Metaontology

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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. Make Ontology Easy Again. [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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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. 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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  2. 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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  3. What is Ontology? A Dialogue.Uriah Kriegel - forthcoming - Think.
    This dialogue presents a substantive account of the nature and aim of ontology.
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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. 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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  9. Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  10. Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics, by Thomas Hofweber. [REVIEW]Chad Carmichael - 2018 - Review of Metaphysics 71 (4):810-812.
    A review of Thomas Hofweber's book, Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics.
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  11. Composition as Pattern.Steve Petersen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    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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  12. On the Embodiment of Space and Time: Triadic Logic, Quantum Indeterminacy and the Metaphysics of Relativity.Timothy M. Rogers - manuscript
    Triadic (systemical) logic can provide an interpretive paradigm for understanding how quantum indeterminacy is a consequence of the formal nature of light in relativity theory. This interpretive paradigm is coherent and constitutionally open to ethical and theological interests. -/- In this statement: -/- (1) Triadic logic refers to a formal pattern that describes systemic (collaborative) processes involving signs that mediate between interiority (individuation) and exteriority (generalized worldview or Umwelt). It is also called systemical logic or the logic of relatives. The (...)
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  13. Grounding, Essence, and the Knowledge Argument.Philip Goff - forthcoming - In Sam Coleman (ed.), The Knowledge Argument: Then and Now. Cambridge University Press.
    Few these days dispute that the knowledge argument demonstrates an epistemic gap between the physical facts and the facts about experience. It is much more contentious whether that epistemic gap can be used to demonstrate a metaphysical gap of a kind that is inconsistent with physicalism. In this paper I will explore two attempts to block the inference from an epistemic gap to a metaphysical gap – the first from the phenomenal concept strategy, the second from Russellian monism – and (...)
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  14. Blurring Boundaries: Carnap, Quine, and the Internal–External Distinction.Sander Verhaegh - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):873-890.
    Quine is routinely perceived as saving metaphysics from Carnapian positivism. Where Carnap rejects metaphysical existence claims as meaningless, Quine is taken to restore their intelligibility by dismantling the former’s internal–external distinction. The problem with this picture, however, is that it does not sit well with the fact that Quine, on many occasions, has argued that metaphysical existence claims ought to be dismissed. Setting aside the hypothesis that Quine’s metaphysical position is incoherent, one has to conclude that his views on metaphysics (...)
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  15. Grounds and ‘Grounds’.Bradley Rettler - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (5):631-655.
    In this paper, I offer a new theory of grounding. The theory has it that grounding is a job description that is realized by different properties in different contexts. Those properties play the grounding role contingently, and grounding is the property that plays the grounding role essentially. On this theory, grounding is monistic, but ‘grounding’ refers to different relations in different contexts. First, I argue against Kit Fine’s monist univocalism. Next, I argue against Jessica Wilson’s pluralist multivocalism. Finally, I introduce (...)
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  16. The Ontological Form of Tropes - Refuting Douglas Ehring’s Main Argument Against Standard Trope Nominalism.Jani Hakkarainen & Markku Keinänen - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):647-658.
    According to standard trope nominalism, there are simple tropes that do not have parts or multiply distinct aspects. Douglas Ehring’s reductio ad absurdum against this standard view concludes that there are no simple tropes. In this paper, we provide a response to Ehring defending the standard view. Ehring’s argument may be refuted by (1) distinguishing the ontological form of tropes from their contribution to the ontological content of the world, and (2) construing tropes as having primitive identity. At the same (...)
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  17. Review of Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide by Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani. [REVIEW]Arreman Jan - 2017 - Philosophy in Review 37 (2):53-55.
    Review of Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide by Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani.
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  18. Revisionaarinen metafysiikka.Markku Keinänen - 2008 - Ajatus 65:59-90.
    This article defends strong formal ontological conception of ontological categories against Lewis's "deflanationary" conception. Here, it sides with E.J. Lowe (1998) among others. However, the paper argues against Lowe's conception of metaphysics as an a priori science. Different category systems are compared and the best system is selected on the basis of its ability to accommodate our the best a posteriori conceptions of reality.
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  19. Tahko metafysiikan ja tieteen suhteesta.Markku Keinänen - 2016 - Ajatus 73:255-267.
    [A comment paper on Tuomas Tahko's book An Introduction to Metametaphysics (CUP, 2016).] Pyrin tässä artikkelissa selvittämään, missä määrin Tuomas Tahkon kirjan An Introduction to Metametaphysics luvussa 9 esittämä käsitys tieteen ja metafysiikan suhteesta tuo selvyyttä metafysiikan luonteeseen itsenäisenä tutkimusalana. Analyyttinen metafysiikka on joutunut viimeisten viidentoista vuoden aikana kasvavan kritiikin kohteeksi. James Ladymanin (2012) mukaan viime aikoina suosittu käsitys metafyysisen teorian valinnasta teoreettisten hyveiden perusteella kohtaa niin sanotun vahvan globaalin alimääräytyneisyyden ongelman. Tahko pyrkii vastaamaan näihin huoliin esittämällä synteesiin E.J. Lowen (...)
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  20. ¿Ontología u Ontologías?Paulo Vélez León - 2015 - Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 4 (5):299-339.
    [ES] En recientes décadas se ha observado un renovado interés por algunos de los temas clásicos de la ontología, desde áreas de conocimiento externas a la filosofía, sin embargo, este renacimiento ontológico ha «estimulado» una multiplicidad y diversidad de teorías y concepciones «ontológicas» que ha dado como consecuencia una proliferación de «ontologías» y de interminables batallas para determinar qué tipo de «entidades» estudian sus respectivos «dominios», que a su vez se consideran autónomos e independientes entre sí, inclusive de la propia (...)
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  21. Costruzioni senza fine? Un problema per il costruttivismo goodmaniano.Jan Westerhoff - 2009 - Rivista di Estetica 41:101-107.
    Amongst the different forms of constructivism the Goodmanian variety (also known as irrealism) is one of the most extreme, and one of the most interesting. Unlike various localized constructivist theories it does not just claim that scientific theories or social institutions are constructs but that everything is a construct. This universal claim leads to an interesting problem.
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  22. Metametafysiikkaa kategorioilla ja ilman.Jani Hakkarainen - 2016 - Ajatus 73:225-253.
    Title in English translation: Metametaphysics - with and without Categories. A comment paper on An Introduction to Metametaphysics by Tuomas Tahko. Ehdotan artikkelissa uutta olevan ja sen muodon välistä erottelua. Erottelun avulla voidaan antaa täsmällinen käsitys ontologisen kategorian käsitteestä ja metafysiikan tutkimuskohteesta. Argumentoin myös, että metafysiikan epistemologiaa ja semantiikkaa sekä metafyysistä selitttämistä pitää lähestyä kategorianäkökulmasta. Artikkeli on kommentti Tuomas Tahkon oppikirjaan An Introduction to Metametaphysics.
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  23. Metaphysics: Study of Categories as Manners of Existence.Jani Hakkarainen - manuscript
    In this talk, I propose a new account of ontological form, formal ontological relations, modes of being and hence of specifying the subject matter of metaphysics.
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  24. Meta-Metaphysics: On Metaphysical Equivalence, Primitiveness, and Theory Choice. By Jiri Benovsky. [REVIEW]Tuomas E. Tahko - 2016 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 723.
    Review of Meta-Metaphysics: On Metaphysical Equivalence, Primitiveness, and Theory Choice (Springer, Synthese Library, 2016). By Jiri Benovsky.
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  25. Can an Ontological Pluralist Really Be a Realist?J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (3):425-430.
    This article examines whether it is possible to uphold one form of deflationism towards metaphysics, ontological pluralism, whilst maintaining metaphysical realism. The focus therefore is on one prominent deflationist who fits the definition of an ontological pluralist, Eli Hirsch, and his self-ascription as a realist. The article argues that ontological pluralism is not amenable to the ascription of realism under some basic intuitions as to what a “realist” position is committed to. These basic intuitions include a commitment to more than (...)
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  26. Bradley's Reductio of Relations and Formal Ontological Relations.Jani Hakkarainen & Markku Keinänen - 2016 - In Hemmo Laiho & Arto Repo (eds.), DE NATURA RERUM - Scripta in honorem professoris Olli Koistinen sexagesimum annum complentis. University of Turku. pp. 246-261.
    In this paper, we argue that formal ontological relations avoid Bradley's reductio of relations, including his famous relation regress.
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  27. The Absolute Generating Structure.Vladmir I. Rogozhin - 2012 - The Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi).
    The essential analysis of changing ideas of Space and Time for the period from the beginning of “Archimedes’ Second Revolution” is carried out to overcome the ontological groundlessness of the Knowledge and to expand its borders. Synthetic model of Triune (absolute) 12-dimensional Space-Time is built on the basis of Ontological construction method, Superaxiom and Superprinciple, the nature of Time is determined as a memory of material structure at a certain level of its holistic being.
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  28. Interview with Francesco Berto.Luca Moretti - 2016 - The Reasoner 10 (5):36-38.
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  29. The Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory: Deadly Enemies or Twin Brothers?Jiri Benovsky - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (2):175-190.
    In this paper, I explore several versions of the bundle theory and the substratum theory and compare them, with the surprising result that it seems to be true that they are equivalent (in a sense of 'equivalent' to be specified). In order to see whether this is correct or not, I go through several steps : first, I examine different versions of the bundle theory with tropes and compare them to the substratum theory with tropes by going through various standard (...)
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  30. 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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  31. A Problem for Hofweber’s Ontological Project.Tristan Haze - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):843-846.
    Thomas Hofweber's well-known ontological project crucially involves inferring negative existential statements from statements of non-reference, i.e. statements that say that some term or terms do not refer. Here, after explaining the context of this move, I aim to show that it is fallacious, and that this vitiates Hofweber's ontological project.
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  32. Relational and Substantival Ontologies, and the Nature and the Role of Primitives in Ontological Theories.Jiri Benovsky - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (1):101-121.
    Several metaphysical debates have typically been modeled as oppositions between a relationist approach and a substantivalist approach. Such debates include the Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory about ordinary material objects, the Bundle (Humean) Theory and the Substance (Cartesian) Theory of the Self, and Relationism and Substantivalism about time. In all three debates, the substantivalist side typically insists that in order to provide a good treatment of the subject-matter of the theory (time, Self, material objects), it is necessary to postulate (...)
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  33. A Cardinal Worry for Permissive Metaontology.Simon Hewitt - 2015 - Metaphysica 16 (2):159-166.
    Permissivist metaontology proposes answering customary existence questions in the affirmative. Many of the existence questions addressed by ontologists concern the existence of theoretical entities which admit precise formal specification. This causes trouble for the permissivist, since individually consistent formal theories can make pairwise inconsistent demands on the cardinality of the universe. We deploy a result of Gabriel Uzquiano’s to show that this possibility is realised in the case of two prominent existence debates and propose rejecting permissivism in favour of substantive (...)
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  34. Deleveling: Against ‘Flat Ontologies’.Ray Brassier - 2015 - In Channa van Dijk, Eva van der Graaf, Michiel den Haan, Rosa de Jong, Christiaan Roodenburg, Dyane Til & Deva Waal (eds.), Under Influence - Philosophical Festival Drift (2014). Omnia. pp. 64-80.
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  35. The Natural Definition of Reality.Jonathan Ochs - 2013 - Aporia 23 (2):13-23.
    The problem with ontological commitment is that when we symbolize the statements that we make about what 'exists' or what is 'real', they do not always translate to exactly that which we intend to express. In this essay, I explore the relation between 'Reality' and how we describe reality. I evaluate the accounts of three prominent philosophers on the topic, address their shortcomings, and introduce my own account; which I call "The Natural Definition of Reality".
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  36. Defending Substantivism About Disputes in the Metaphysics of Composition.Kristie Miller - 2014 - Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10):529-556.
    This paper defends substantivism about disputes in the metaphysics of composition. That is, it defends the view that disputes about the metaphysics of composition are substantial: they are neither merely apparent disputes in which disputants are talking past one another in virtue of disagreeing about the truth conditions for certain sentences; nor are they disputes in which there is no fact of the matter in the world in virtue of which one party to the dis-pute is right and the other(s) (...)
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  37. Kerdo jelezes...Tobb-csendbeni alkalmazott filozofiai zajhaboritas a szabad(sag) kerdezes(e)ben.Kiraly V. Istvan - 2004 - Bratislava (Pozsony): Kalligram.
    Az "alkalmazott filozofia" egy uj korvonalazasa ugy a modszertan mint a tematikak szompontjabol.
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  38. Ontology and Metaontology. A Contemporary Guide.Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani - 2015 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    'Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide' is a clear and accessible survey of ontology, focussing on the most recent trends in the discipline. -/- Divided into parts, the first half characterizes metaontology: the discourse on the methodology of ontological inquiry, covering the main concepts, tools, and methods of the discipline, exploring the notions of being and existence, ontological commitment, paraphrase strategies, fictionalist strategies, and other metaontological questions. The second half considers a series of case studies, introducing and familiarizing the reader (...)
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