Existence, Fundamentality, and the Scope of Ontology

Argumenta 1 (1):97-109 (2015)
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A traditional conception of ontology takes existence to be its proprietary subject matter—ontology is the study of what exists (§ 1). Recently, Jonathan Schaffer has argued that ontology is better thought of rather as the study of what is basic or fundamental in reality (§ 2). My goal here is twofold. First, I want to argue that while Schaffer’s characterization is quite plausible for some ontological questions, for others it is not (§ 3). More importantly, I want to offer a unified characterization of ontology that covers both existence and fundamentality questions (§§ 4-5).
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First archival date: 2014-10-28
Latest version: 4 (2015-10-22)
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