Metaontology

Edited by Frederique Janssen-Lauret (University of Manchester)
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  1. Meinongian Merits and Maladies.Samuel Hoadley-Brill - manuscript
    According to what has long been the dominant school of thought in analytic meta-ontology––defended not only by W. V. O. Quine, but also by Bertrand Russell, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and many others––the meaning of ‘there is’ is identical to the meaning of ‘there exists.’ The most (in)famous aberration from this view is advanced by Alexius Meinong, whose ontological picture has endured extensive criticism (and borderline abuse) from several subscribers to the majority view. Meinong denies the identity of being (...)
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  2. Rejoinder to Kris McDaniel.Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (2):565-569.
    I would like to thank Kris McDaniel for his reply. In my original response to McDaniel I say that, given his interpretation of the distinction between conventional and ultimate truth, we would no longer be able to employ certain powerful arguments in favor of the thesis that persons are merely conventionally existent, and it would turn out that the thesis that persons are merely conventionally existent doesn't have some of the important implications that proponents of that thesis generally take it (...)
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  3. Ontological Pluralism, Abhidharma Metaphysics, and the Two Truths: A Response to Kris McDaniel.Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Philosophy East and West 70 (2):543-557.
    Kris McDaniel has recently proposed an interpretation of the distinction between conventional truth and ultimate truth, as that distinction is made within Abhidharma metaphysics. According to McDaniel's proposal, the distinction between conventional truth and ultimate truth is closely connected with a similar distinction between conventional existence and ultimate existence. What is more, the distinction between conventional existence and ultimate existence should be interpreted along ontological pluralist lines: the difference between things that ultimately exist and things that merely conventionally exist amounts (...)
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  4. Zeno's Paradox as a Derivative for the Ontological Proof of Panpsychism.Eamon Macdougall - manuscript
    This article attempts to elucidate the phenomenon of time and its relationship to consciousness. It defends the idea that time exists both as a psychological or illusory experience, and as an ontological property of spacetime that actually exists independently of human experience.
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  5. On What There 'Is': Aristotle and the Aztecs on Being and Existence.Lynn Sebastian Purcell - 2018 - APA Newsletter on Hispanic/Latino Issues in Philosophy 18 (1):11-23.
    A curious feature of Aztec philosophy is that the basic metaphysical question of the “Western” tradition cannot be formulated in their language, in Nahuatl. This did not, however, prevent the Aztecs from developing an account of 'reality', or whatever it is that might exist. The article is the first of its kind to compare the work of Aristotle on ousia (being) and the Aztecs on teotl and ometeotl. Through this analysis, it suggests that both of the Nahuatl terms are fundamental (...)
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  6. Expansionism and Mereological Universalism.Giorgio Lando - 2020 - Theoria 86 (2):187-219.
    Mereological universalists, according to whom every plurality of entities has a fusion, usually claim that most quantifications are restricted to ordinary entities. However, there is no evidence that our usual quantifications over ordinary objects are restricted. In this article I explore an alternative way of reconciling Mereological Universalism with our usual quantifications. I resort to a modest form of ontological expansionism and to the so-called interpretational modalities. Quantifications over ordinary objects are the initial stages of the expansion. From these initial (...)
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  7. Introducción a la Ontología.Axel Barceló - manuscript
    Intuitivamente, la realidad está formada por entidades y hechos existentes y concretos. Sin embargo, nuestro lenguaje y pensamiento versa también sobre hechos meramente posibles, sobre cosas inexistentes y entidades abstractas. ¿Cómo es esto posible? ¿Significa ello que cuando hablamos y pensamos de estas otras cosas no hablamos de nada real? ¿o mas bien la realidad está mas poblada de lo que pensábamos y hay diferentes maneras de formar parte de la realidad además de la de existir de manera positiva y (...)
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  8. Ontological Investigations of a Pragmatic Kind? A Reply to Lauer.Simon Lohse - forthcoming - Philosophy of the Social Sciences:004839312091613.
    This paper is a reply to Richard Lauer’s “Is Social Ontology Prior to Social Scientific Methodology?” (2019) and an attempt to contribute to the meta-social ontological discourse more broadly. In the first part, I will give a rough sketch of Lauer’s general project and confront his pragmatist approach with a fundamental problem. The second part of my reply will provide a solution for this problem rooted in a philosophy of the social sciences in practice.
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  9. Endurant Types in Ontology-Driven Conceptual Modeling: Towards OntoUML 2.0.Giancarlo Guizzardi, Tiago Prince Sales, Claudenir M. Fonseca, Daniele Porello, Joao Paulo Almeida & Nicola Guarino - 2018 - In J. C. Trujillo, K. C. Davis, X. Du, Z. Li, T. W. Ling, G. Li & M. L. Lee (eds.), Conceptual Modeling - 37th International Conference, {ER} 2018, Xi'an, China, October 22-25, 2018, Proceedings. Springer. pp. 136--150.
    For over a decade now, a community of researchers has contributed to the development of the Unified Foundational Ontology (UFO) - aimed at providing foundations for all major conceptual modeling constructs. This ontology has led to the development of an Ontology-Driven Conceptual Modeling language dubbed OntoUML, reflecting the ontological micro-theories comprising UFO. Over the years, UFO and OntoUML have been successfully employed in a number of academic, industrial and governmental settings to create conceptual models in a variety of different domains. (...)
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  10. Significance Without Substance (Book Manuscript -- Intro and TOC).Andrew Sepielli - manuscript
    This is a book manuscript in progress. The book is a defence of pragmatist quietism in meta-ethics. Some other recent defences of meta-ethical quietism don't provide much in the way of argument for it; still less do they try to ensconce it within a more general explanatory picture of inquiry and the world. But that's what I try to do here, the "picture" being a pretty hardcore version of pragmatism. -/- I tell people it's like "Rorty for dorks".
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  11. Objectivity and Evaluation.Justin Clarke-Doane - forthcoming - In Christopher Cowie & Richard Rowland (eds.), Companions in Guilt Arguments in Metaethics.
    I this article, I introduce the notion of pluralism about an area, and use it to argue that the questions at the center of our normative lives are not settled by the facts -- even the normative facts. One upshot of the discussion is that the concepts of realism and objectivity, which are widely identified, are actually in tension. Another is that the concept of objectivity, not realism, should take center stage.
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  12. Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford University Press.
    To what extent are the subjects of our thoughts and talk real? This is the question of realism. In this book, Justin Clarke-Doane explores arguments for and against moral realism and mathematical realism, how they interact, and what they can tell us about areas of philosophical interest more generally. He argues that, contrary to widespread belief, our mathematical beliefs have no better claim to being self-evident or provable than our moral beliefs. Nor do our mathematical beliefs have better claim to (...)
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  13. L'identità diacronica fra ontologia e metafisica.Francesco Franda - 2014 - Rivista Italiana di Filosofia Analitica Junior 2 (5):66-81.
    In this paper, I tackle the problem of diachronic identity. Far from providing a criterion for identity over time, the aim of this work is to understand if this issue pertains to ontology, conceived as that part of philosophy that tries to answer the question about what entities exist, and metaphysics, conceived as that part of philosophy that tries to explain, of those entities, what they are. On the face of it, only metaphysics has the task to solve this problem, (...)
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  14. Facts in Logical Space: A Tractarian Ontology Jason Turner Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016; 362 Pp.; $85.00. [REVIEW]John Beverley - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (3):637-639.
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  15. Existência.João Branquinho - 2015 - Compêndio Em Linha de Problemas de Filosofia Analítica.
    Neste ensaio, discutem-se cinco questões acerca da existência: 1. É a existência representável em termos de quantificação? 2. É a existência um predicado" real", de primeira ordem? 3. É existir o mesmo que ser? 4. Existe tudo? 5. Qual é a forma lógica de afirmações de existência? São introduzidas e examinadas algumas das mais salientes posições acerca destas questões, em especial a concepção Frege-Russell da existência e diversas concepções recentes neo-Meinongianas. Defendemos as seguintes três teses acerca daquilo que deve ser (...)
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  16. On the Genealogy of Universals: The Metaphysical Origins of Analytic Philosophy.Fraser MacBride - 2018 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    The concepts of particular and universal have grown so familiar that their significance has become difficult to discern, like coins that have been passed back and forth too many times, worn smooth so their values can no longer be read. On the Genealogy of Universals seeks to overcome our sense of over-familiarity with these concepts by providing a case study of their evolution during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, a study that shows how the history of these (...)
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  17. Introduction to the Special Issue on The Enactive Approach to Qualitative Ontology.Andrea Pace Giannotta, Roberta Lanfredini, Nicola Liberati & Pagni Elena - 2016 - Humana.Mente - Journal of Philosophical Studies (31).
    This Special Issue is dedicated to building a bridge between different disciplines concerned in the investigation of the qualitative dimension of experience and reality. The two main objectives of the Issue can be summarized as follows: 1) to elucidate the need for a revision of categories to account for the qualitative dimension in various disciplines (that include, for example, the cognitive sciences, neurosciences, biology, linguistics, informatics, artificial intelligence, robotics, newly emerging computer technologies) in order to develop an ontology that can (...)
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  18. Make Ontology Easy Again: Amie Thomasson: Ontology Made Easy. New York: Oxford University Press, 2015, Xiii+345pp, $53.00 HB. [REVIEW]Greg Frost-Arnold - 2016 - Metascience 25 (3):497-500.
    A book review of Amie Thomasson's defense of Neo-Carnapianism in her "Ontology Made Easy" (2015, Oxford UP).
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  19. Theories of Properties and Ontological Theory-Choice: An Essay in Metaontology.Christopher Gibilisco - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
    This dissertation argues that we have no good reason to accept any one theory of properties as correct. To show this, I present three possible bases for theory-choice in the properties debate: coherence, explanatory adequacy, and explanatory value. Then I argue that none of these bases resolve the underdetermination of our choice between theories of properties. First, I argue considerations about coherence cannot resolve the underdetermination, because no traditional theory of properties is obviously incoherent. Second, I argue considerations of explanatory (...)
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  20. Is There a True Metaphysics of Material Objects?Alan Sidelle - 2002 - Noûs 36 (s1):118-145.
    I argue that metaphysical views of material objects should be understood as 'packages', rather than individual claims, where the other parts of the package include how the theory addresses 'recalcitant data', and that when the packages meet certain general desiderata - which all of the currently competing views *can* meet - there is nothing in the world that could make one of the theories true as opposed to any of the others.
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  21. All the Existences That There Are.Alberto Voltolini - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (32):361-383.
    In this paper, I will defend the claim that there are three existence properties: the second-order property of being instantiated, a substantive first-order property (or better a group of such properties) and a formal, hence universal, first-order property. I will first try to show what these properties are and why we need all of them for ontological purposes. Moreover, I will try to show why a Meinong-like option that positively endorses both the former and the latter first-order property is the (...)
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  22. Is Metaphysics a Waste of Time?Peter G. Jones - 2012 - Philosophy Pathways (171).
    The view that metaphysics is a waste of time appears to be gaining in popularity with every passing day. It is held openly by many scientists and even by many philosophers. I argue here that this is a consequence of the way metaphysics is often done, the futility of a certain approach to it, and not a reason to suppose that there is no useful knowledge to be acquired in metaphysics.
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  23. Questions About 'Internal and External Questions About God'.Natalja Deng - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):257-268.
    This article is an evaluation of Le Poidevin’s use of Carnap ’s stance on ontology within the philosophy of religion. Le Poidevin claims that 1) theists need to take God to be a putative entity within space-time in order for their claim that God exists to be meaningful, and that 2) instrumentalism about theology is viable. I argue that although Le Poidevin’s response to Carnap ’s argument is no less problematic than that argument itself, his position is in fact thoroughly (...)
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  24. Ontological Priorities: A Critique of the Announced Goals of "Descriptive Metaphysics".David Kolb - 1975 - Metaphilosophy 6 (3-4):238-258.
    A critique of Strawson's distinction between descriptive and revisionary metaphysics.
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Metaontology, Misc
  1. Mitä on metafysiikka?Jani Hakkarainen - manuscript
    The handout of my lecture about metaphysics as a field of philosophy in the intro course to metaphysics Metafysiikan peruskurssini ojenne metafysiikasta filosofian osa-alueena.
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  2. Hale and Wright on the Metaontology of Neo-Fregeanism.Matti Eklund - 2016 - In Marcus Rossberg & Philip A. Ebert (eds.), Abstractionism.
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  3. Variance Theses in Ontology and Metaethics.Matti Eklund - 2020 - In Alexis Burgess, Herman Cappelen & David Plunkett (eds.), Conceptual Engineering and Conceptual Ethics.
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  4. Carnap's Legacy for the Contemporary Metaontological Debate.Matti Eklund - 2016 - In Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology After Carnap.
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  5. "That's Not the Issue": Against a Lightweight Interpretation of Ontological Disputes.Manuel J. Sanchís Ferrer - manuscript
    In this paper I argue against what I label as "Lightweight interpretation of ontological disputes". This interpretation criteria sees ontological disputes as metalinguistic negotiations concerning the pursuing of practical objectives. I have developed an argument, called "That's not the issue", which shows that this interpretation criteria is inapplicable to most ontological disputes.
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  6. Grounding and the Myth of Ontological Innocence.Jonathan Barker - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    According to the Ontological Innocence Thesis (OIT), grounded entities are ontologically innocent relative to their full grounds. I argue that OIT entails a contradiction, and therefore must be discarded. My argument turns on the notion of “groundmates,” two or more numerically distinct entities that share at least one of their full grounds. I argue that, if OIT is true, then it is both the case that there are groundmates and that there are no groundmates. Therefore, so I conclude, OIT is (...)
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  7. A Puzzle About Moorean Metaphysics.Louis Doulas - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    Some metaphysicians believe that existence debates are easily resolved by trivial inferences from Moorean premises. This paper considers how the introduction of negative Moorean facts—negative existentials that command Moorean certainty—complicates this picture. In particular, it shows how such facts, when combined with certain plausible metaontological principles, generate a puzzle that commits the proponents of this method to a contradiction.
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  8. Structural Parsimony.Ghislain Guigon - manuscript
    Many metaphysicians often appeal to Hume’s dictum (HD), according to which there are no necessary connections between distinct entities (or states of entities), in order to resist theories that commit us to such connections. Some have argued that HD is an unsupported dogma of metaphysics. But theories that commit us to necessary connections between distinct goings-on can also be resisted by invoking a normative twist on HD, which I call the Humean Solvent (HS): “Do not connect distinct entities (or states (...)
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  9. Anchoring Versus Grounding: Reply to Schaffer.Brian Epstein - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (3):768-781.
    In his insightful and challenging paper, Jonathan Schaffer argues against a distinction I make in The Ant Trap (Epstein 2015) and related articles. I argue that in addition to the widely discussed “grounding” relation, there is a different kind of metaphysical determination I name “anchoring.” Grounding and anchoring are distinct, and both need to be a part of full explanations of how facts are metaphysically determined. Schaffer argues instead that anchoring is a species of grounding. The crux of his argument (...)
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  10. Natural Language Ontology (Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics).Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. Routledge.
    This paper gives an outline of natural language ontology as a subdiscipline of both linguistics and philosophy. It argues that part of the constructional ontology reflected in natural language is in significant respects on a par with syntax (on the generative view).
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  11. Unbunking Arguments: A Case Study in Metaphysics and Cognitive Science.Christopher Fruge - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. pp. 384-402.
    This chapter develops a style of argument that realists can use to defend the methodological propriety of appealing to a given range of intuitions. Unbunking arguments are an epistemically positive analogue of debunking arguments, and they revolve around the claim that the processes dominantly responsible for beliefs about a given domain are reliable. However, processes cannot always be assessed for accuracy with respect to the relevant domain, so this chapter also develops the cross-domain strategy, which involves arguing that processes known (...)
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  12. What is Field's Epistemological Objection to Platonism?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th Birthday. pp. 123-133.
    This paper concerns an epistemological objection against mathematical platonism, due to Hartry Field.The argument poses an explanatory challenge – the challenge to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs – which the platonist, it’s argued, cannot meet. Is the objection compelling? Philosophers disagree, but they also disagree on (and are sometimes very unclear about) how the objection should be understood. Here I distinguish some options, and highlight some gaps that need to be filled in on the potentially most compelling version (...)
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  13. What is Ontology? A Dialogue.Uriah Kriegel - 2019 - Think 18 (53):49-65.
    This dialogue presents a substantive account of the nature and aim of ontology.Export citation.
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  14. Grounding and Metametaphysics.Alexander Skiles & Kelly Trogdon - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & J. Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York, NY, USA:
    Discussion of the relevance of grounding to substantiveness, theory-choice, and “location problems” in metaphysics.
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  15. Composition as Pattern.Steve Petersen - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1119-1139.
    I argue for patternism, a new answer to the question of when some objects compose a whole. None of the standard principles of composition comfortably capture our natural judgments, such as that my cat exists and my table exists, but there is nothing wholly composed of them. Patternism holds, very roughly, that some things compose a whole whenever together they form a “real pattern”. Plausibly we are inclined to acknowledge the existence of my cat and my table but not of (...)
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  16. On the Explanatory Demands of the Special Composition Question.Joshua Spencer - forthcoming - Synthese:1-14.
    The Special Composition Question may be formulated as follows: for any xs whatsoever, what are the metaphysically necessary and jointly sufficient conditions in virtue of which there is a y such that those xs compose y? But what is the scope of the sought after explanation? Should an answer merely explain compositional facts, or should it explain certain ontological facts as well? On one natural reading, the question seeks an explanation of both the compositional facts and the ontological; the question (...)
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  17. Transcendental Idealism Without Tears.Nicholas Stang - 2017 - In Tyron Goldschmidt (ed.), Idealism: New Essays in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 82-103.
    This essay is an attempt to explain Kantian transcendental idealism to contemporary metaphysicians and make clear its relevance to contemporary debates in what is now called ‘meta-metaphysics.’ It is not primarily an exegetical essay, but an attempt to translate some Kantian ideas into a contemporary idiom.
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  18. Unlocking Legal Validity: Some Remarks on the Artificial Ontology of Law.Paolo Sandro - 2018 - In Anne Mackor, Stephan Kirste, Jaap Hage & Pauline Westerman (eds.), Legal Validity and Soft Law. Springer Verlag.
    Following Kelsen’s influential theory of law, the concept of validity has been used in the literature to refer to different properties of law (such as existence, membership, bindingness, and more), and so it is inherently ambiguous. More importantly, Kelsen’s equivalence between the existence and the validity of law prevents us from accounting satisfactorily for relevant aspects of our current legal practices, such as the phenomenon of “unlawful law.” This chapter addresses this ambiguity to argue that the most important function of (...)
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  19. Rayo’s Metametaphysics.Matti Eklund - 2014 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 57 (4):483-497.
    In his important book The Construction of Logical Space, Agustín Rayo lays out a distinctive metametaphysical view and applies it fruitfully to disputes concerning ontology and concerning modality. In this article, I present a number of criticisms of the view developed, mostly focusing on the underlying metametaphysics and Rayo’s claims on its behalf.
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  20. Analytic Metaphysics Versus Naturalized Metaphysics: The Relevance of Applied Ontology.Baptiste Le Bihan & Adrien Barton - 2018 - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    The relevance of analytic metaphysics has come under criticism: Ladyman & Ross, for instance, have suggested do discontinue the field. French & McKenzie have argued in defense of analytic metaphysics that it develops tools that could turn out to be useful for philosophy of physics. In this article, we show first that this heuristic defense of metaphysics can be extended to the scientific field of applied ontology, which uses constructs from analytic metaphysics. Second, we elaborate on a parallel by French (...)
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  21. Three Reflections on Return: Convergence of Form with Regard to Light, Life, Word.Timothy M. Rogers - manuscript
    In this paper, I trace the three-fold essence of “return”—a generating trope of identity and difference, through which formal aspects of the theory of relativity, the movement of language and emergence in evolution might converge. The trope of return is contrasted with the more common two-fold structure of relatedness underwriting differential calculus, propositional semantics and reductionism, which privileges space over time, identity over difference, self over creation.
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  22. What Are Tropes, Fundamentally? A Formal Ontological Account.Jani Hakkarainen - 2018 - Acta Philosophica Fennica 94:129-159.
    In this paper, I elaborate on the Strong Nuclear Theory (SNT) of tropes and substances, which I have defended elsewhere, using my metatheory about formal ontology and especially fundamental ontological form. According to my metatheory, for an entity to have an ontological form is for it to be a relatum of a formal ontological relation or relations jointly in an order. The full fundamental ontological form is generically identical to a simple formal ontological relation or relations jointly in an order. (...)
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  23. The Use of Sets (and Other Extensional Entities) in the Analysis of Hylomorphically Complex Objects.Simon Evnine - 2018 - Metaphysics 1 (1):97-109.
    Hylomorphically complex objects are things that change their parts or matter or that might have, or have had, different parts or matter. Often ontologists analyze such objects in terms of sets (or functions, understood set-theoretically) or other extensional entities such as mereological fusions or quantities of matter. I urge two reasons for being wary of any such analyses. First, being extensional, such things as sets are ill-suited to capture the characteristic modal and temporal flexibility of hylomorphically complex objects. Secondly, sets (...)
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  24. Ontology as Transcendental Philosophy.Huaping Lu-Adler - 2018 - In Courtney Fugate (ed.), Kant's Lectures on Metaphysics: A Critical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 53-73.
    How does the critical Kant view ontology? There is no shared scholarly answer to this question. Norbert Hinske sees in the Critique of Pure Reason a “farewell to ontology,” albeit one that took Kant long to bid (Hinske 2009). Karl Ameriks has found evidence in Kant’s metaphysics lectures from the critical period that he “was unwilling to break away fully from traditional ontology” (Ameriks 1992: 272). Gualtiero Lorini argues that a decisive break with the tradition of ontology is essential to (...)
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  25. Truth, Transcendence, and the Good.Michael Bourke - 2018 - Modern Horizons (June 2018):1-16.
    Nietzsche regarded nihilism as an outgrowth of the natural sciences which, he worried, were bringing about “an essentially mechanistic [and hence meaningless] world.” Nihilism in this sense refers to the doctrine that there are no values, or that everything we might value is worthless. In the last issue of Modern Horizons, I offered this conditional explanation of the relation of science and nihilism: that a scientific worldview is nihilistic insofar as it rules out the existence of anything that cannot in (...)
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  26. Truths Qua Grounds.Ghislain Guigon - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 97 (1):99-125.
    A number of philosophers have recently found it congenial to talk in terms of grounding. Grounding discourse features grounding sentences that are answers to questions about what grounds what. The goal of this article is to explore and defend a counterpart-theoretic interpretation of grounding discourse. We are familiar with David Lewis's applications of the method of counterpart theory to de re modal discourse. Counterpart-theoretic interpretations of de re modal idioms and grounding sentences share similar motivations, mechanisms, and applications. I shall (...)
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