- Plural of being
In ontology, the study of being, being is anything that can be said to be, either transcendentally or immanently.
The nature of being varies by philosophy, giving different interpretations in the frameworks of Aristotle, materialism, idealism, existentialism, Islam, and Marxism.
Being in continental philosophy and existentialism
Some philosophers deny that the concept of "being" has any meaning at all, since we only define an object's existence by its relation to other objects, and actions it undertakes. The term "I am" has no meaning by itself; it must have an action or relation appended to it. This in turn has led to the thought that "being" and nothingness are closely related, developed in existential philosophy.
Existentialist philosophers such as Sartre, as well as continental philosophers such as Hegel and Heidegger have also written extensively on the concept of being. Hegel distinguishes between the being of objects (being in itself) and the being of people (Geist). Hegel, however, did not think there was much hope for delineating a "meaning" of being, because being stripped of all predicates is simply nothing.
Heidegger, in his quest to re-pose the original pre-Socratic questions of Being (of why is there something rather than nothing), wondered at how to meaningfully ask the question of the meaning of being, since it is both the greatest, as it includes everything that is, and the least, since no particular thing can be said of it. He distinguishes between different modes of beings: a privative mode is present-at-hand, whereas beings in a fuller sense are described as ready-to-hand. The one who asks the question of Being is described as Da-sein ("there/here-being") or being-in-the-world. Sartre, popularly understood as misreading Heidegger (an understanding supported by Heidegger's essay "Letter on Humanism" which responds to Sartre's famous address, "Existentialism is a Humanism"), employs modes of being in an attempt to ground his concept of freedom ontologically by distinguishing between being-in-itself and being-for-itself.
Being in Islamic philosophyThe nature of "being" has also been debated and explored in Islamic philosophy, notably by Ibn Sina, Suhrawardi, and Mulla Sadra.
Being in popular culture
The question of the relation between being and consciousness, such as might be manifested in artificial intelligence, is a theme of science fiction, such as that raised in the I, robot series of stories by Isaac Asimov, and in the presentation of HAL-9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey, both the novel by Arthur C. Clarke and the film by Stanley Kubrick.
QuotesAs far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being. - Carl Jung
Under the heading ‘Individuality in Thought and Desire’, Karl Marx, (German Ideology 1845), states, "It depends not on consciousness, but on being; not on thought, but on life; it depends on the individual's empirical development and manifestation of life, which in turn depends on the conditions existing in the world."
- Category of being
- Cogito ergo sum
- Object (philosophy)
- Substance theory
- Supreme being
- Fromm To Have Or To Be? 1976
- Hegel, Phenomenology of Spirit
- Heidegger, Being and Time
- Sartre, Essays in Existentialism and Being and Nothingness
beings in Min Nan: Chûn-chāi
beings in Bulgarian: Битие
beings in Czech: Bytí
beings in German: Sein (Philosophie)
beings in Spanish: Ser
beings in French: Être
beings in Croatian: Bitak
beings in Italian: Essere (filosofia)
beings in Kara-Kalpak: Bolmıs
beings in Dutch: Zijn
beings in Polish: Byt
beings in Russian: Бытие (философия)
beings in Simple English: Being
beings in Slovak: Bytie
beings in Serbian: Битак
beings in Serbo-Croatian: Bitak
beings in Finnish: Olemassaolo
beings in Turkish: Varlık
beings in Ukrainian: Буття