The unbearable circularity of easy ontology

Synthese 199 (1-2):3527-3556 (2021)
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In this paper, I argue that Amie Thomasson’s Easy Ontology rests on a vicious circularity that is highly damaging. Easy Ontology invokes the idea of application conditions that give rise to analytic entailments. Such entailments can be used to answer ontological questions easily. I argue that the application conditions for basic terms are only circularly specifiable showing that Thomasson misses her self-set goal of preventing such a circularity. Using this circularity, I go on to show that Easy Ontology as a whole collapses.

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Jonas Raab
Trinity College, Dublin


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