Objects

Edited by Daniel Z. Korman (University of California at Santa Barbara)
Assistant editor: Andrew Higgins (Illinois State University)
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  1. Abstract Objects and the Core-Periphery Distinction in the Ontological and the Conceptual Domain of Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In José Luis Falguera & Concha Martínez-Vida (eds.), Abstract Objects: For and Against. Springer.
    This paper elaborates distinctions between a core and a periphery in the ontological and the conceptual domain associated with natural language. The ontological core-periphery distinction is essential for natural language ontology and is the basis for the central thesis of my 2013 book Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, namely that natural language permits reference to abstract objects in its periphery, but not its core.
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  2. Sympathy for the Scientist: Re-Calibrating a Heideggerian Critique of Metaphysics.Jonathan Morgan - manuscript
    This paper attempts to develop an ethico-aesthetic framework for enriching one's life and ethical outlook. Drawing primarily from Nietzsche, Foucault, and Heidegger, an argument is made that Heidegger's understanding of this issue was mistaken. The ontological crisis of modernity is not the overt influence of mathematics as a worldview over poetics and more traditionally aesthetic approaches. It is the rampant mis-and over-application of abstraction within one's view of the world while denying the material realities of life as we live it. (...)
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  3. Towards a Pluralist Theory of Singular Thought.Michele Palmira - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3947-3974.
    This paper investigates the question of how to correctly capture the scope of singular thinking. The first part of the paper identifies a scope problem for the dominant view of singular thought maintaining that, in order for a thinker to have a singular thought about an object o, the thinker has to bear a special epistemic relation to o. The scope problem has it is that this view cannot make sense of the singularity of our thoughts about objects to which (...)
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  4. Chapter 6: Reifying Terms.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops a semantics for 'reifying terms' of the sort 'the proposition that S', 'the fact that S', 'the property of being P', 'the number eight', 'the concept horse', 'the truth value true', 'the kind humane being'. This semantics is developed within the broader perspective of the ontology of natural language involving abstract objects only at its periphery, not its core.
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  5. Nominalization, Specification, and Investigation.Richard Lawrence - 2017 - Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
    Frege famously held that numbers play the role of objects in our language and thought, and that this role is on display when we use sentences like "The number of Jupiter's moons is four". I argue that this role is an example of a general pattern that also encompasses persons, times, locations, reasons, causes, and ways of appearing or acting. These things are 'objects' simply in the sense that they are answers to questions: they are the sort of thing we (...)
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  6. Can Emotions Have Abstract Objects? The Example of Awe.Fredericks Rachel - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (3):733-746.
    Can we feel emotions about abstract objects, assuming that abstract objects exist? I argue that at least some emotions can have abstract objects as their intentional objects and discuss why this conclusion is not just trivially true. Through critical engagement with the work of Dacher Keltner and Jonathan Haidt, I devote special attention to awe, an emotion that is particularly well suited to show that some emotions can be about either concrete or abstract objects. In responding to a possible objection, (...)
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  7. Categoricity, Open-Ended Schemas and Peano Arithmetic.Adrian Ludușan - 2015 - Logos and Episteme 6 (3):313-332.
    One of the philosophical uses of Dedekind’s categoricity theorem for Peano Arithmetic is to provide support for semantic realism. To this end, the logical framework in which the proof of the theorem is conducted becomes highly significant. I examine different proposals regarding these logical frameworks and focus on the philosophical benefits of adopting open-ended schemas in contrast to second order logic as the logical medium of the proof. I investigate Pederson and Rossberg’s critique of the ontological advantages of open-ended arithmetic (...)
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  8. Abstract Entities in a Presentist World.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2):177-193.
    How can a metaphysics of abstract entities be built upon a metaphysics of time? In this paper, I address the question of how to accommodate abstract entities in a presentist world. I consider both the traditional metaontological approach of unrestricted fundamental quantification and then ontological pluralism. I argue that under the former we need to impose two constraints in the characterization of presentism in order to avoid undesired commitments to abstract entities: we have to characterize presentism as a thesis only (...)
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  9. Created and Uncreated Things.Michelle Panchuk - 2016 - International Philosophical Quarterly 56 (1):99-112.
    Theistic activism and theistic conceptual realism attempt to relieve the tension between transcendent realism about universals and a strong aseity-sovereignty doctrine. Paradoxically, both theories seem to imply that God is metaphysically prior and metaphysically posterior to his own nature. In this paper I critique one attempt to respond to this worry and offer a neo-Augustinian solution in its place. I demonstrate that Augustine’s argument for forms as ideas in the mind of God strongly suggests that only created beings need universals (...)
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  10. Modes of Being and Forms of Predication.Philippe Descola - 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. 30-43.
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  11. Reconstructing Aquinas's Process of Abstraction.Liran Shia Gordon - 2018 - Heythrop Journal 59 (4):639-652.
    Aquinas’s process of abstraction of the particular thing into a universal concept is of pivotal importance for grounding his philosophy and theology in a natural framework. Much has been said and written regarding Aquinas’s doctrine of abstraction, yet recent studies still consider it to be ‘nothing more than a kind of magic.’ This problematic claim is not without foundation, for in trying to understand exactly how this process works, we are constantly faced with an unbridgeable abyss and the repeated vague (...)
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  12. Creationism and Cardinality.Daniel Nolan & Alexander Sandgren - 2014 - Analysis 74 (4):615-622.
    Creationism about fictional entities requires a principle connecting what fictions say exist with which fictional entities really exist. The most natural way of spelling out such a principle yields inconsistent verdicts about how many fictional entities are generated by certain inconsistent fictions. Avoiding inconsistency without compromising the attractions of creationism will not be easy.
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  13. Institutionen und die kategoriale Ontologie.Ludger Jansen - 2005 - In Gerhard Schönrich (ed.), Institutionen und ihre Ontologie. Ontos. pp. 45-57.
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  14. On the Type-Token Relationships.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 1986 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 15 (4):164-168.
    The two-fold ontological character of linguistic objects revealed due to the distinction between “type” and “token” introduced by Ch. S. Peirce can be a base of the two-fold, both theoretical and axiomatic, approach to the language. Referring to some ideas included in A. A. Markov’s work [1954] (in Russian) on Theory of Algorithms and in some earlier papers of the author, the problem of formalization of the concrete and abstract words theories raised by J. Słupecki was solved. The construction of (...)
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  15. Universals: The Contemporary Debate by Fraser MacBride. [REVIEW]Rodrigo Cid - 2012 - Filosofia Unisinos 13 (3).
    O problema no qual se inserem nominalismo e realismo, diz-nos MacBride, é o de como explicar as características repetidas das coisas. Enquanto o realista nos diz que as características repetidas se explicam por serem universais, ou seja, por serem as naturezas comuns que várias coisas compartilham, o nominalista nos diz que é possível explicar essas características repetidas com apenas particulares concretos (sem universais).
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  16. The Necessary and the Possible de Michael Loux.Rodrigo Cid - 2011 - Filosofia Unisinos 12 (3).
    Neste capítulo, Loux apresenta alguns problemas com relação às modalidades e algumas das relações entre elas e o vocabulário dos mundos possíveis, expondo as duas principais posições ontológicas com relação a tais mundos e às modalidades e com relação à natureza das modalidades, a saber, o possibilismo e o actualismo, defendidos respectivamente por Lewis e Plantinga. Essas são teorias inconsistentes entre si, que intentam nos dizer se os mundos possíveis são concretos ou abstratos e se existe algo além do que (...)
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  17. The Way of Actuality.Sam Cowling - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):231-247.
    In this paper, I defend an indexical analysis of the abstract-concrete distinction within the framework of modal realism. This analysis holds the abstract-concrete distinction to be conceptually inseparable from the distinction between the actual and the merely possible, which is assumed to be indexical in nature. The resulting view contributes to the case for modal realism by demonstrating how its distinctive resources provide a reductive analysis of the abstract-concrete distinction. This indexical analysis also provides a solution to a sceptical problem (...)
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  18. Two Concepts of Completing an Infinite Number of Tasks.Jeremy Gwiazda - 2013 - The Reasoner 7 (6):69-70.
    In this paper, two concepts of completing an infinite number of tasks are considered. After discussing supertasks, equisupertasks are introduced. I suggest that equisupertasks are logically possible.
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  19. What Is a Singular Term?Richard Heck - manuscript
    This paper discusses the question whether it is possible to explain the notion of a singular term without invoking the notion of an object or other ontological notions. The framework here is that of Michael Dummett's discussion in Frege: Philosophy of Language. I offer an emended version of Dummett's conditions, accepting but modifying some suggestions made by Bob Hale, and defend the emended conditions against some objections due to Crispin Wright. This paper dates from about 1989. It originally formed part (...)
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  20. Truth in Fiction.Franck Lihoreau (ed.) - 2011 - Ontos Verlag.
    The essays collected in this volume are all concerned with the connection between fiction and truth. This question is of utmost importance to metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophical logic and epistemology, raising in each of these areas and at their intersections a large number of issues related to creation, existence, reference, identity, modality, belief, assertion, imagination, pretense, etc. All these topics and many more are addressed in this collection, which brings together original essays written from various points of view by (...)
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  21. Abstract Artifacts in Pretence.Sarah Sawyer - 2002 - Philosophical Papers 31 (2):183-198.
    Abstract In this paper I criticise a recent account of fictional discourse proposed by Nathan Salmon. Salmon invokes abstract artifacts as the referents of fictional names in both object- and meta-fictional discourse alike. He then invokes a theory of pretence to forge the requisite connection between object-fictional sentences and meta-fictional sentences, in virtue of which the latter can be assigned appropriate truth-values. I argue that Salmon's account of pretence renders his appeal to abstract artifacts as the referents of fictional names (...)
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  22. Fictionalia as Modal Artifacts.Jeffrey Goodman - 2010 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 80 (1):21-46.
    Th ere is much controversy surrounding the nature of the relation between fictional individuals and possible individuals. Some have argued that no fictional individual is a possible individual; others have argued that (some) fictional individuals just are (merely) possible individuals. In this paper, I off er further grounds for believing the theory of fictional individuals defended by Amie Thomasson,viz., Artifactualism, by arguing that her view best allows one to make sense of this puzzling relation. More specifically, when we realize that (...)
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  23. The Internal and the External in Linguistic Explanation.Brian Epstein - 2008 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 8 (22):77-111.
    Chomsky and others have denied the relevance of external linguistic entities, such as E-languages, to linguistic explanation, and have questioned their coherence altogether. I discuss a new approach to understanding the nature of linguistic entities, focusing in particular on making sense of the varieties of kinds of “words” that are employed in linguistic theorizing. This treatment of linguistic entities in general is applied to constructing an understanding of external linguistic entities.
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  24. Time, Causation, and Abstract Objects.Martin Lin - manuscript
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  25. Two Kinds of Universals and Two Kinds of Collections.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (6):739 - 776.
    This paper argues for an ontological distinction between two kinds of universals, 'kinds of tropes' such as 'wisdom' and properties such as 'the property of being wise'. It argues that the distinction is parallel to that between two kinds of collections, pluralities such as 'the students' and collective objects such as 'the class'. The paper argues for the priortity of distributive readings with pluralities on the basis of predicates of extent or shape, such 'large' or 'long'.
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  26. Getting Realistic About Nominalism.Mark Sharlow - manuscript
    In this paper I examine critically the relationship between the realist and nominalist views of abstract objects. I begin by pointing out some differences between the usage of existential statements in metaphysics and the usage of such statements in disciplines outside of philosophy. Then I propose an account of existence that captures the characteristic intuitions underlying the latter kind of usage. This account implies that abstract object existence claims are not as ontologically extravagant as they seem, and that such claims (...)
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  27. I Am an Abstraction, Therefore I Am.Mark Sharlow - manuscript
    In this paper I examine a new variant of the well-known idea that the self is an abstract object. I propose a simple model of the self as a property of temporal slices of a body's history. I argue that this model, when combined with even a modest realism with regard to properties, implies that the self has many of the chief features traditionally attributed to selves. I conclude that this model allows one to reconcile the full reality of the (...)
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  28. Platonizing the Abstract Self.Mark Sharlow - manuscript
    In this note I examine the two main differences between Plato's and Dennett's views of the self as an abstract object. I point out that in the presence of certain forms of ontological realism, abstract-object theories of the self are compatible with the full reality of the self. I conclude with some remarks on the relationship between ontology and ethics.
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Abstract Objects, Misc
  1. Logic and Ontology of Language.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 2019 - In Bartłomiej Skowron (ed.), Contemporary Polish Ontology. Berlin/Boston: DE GRUYTER, MOUTON. pp. 109-132.
    The main purpose of the paper is to outline the formal-logical, general theory of language treated as a particular ontological being. The theory itself is called the ontology of language, because it is motivated by the fact that the language plays a special role: it reflects ontology and ontology reflects the world. Language expressions are considered to have a dual ontological status. They are understood as either concretes, that is tokens – material, physical objects, or types – classes of tokens, (...)
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  2. Prioritizing Platonism.Kelly Trogdon & Sam Cowling - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2029-2042.
    Discussion of atomistic and monistic theses about abstract reality.
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  3. Nominalism.Ghislain Guigon - 2019 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    ‘Nominalism’ refers to a family of views about what there is. The objects we are familiar with (e.g. hands, laptops, cookies, and trees) can be characterized as concrete and particular. Nominalists agree that there are such things. But one group of nominalists denies that anything is non-particular and another group denies that anything is non-concrete. These two sorts of nominalism, referred to as ‘nominalism about universals’ and ‘nominalism about abstract objects’, have common motivations in contemporary philosophy.
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  4. The Metaphysics of Establishments.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    I present two puzzles about the metaphysics of establishments (e.g., stores and restaurants). The first puzzle is that, while there is good reason to think that they are constituted by the buildings they occupy, there also is good reason to think that they can exist without being constituted by anything and that nothing that’s constituted can ever become unconstituted. The second is that, while there is good reason to think that they are material objects, there also is good reason to (...)
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  5. Why Can’T I Change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony?David Friedell - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Musical works change. Bruckner revised his Eighth Symphony. Ella Fitzgerald and many other artists have made it acceptable to sing the jazz standard “All the Things You Are” without its original verse. If we accept that musical works genuinely change in these ways, a puzzle arises: why can’t I change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony? More generally, why are some individuals in a privileged position when it comes to changing musical works and other artifacts, such as novels, films, and games? I give (...)
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  6. Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? A Probabilistic Answer Examined.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2018 - Philosophy 93 (4):505-521.
    Peter van Inwagen has given an answer to the question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’. His answer is: Because there being nothing is as improbable as anything can be: it has probability 0. Here I shall examine his argument for this answer and I shall argue that it does not work because no good reasons have been given for two of the argument’s premises and that the conclusion of the argument does not constitute an answer to the question (...)
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  7. Meinong, Defective Objects, and Logical Paradox.William J. Rapaport - 1982 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 18 (1):17-39.
    Alexius Meinong developed a notion of defective objects in order to account for various logical and psychological paradoxes. The notion is of historical interest, since it presages recent work on the logical paradoxes by Herzberger and Kripke. But it fails to do the job it was designed for. However, a technique implicit in Meinong's investigation is more successful and can be adapted to resolve a similar paradox discovered by Romane Clark in a revised version of Meinong's Theory of Objects due (...)
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  8. Category Theory and Set Theory as Theories About Complementary Types of Universals.David P. Ellerman - 2017 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 26 (2):1-18.
    Instead of the half-century old foundational feud between set theory and category theory, this paper argues that they are theories about two different complementary types of universals. The set-theoretic antinomies forced naïve set theory to be reformulated using some iterative notion of a set so that a set would always have higher type or rank than its members. Then the universal u_{F}={x|F(x)} for a property F() could never be self-predicative in the sense of u_{F}∈u_{F}. But the mathematical theory of categories, (...)
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  9. How Are Language Changes Possible?Takashi Iida - 2009 - In M. Okada (ed.), Ontology and Phenomenology: Franco-Japanese Collaborative Lectures. Keio University. pp. 75-96.
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  10. Perceiving Abstract Objects: Inheriting Ohmori Shozo's Philosophy of Perception.Takashi Iida - 2012 - In S. Watanabe (ed.), Logic and Sensiblity. Keio University Press.
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  11. On the Concept of a Token Generator.Takashi Iida - 2013 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 21:37-55.
    There is a widely shared account of the distinction between types and tokens, which might be termed the standard account. However, it has some surprising consequences that are not always realized. According to the standard account, a type is a contingent abstract object that can be created by us, but it does not allow any change and can never be destroyed once it is created, because it is an abstract object. I would like to present an alternative account of types (...)
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  12. Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352.
    In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete (...)
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  13. A Deflationist Error Theory of Properties.Arvid Båve - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (1):23-59.
    I here defend a theory consisting of four claims about ‘property’ and properties, and argue that they form a coherent whole that can solve various serious problems. The claims are (1): ‘property’ is defined by the principles (PR): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property of x iff F’ and (PA): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property’; (2) the function of ‘property’ is to increase the expressive power of English, roughly by mimicking quantification into predicate position; (3) property talk should be understood at (...)
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  14. On the Axiomatic Systems of Syntactically-Categorial Languages.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 1984 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 13 (4):241-249.
    The paper contains an overview of the most important results presented in the monograph of the author "Teorie Językow Syntaktycznie-Kategorialnych" ("Theories of Syntactically-Categorial Languages" (in Polish), PWN, Warszawa-Wrocław 1985. In the monograph four axiomatic systems of syntactically-categorial languages are presented. The first two refer to languages of expression-tokens. The others also takes into consideration languages of expression-types. Generally, syntactically-categorial languages are languages built in accordance with principles of the theory of syntactic categories introduced by S. Leśniewski [1929,1930]; they are connected (...)
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  15. What Do We See in Museums?Graham Oddie - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    I address two related questions. First: what value is there in visiting a museum and becoming acquainted with the objects on display? For art museums the answer seem obvious: we go to experience valuable works of art, and experiencing valuable works of art is itself valuable. In this paper I focus on non-art museums, and while these may house aesthetically valuable objects, that is not their primary purpose, and at least some of the objects they house might not be particularly (...)
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  16. Charity and Error‐Theoretic Nominalism.Arvid Båve - 2015 - Ratio 28 (3):256-270.
    I here investigate whether there is any version of the principle of charity both strong enough to conflict with an error-theoretic version of nominalism (EN) about abstract objects, and supported by the considerations adduced in favour of interpretive charity in the literature. I argue that in order to be strong enough, the principle, which I call (Charity), would have to read, “For all expressions e, an acceptable interpretation must make true a sufficiently high ratio of accepted sentences containing e”. I (...)
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  17. Awareness of Abstract Objects.Elijah Chudnoff - 2013 - Noûs 47 (4):706-726.
    Awareness is a two-place determinable relation some determinates of which are seeing, hearing, etc. Abstract objects are items such as universals and functions, which contrast with concrete objects such as solids and liquids. It is uncontroversial that we are sometimes aware of concrete objects. In this paper I explore the more controversial topic of awareness of abstract objects. I distinguish two questions. First, the Existence Question: are there any experiences that make their subjects aware of abstract objects? Second, the Grounding (...)
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  18. La abstracción en la teoría del conocimiento de Hegel.Hector Ferreiro - 2012 - Apuntes Filosóficos 21 (41):76-88.
    En la filosofía de Aristóteles y en la filosofía escolástica de cuño aristotélico, la abstracción constituía un acto fundamental del proceso cognitivo: marcaba el salto o ascenso de la sensibilidad a la inteligibilidad, del conocimiento del individuo al conocimiento de su esencia. En la teoría del conocimiento de Hegel, por el contrario, el concepto abstracto o, como Hegel prefiere llamarlo, la “representación abstracta” o “representación universal” es tan sólo un momento intermedio en el proceso fluido que va del conocimiento del (...)
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  19. Art, Metaphysics, & the Paradox of Standards.Christy Mag Uidhir - 2013 - In Art & Abstract Objects. Oxford University Press.
    I consider the field of aesthetics to be at its most productive and engaging when adopting a broadly philosophically informative approach to its core issues (e.g., shaping and testing putative art theoretic commitments against the relevant standard models employed in philosophy of language, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind) and to be at its most impotent and bewildering when cultivating a philosophically insular character (e.g., selecting interpretative, ontological, or conceptual models solely for fit with pre-fixed art theoretic commitments). For example, when (...)
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  20. Common Natures and Metaphysics in John Duns Scotus.Dino Buzzetti - 2005 - Quaestio 5 (1):543-557.
    The paper is about the relationship between Scotus’s notion of ‘natura communis,’ for an examination of the main features that Scotus ascribes to ‘common natures’ can shed substantial light on the nature of metaphysics in itself. Some preliminary observations on historiography are also deemed to be in order.
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  21. A Novel Category of Vague Abstracta.Jeffrey Goodman - 2007 - Metaphysica 8 (1):79-96.
    Much attention has been given to the question of ontic vagueness, and the issues usually center around whether certain paradigmatically concrete entities – cats, clouds, mountains, etc. – are vague in the sense of having indeterminate spatial boundaries. In this paper, however, I wish to focus on a way in which some abstracta seem to be locationally vague. To begin, I will briefly cover some territory already covered regarding certain types of “traditional” abstracta and the ways they are currently alleged (...)
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  1. The Son of God and Trinitarian Identity Statements.Matthew Owen & John Anthony Dunne - 2019 - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology 3 (1):33-59.
    Classical Trinitarians claim that Jesus—the Son of God—is truly God and that there is only one God and the Father is God, the Spirit is God, and the Father, Son, and Spirit are distinct. However, if the identity statement that ‘the Son is God’ is understood in the sense of numerical identity, logical incoherence seems immanent. Yet, if the identity statement is understood according to an ‘is’ of predication then it lacks accuracy and permits polytheism. Therefore, we argue that there (...)
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