Against Fantology

In Johann C. Marek & Maria E. Reicher (eds.), Experience and Analysis. HPT&ÖBV. pp. 153-170 (2005)
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Abstract
The analytical philosophy of the last hundred years has been heavily influenced by a doctrine to the effect that the key to the correct understanding of reality is captured syntactically in the ‘Fa’ (or, in more sophisticated versions, in the ‘Rab’) of standard firstorder predicate logic. Here ‘F’ stands for what is general in reality and ‘a’ for what is individual. Hence “f(a)ntology”. Because predicate logic has exactly two syntactically different kinds of referring expressions—‘F’, ‘G’, ‘R’, etc., and ‘a’, ‘b’, ‘c’, etc.—so reality must consist of exactly two correspondingly different kinds of entity: the general (properties, concepts) and the particular (things, objects). We describe the historical influence of this view, and also show how standard first-order predicate logic can be used for the logical formalization of a more adequate “six category ontology”, which recognizes, at the level of both particulars and universals, not only things or objects but also events and qualities.
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