense] is”) [4]. The name was bestowed as Euro…

Cite this page
Leinsle, Ulrich G., “Ontology”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 18 October 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_025004>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200721



▲   Back to top   ▲