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A One Category Ontology

In John A. Keller (ed.), Being, Freedom, and Method: Themes From the Philosophy of Peter van Inwagen. Oxford University Press (forthcoming)

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  1. Qualitative properties and relations.Jan Plate - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1297-1322.
    This paper is concerned with two concepts of qualitativeness that apply to intensional entities. I propose an account of pure qualitativeness that largely follows the traditional understanding established by Carnap, and try to shed light on its ontological presuppositions. On this account, an intensional entity is purely qualitative iff it does not ‘involve’ any particular. An alternative notion of qualitativeness—which I propose to refer to as a concept of strict qualitativeness—has recently been introduced by Chad Carmichael. However, Carmichael’s definition presupposes (...)
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  • Why Can’T There Be Numbers?David Builes - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Platonists affirm the existence of abstract mathematical objects, and Nominalists deny the existence of abstract mathematical objects. While there are standard arguments in favor of Nominalism, these arguments fail to account for the necessity of Nominalism. Furthermore, these arguments do nothing to explain why Nominalism is true. They only point to certain theoretical vices that might befall the Platonist. The goal of this paper is to formulate and defend a simple, valid argument for the necessity of Nominalism that seeks to (...)
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  • The World Just Is the Way It Is.David Builes - 2021 - The Monist 104 (1):1-27.
    What is the relationship between objects and properties? According to a standard view, there are primitive individuals that ‘instantiate’ or ‘have’ various properties. According to a rival view, objects are mere ‘bundles’ of properties. While there are a number of reasons to be skeptical of primitive individuals, there are also a number of challenges that the bundle theorist faces. The goal of this paper is to formulate a view about the relationship between objects and properties that avoids many of the (...)
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  • The Bundle Theory Approach to Relational Quantum Mechanics.Andrea Oldofredi - 2021 - Foundations of Physics 51 (1):1-22.
    The present essay provides a new metaphysical interpretation of Relational Quantum Mechanics in terms of mereological bundle theory. The essential idea is to claim that a physical system in RQM can be defined as a mereological fusion of properties whose values may vary for different observers. Abandoning the Aristotelian tradition centered on the notion of substance, I claim that RQM embraces an ontology of properties that finds its roots in the heritage of David Hume. To this regard, defining what kind (...)
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  • Are All Primitives Created Equal?J. T. M. Miller - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):273-292.
    Primitives are both important and unavoidable, and which set of primitives we endorse will greatly shape our theories and how those theories provide solutions to the problems that we take to be important. After introducing the notion of a primitive posit, I discuss the different kinds of primitives that we might posit. Following Cowling (2013), I distinguish between ontological and ideological primitives, and, following Benovsky (2013) between functional and content views of primitives. I then propose that these two distinctions cut (...)
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  • High‐Fidelity Metaphysics: Ideological Parsimony in Theory Choice.Peter Finocchiaro - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):613-632.
    Many metaphysicians utilize the virtue‐driven methodology. According to this methodology, one theory is more worthy of endorsement than another insofar as it is more virtuous. In this paper, I show how a theory's overall virtue is shaped by its ideological parsimony – parsimony with respect to the terminology employed in stating the theory. I distinguish between a theory's truth and its fidelity (‘joint‐carvingness’) and the corresponding epistemic and fidelic virtues. I argue that ideological parsimony is not an epistemic virtue but (...)
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  • Eliminating Martin’s Substratum-Trope Categorial Ontology.Nemesio G. C. Puy - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13009-13033.
    Impure Eliminativism about Categories is the idea that ontological categories are not wholly eliminable insofar as they have epistemic value to understand the nature of ordinary and scientific objects. From the perspective of Impure Eliminativism, different criticisms have been addressed to substantialist approaches in metaphysics and, in particular, to John Heil’s substance-mode two-category ontology. The aim of this paper is to contribute to this critical project by extending its scope to C. B. Martin’s substantialism. The thesis I defend is that (...)
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  • Power-ing up neo-aristotelian natural goodness.Ben Page - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (11):3755-3775.
    Something is good insofar as it achieves its end, so says a neo-Aristotelian view of goodness. Powers/dispositions are paradigm cases of entities that have an end, so say many metaphysicians. A question therefore arises, namely, can one account for neo-Aristotelian goodness in terms of an ontology of powers? This is what I shall begin to explore in this paper. I will first provide a brief explication of both neo-Aristotelian goodness and the metaphysics of powers, before turning to investigate whether one (...)
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  • Building the World From its Fundamental Constituents.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):221-256.
    In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world could be (...)
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  • Paraphrasing Away Properties with Pluriverse Counterfactuals.Jack Himelright - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10883-10902.
    In this paper, I argue that for the purposes of ordinary reasoning, sentences about properties of concrete objects can be replaced with sentences concerning how things in our universe would be related to inscriptions were there a pluriverse. Speaking loosely, pluriverses are composites of universes that collectively realize every way a universe could possibly be. As such, pluriverses exhaust all possible meanings that inscriptions could take. Moreover, because universes necessarily do not influence one another, our universe would not be any (...)
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  • A Bundle Theory of Words.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5731–5748.
    It has been a common assumption that words are substances that instantiate or have properties. In this paper, I question the assumption that our ontology of words requires posting substances by outlining a bundle theory of words, wherein words are bundles of various sorts of properties (such as semantic, phonetic, orthographic, and grammatical properties). I argue that this view can better account for certain phenomena than substance theories, is ontologically more parsimonious, and coheres with claims in linguistics.
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  • The Concreteness of Objects: An Argument Against Mereological Bundle Theory.Uriah Kriegel - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):5107-5124.
    In a series of publications, L. A. Paul has defended a version of the bundle theory according to which material objects are nothing but mereological sums of ‘their’ properties. This ‘mereological’ bundle theory improves in important ways on earlier bundle theories, but here I present a new argument against it. The argument is roughly this: Material objects occupy space; even if properties have spatial characteristics, they do not quite occupy space; on no plausible construal of mereological composition does a mereological (...)
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  • The Limits of Classical Mereology: Mixed Fusions and the Failures of Mereological Hybridism.Joshua Kelleher - 2020 - Dissertation, The University of Queensland
    In this thesis I argue against unrestricted mereological hybridism, the view that there are absolutely no constraints on wholes having parts from many different logical or ontological categories, an exemplar of which I take to be ‘mixed fusions’. These are composite entities which have parts from at least two different categories – the membered (as in classes) and the non-membered (as in individuals). As a result, mixed fusions can also be understood to represent a variety of cross-category summation such as (...)
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  • Carnap’s Epistemological Critique of Metaphysics.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2247-2265.
    Many who take a dismissive attitude towards metaphysics trace their view back to Carnap’s ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology’. But the reason Carnap takes a dismissive attitude to metaphysics is a matter of controversy. I will argue that no reason is given in ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology’, and this is because his reason for rejecting metaphysical debates was given in ‘Pseudo-Problems in Philosophy’. The argument there assumes verificationism, but I will argue that his argument survives the rejection of verificationism. The root (...)
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  • Dis-Positioning Euthyphro.Ben Page - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (1):31-55.
    The Euthyphro objection is often perceived, rightly or wrongly, as the king objection to theistic meta-ethics. This paper proposes a response that hasn’t been much explored within the contemporary literature, based on the metaphysics of dispositions and natural law theory. The paper will first contend that there is a parallel between ways theists conceptualise God’s role in creating laws of nature and the ways God creates goods. Drawing upon these parallels I propose a possible response to the dilemma, where this (...)
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  • Categories and Foundational Ontology: A Medieval Tutorial.Luis M. Augusto - 2022 - Journal of Knowledge Structures and Systems 3 (1):1-56.
    Foundational ontologies, central constructs in ontological investigations and engineering alike, are based on ontological categories. Firstly proposed by Aristotle as the very ur- elements from which the whole of reality can be derived, they are not easy to identify, let alone partition and/or hierarchize; in particular, the question of their number poses serious challenges. The late medieval philosopher Dietrich of Freiberg wrote around 1286 a tutorial that can help us today with this exceedingly difficult task. In this paper, I discuss (...)
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  • Philosophers Should Prefer Simpler Theories.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (12):3049-3067.
    Should philosophers prefer simpler theories? Huemer (Philos Q 59:216–236, 2009) argues that the reasons to prefer simpler theories in science do not apply in philosophy. I will argue that Huemer is mistaken—the arguments he marshals for preferring simpler theories in science can also be applied in philosophy. Like Huemer, I will focus on the philosophy of mind and the nominalism/Platonism debate. But I want to engage with the broader issue of whether simplicity is relevant to philosophy.
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  • Object.Bradley Rettler & Andrew M. Bailey - 2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy 1.
    One might well wonder—is there a category under which every thing falls? Offering an informative account of such a category is no easy task. For nothing would distinguish things that fall under it from those that don’t—there being, after all, none of the latter. It seems hard, then, to say much about any fully general category; and it would appear to do no carving or categorizing or dividing at all. Nonetheless there are candidates for such a fully general office, including (...)
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  • Object.Henry Laycock - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    In The Principles of Mathematics, Russell writes: Whatever may be an object of thought, or may occur in any true or false proposition, or can be counted as one, I call a term. This, then, is the widest word in the philosophical vocabulary. I shall use as synonymous with it the words unit, individual and entity. The first two emphasize the fact that every term is one, while the third is derived from the fact that every term has being, i.e. (...)
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  • 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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  • Simplicity and Complexity in Metaphysics.Aleksandr Kulieshov - 2018 - Path of Science 4 (6).
    The article deals with the problem of simple and complex objects in metaphysical research. It is stated that the ultimate simplification of reality theoretical models follows from the nature of metaphysical knowledge. The modern metaphysical conceptions of fundamental simplicity and fundamental complexity of existing objects are discussed. They are the conceptions of full and distributional monism, mereological nihilism, and the traditional binary or binary-based models of the foundations of reality, ascending to Aristotle. The paper shows that these conceptions and ideas (...)
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  • Categories.Amie Thomasson - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A system of categories is a complete list of highest kinds or genera. Traditionally, following Aristotle, these have been thought of as highest genera of entities (in the widest sense of the term), so that a system of categories undertaken in this realist spirit would ideally provide an inventory of everything there is, thus answering the most basic of metaphysical questions: “What is there?”. Skepticism about the possibilities for discerning the different categories of ‘reality itself’ has led others to approach (...)
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