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What Is a Thing?

Metaphilosophy 50 (5):649-669 (2019)

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  1. On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
    On the now dominant Quinean view, metaphysics is about what there is. Metaphysics so conceived is concerned with such questions as whether properties exist, whether meanings exist, and whether numbers exist. I will argue for the revival of a more traditional Aristotelian view, on which metaphysics is about what grounds what. Metaphysics so revived does not bother asking whether properties, meanings, and numbers exist (of course they do!) The question is whether or not they are fundamental.
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  • Varieties of Ontological Dependence.Kathrin Koslicki - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 186.
    A significant reorientation is currently under way in analytic metaphysics, away from an almost exclusive focus on questions of existence and towards a greater concentration on questions concerning the dependence of one type of phenomenon on another. Surprisingly, despite the central role dependence has played in philosophy since its inception, interest in a systematic study of this concept has only recently surged among contemporary metaphysicians. In this paper, I focus on a promising account of ontological dependence in terms of a (...)
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  • By Our Bootstraps.Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):27-41.
    Recently much has been made of the grounding relation, and of the idea that it is intimately tied to fundamentality. If A grounds B, then A is more fundamental than B (though not vice versa ), and A is ungrounded if and only if it is fundamental full stop—absolutely fundamental. But here is a puzzle: is grounding itself absolutely fundamental?
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  • Explaining Explanation. [REVIEW]James Woodward - 1996 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2):477-482.
    Reviewed Work: Explaining Explanation by David-Hillel Ruben .
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  • Substance Among Other Categories.Joshua Hoffman & Gary S. Rosenkrantz - 1994 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
    This book revives a neglected but important topic in philosophy: the nature of substance. The belief that there are individual substances, for example, material objects and persons, is at the core of our common-sense view of the world yet many metaphysicians deny the very coherence of the concept of substance. The authors develop an account of what an individual substance is in terms of independence from other beings. In the process many other important ontological categories are explored: property, event, space, (...)
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  • Construction Area (No Hard Hat Required).Karen Bennett - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 154 (1):79-104.
    A variety of relations widely invoked by philosophers—composition, constitution, realization, micro-basing, emergence, and many others—are species of what I call ‘building relations’. I argue that they are conceptually intertwined, articulate what it takes for a relation to count as a building relation, and argue that—contra appearances—it is an open possibility that these relations are all determinates of a common determinable, or even that there is really only one building relation.
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  • Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence.E. J. Lowe - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:23-48.
    s div class="title" a terTwo Notions of Being: Entity and Essence s /div a ter - Volume 62 - E. J. Lowe.
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  • Intentionality and Realism.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):219-237.
    In this paper, I argue that how a mind can come to be about an object and how the world is independently of the workings of any mind are inextricably linked. Hence, epistemology, at its most basic, and metaphysics are systematically related. In order to demonstrate the primary thesis of the paper, I first articulate two contrary accounts of the nature of reality and then two contradictory general views of intentionality. I argue that these positions can be combined in only (...)
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  • Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko (ed.) - 2011 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Aristotelian metaphysics is currently undergoing something of a renaissance. This volume brings together fourteen essays from leading philosophers who are sympathetic to this conception of metaphysics, which takes its cue from the idea that metaphysics is the first philosophy. The primary input from Aristotle is methodological, but many themes familiar from his metaphysics will be discussed, including ontological categories, the role and interpretation of the existential quantifier, essence, substance, natural kinds, powers, potential, and the development of life. The volume mounts (...)
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  • Each Thing Is Fundamental: Against Hylomorphism and Hierarchical Structure.M. Oreste Fiocco - 2019 - American Philosophical Quarterly 56 (3):289-301.
    Each thing is fundamental. Not only is no thing any more or less real than any other, but no thing is prior to another in any robust ontological sense. Thus, no thing can explain the very existence of another, nor account for how another is what it is. I reach this surprising conclusion by undermining two important positions in contemporary metaphysics: hylomorphism and hierarchical views employing so-called building relations, such as grounding. The paper has three main parts. First, I observe (...)
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  • Ordinary Objects.Amie Thomasson (ed.) - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been done to address these arguments (...)
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  • Explaining Explanation.David-Hillel Ruben - 1990 - Routledge.
    This book introduces readers to the topic of explanation. The insights of Plato, Aristotle, J.S. Mill and Carl Hempel are examined, and are used to argue against the view that explanation is merely a problem for the philosophy of science. Having established its importance for understanding knowledge in general, the book concludes with a bold and original explanation of explanation.
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  • On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time.David Wiggins - 1968 - Philosophical Review 77 (1):90-95.
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  • Real Essentialism.David Oderberg - 2007 - New York: Routledge.
    _Real Essentialism_ presents a comprehensive defence of neo-Aristotelian essentialism. Do objects have essences? Must they be the kinds of things they are in spite of the changes they undergo? Can we know what things are really like – can we define and classify reality? Many, if not most, philosophers doubt this, influenced by centuries of empiricism, and by the anti-essentialism of Wittgenstein, Quine, Popper, and other thinkers. _Real Essentialism_ reinvigorates the tradition of realist, essentialist metaphysics, defending the reality and knowability (...)
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  • Universals: An Opinionated Introduction.D. M. Armstrong - 1989 - Westview Press.
    In this short text, a distinguished philosopher turns his attention to one of the oldest and most fundamental philosophical problems of all: How it is that we are able to sort and classify different things as being of the same natural class? Professor Armstrong carefully sets out six major theories—ancient, modern, and contemporary—and assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each. Recognizing that there are no final victories or defeats in metaphysics, Armstrong nonetheless defends a traditional account of universals as the (...)
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  • Ontological Dependence.Tuomas E. Tahko & E. J. Lowe - 2020 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Ontological dependence is a relation—or, more accurately, a family of relations—between entities or beings. For there are various ways in which one being may be said to depend upon one or more other beings, in a sense of “depend” that is distinctly metaphysical in character and that may be contrasted, thus, with various causal senses of this word. More specifically, a being may be said to depend, in such a sense, upon one or more other beings for its existence or (...)
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  • In Defence of Aristotelian Metaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2012 - In Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics. Cambridge University Press. pp. 26-43.
    When I say that my conception of metaphysics is Aristotelian, or neo-Aristotelian, this may have more to do with Aristotle’s philosophical methodology than his metaphysics, but, as I see it, the core of this Aristotelian conception of metaphysics is the idea that metaphysics is the first philosophy . In what follows I will attempt to clarify what this conception of metaphysics amounts to in the context of some recent discussion on the methodology of metaphysics (e.g. Chalmers et al . (2009), (...)
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  • Events and Reification.Willard V. Quine - 1985 - In E. Lepore & B. McLaughlin (eds.), Actions and Events: Perspectives on the Philosophy of Davidson. Blackwell. pp. 162-71.
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  • Logic and Knowledge. Essays 1901-1950.Hugo A. Bedau - 1958 - Philosophy of Science 25 (2):136-139.
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  • Ordinary Objects.Amie Thomasson - 2009 - Analysis 69 (1):173-174.
    In recent analytic metaphysics, the view that ‘ordinary inanimate objects such as sticks and stones, tables and chairs, simply do not exist’ has been defended by some noteworthy writers. Thomasson opposes such revisionary ontology in favour of an ontology that is conservative with respect to common sense. The book is written in a straightforward, methodical and down-to-earth style. It is also relatively non-specialized, enabling the author and her readers to approach problems that are often dealt with in isolation in a (...)
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  • Sameness and Substance Renewed.E. J. Lowe - 2003 - Mind 112 (448):816-820.
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  • Two Notions of Being: Entity and Essence: E. J. Lowe.E. J. Lowe - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:23-48.
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  • Impredicative Identity Criteria and Davidson's Criterion of Event Identity.E. J. Lowe - 1989 - Analysis 49 (4):178-181.
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  • Metaphysics Books and K 1-2. Aristotle & Arthur Madigan - 2003 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 65 (4):749-750.
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