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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. 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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  • Logical Parts.Laurie A. Paul - 2002 - Noûs 36 (4):578–596.
    I argue for a property mereology and for mereological bundle theory. I then apply this theory to the one over many problem (universals) and puzzles concerning persistence and material constitution.
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  • Neutral Relations.Kit Fine - 2000 - Philosophical Review 109 (1):1-33.
    There is a standard view of relations, held by philosophers and logicians alike, according to which we may meaningfully talk of a relation holding of several objects in a given order. Thus it is supposed that we may meaningfully—indeed, correctly—talk of the relation loves holding of Anthony and Cleopatra or of the relation between holding of New York, Washington, and Boston. But innocuous as this view might appear to be, it cannot be accepted as applying to all relations whatever. For (...)
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  • Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that "carve at the joints", that give the world's "structure". There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Much of metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, this is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into (...)
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  • "Bare Particulars".Theodore Sider - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):387–397.
    One often hears a complaint about “bare particulars”. This complaint has bugged me for years. I know it bugs others too, but no one seems to have vented in print, so that is what I propose to do. (I hope also to say a few constructive things along the way.) The complaint is aimed at the substratum theory, which says that particulars are, in a certain sense, separate from their universals. If universals and particulars are separate, connected to each other (...)
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  • Monism: The Priority of the Whole.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Philosophical Review 119 (1):31-76.
    Consider a circle and a pair of its semicircles. Which is prior, the whole or its parts? Are the semicircles dependent abstractions from their whole, or is the circle a derivative construction from its parts? Now in place of the circle consider the entire cosmos (the ultimate concrete whole), and in place of the pair of semicircles consider the myriad particles (the ultimate concrete parts). Which if either is ultimately prior, the one ultimate whole or its many ultimate parts?
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  • Austere Realism: Contextual Semantics Meets Minimal Ontology.Terry Horgan & Matjaž Potrč - 2008 - MIT Press.
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  • Locations.John Hawthorne & Theodore Sider - 2002 - Philosophical Topics 30 (1):53-76.
    Think of “locations” very abstractly, as positions in a space, any space. Temporal locations are positions in time; spatial locations are positions in (physical) space; particulars are locations in quality space. Should we reify locations? Are locations entities? Spatiotemporal relation- alists say there are no such things as spatiotemporal locations; the fundamental spatial and temporal facts involve no locations as objects, only the instantiation of spatial and temporal relations. The denial of locations in quality space is the bundle theory, according (...)
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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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  • Naming and Necessity.S. Kripke - 1972 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 45 (4):665-666.
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  • Brutal Composition.Ned Markosian - 1998 - Philosophical Studies 92 (3):211 - 249.
    According to standard, pre-philosophical intuitions, there are many composite objects in the physical universe. There is, for example, my bicycle, which is composed of various parts - wheels, handlebars, molecules, atoms, etc. Recently, a growing body of philosophical literature has concerned itself with questions about the nature of composition.1 The main question that has been raised about composition is, roughly, this: Under what circumstances do some things compose, or add up to, or form, a single object? It turns out that (...)
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  • Ontological Pluralism.Jason Turner - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):5-34.
    Ontological Pluralism is the view that there are different modes, ways, or kinds of being. In this paper, I characterize the view more fully (drawing on some recent work by Kris McDaniel) and then defend the view against a number of arguments. (All of the arguments I can think of against it, anyway.).
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  • The Ersatz Pluriverse.Theodore Sider - 2002 - Journal of Philosophy 99 (6):279-315.
    While many are impressed with the utility of possible worlds in linguistics and philosophy, few can accept the modal realism of David Lewis, who regards possible worlds as sui generis entities of a kind with the concrete world we inhabit.1 Not all uses of possible worlds require exotic ontology. Consider, for instance, the use of Kripke models to establish formal results in modal logic. These models contain sets often regarded for heuristic reasons as sets of “possible worlds”. But the “worlds” (...)
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  • Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity.Robert Merrihew Adams - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (1):5-26.
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  • Aspect Causation.L. A. Paul - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):235.
    A theory of the causal relate as aspects or property instances is developed. A supposed problem for transitivity is assessed and then resolved with aspects as the causal relata.
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  • Humean Supervenience.Barry Loewer - 1996 - Philosophical Topics 24 (1):101-127.
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  • Things and Their Parts.Kit Fine - 1999 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):61-74.
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  • Individuals: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics.Shamik Dasgupta - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (1):35-67.
    We naturally think of the material world as being populated by a large number of individuals . These are things, such as my laptop and the particles that compose it, that we describe as being propertied and related in various ways when we describe the material world around us. In this paper I argue that, fundamentally speaking at least, there are no such things as material individuals. I then propose and defend an individual-less view of the material world I call (...)
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  • Identity and Indiscernibility.K. Hawley - 2009 - Mind 118 (469):101-119.
    Putative counterexamples to the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) are notoriously inconclusive. I establish ground rules for debate in this area, offer a new response to such counterexamples for friends of the PII, but then argue that no response is entirely satisfactory. Finally, I undermine some positive arguments for PII.
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  • Relational and Substantival Ontologies, and the Nature and the Role of Primitives in Ontological Theories.Jiri Benovsky - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (1):101-121.
    Several metaphysical debates have typically been modeled as oppositions between a relationist approach and a substantivalist approach. Such debates include the Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory about ordinary material objects, the Bundle (Humean) Theory and the Substance (Cartesian) Theory of the Self, and Relationism and Substantivalism about time. In all three debates, the substantivalist side typically insists that in order to provide a good treatment of the subject-matter of the theory (time, Self, material objects), it is necessary to postulate (...)
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  • Monism and Statespace Structure.Theodore Sider - 2008 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 62:129-150.
    Exotic ontologies are all the rage. Distant from common sense and often science as well, views like mereological essentialism, nihilism, and fourdimensionalism appeal to our desire to avoid arbitrariness, anthropocentrism, and metaphysical conundrums.1 Such views are defensible only if they are materially adequate, only if they can “reconstruct” the world of common sense and science. (No disrespect to the heroic metaphysicians of antiquity, but this world is not just an illusion.) In the world of common sense and science, bicycles survive (...)
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  • The Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory: Deadly Enemies or Twin Brothers?Jiri Benovsky - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (2):175-190.
    In this paper, I explore several versions of the bundle theory and the substratum theory and compare them, with the surprising result that it seems to be true that they are equivalent (in a sense of 'equivalent' to be specified). In order to see whether this is correct or not, I go through several steps : first, I examine different versions of the bundle theory with tropes and compare them to the substratum theory with tropes by going through various standard (...)
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  • Relational Vs. Constituent Ontologies.Peter van Inwagen - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):389-405.
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  • Quantum Mechanics on Spacetime I: Spacetime State Realism.David Wallace & Christopher Gordon Timpson - 2010 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 61 (4):697-727.
    What ontology does realism about the quantum state suggest? The main extant view in contemporary philosophy of physics is wave-function realism . We elaborate the sense in which wave-function realism does provide an ontological picture, and defend it from certain objections that have been raised against it. However, there are good reasons to be dissatisfied with wave-function realism, as we go on to elaborate. This motivates the development of an opposing picture: what we call spacetime state realism , a view (...)
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  • The Problem of Free Mass: Must Properties Cluster?Jonathan Schaffer - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):125–138.
    Properties come in clusters. It seems impossible, for instance, that a mass could float free, unattached to any other property. David Armstrong takes this as a reductio of the bundle theory and an argument for substrata, while Peter Simons and Arda Denkel reply by supplementing the bundle theory with accounts of property interdependencies. I argue against both views. Virtually all plausible ontologies turn out to be committed to the existence of free masses.
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  • Broken Symmetry and Spacetime.David John Baker - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (1):128-148.
    The phenomenon of broken spacetime symmetry in the quantum theory of infinite systems forces us to adopt an unorthodox ontology. We must abandon the standard conception of the physical meaning of these symmetries, or else deny the attractive “liberal” notion of which physical quantities are significant. A third option, more attractive but less well understood, is to abandon the existing (Halvorson-Clifton) notion of intertranslatability for quantum theories.
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  • A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1993 - Philosophical Perspectives 7:429-440.
    In this important study D. M. Armstrong offers a comprehensive system of analytical metaphysics that synthesises but also develops his thinking over the last twenty years. Armstrong's analysis, which acknowledges the 'logical atomism' of Russell and Wittgenstein, makes facts the fundamental constituents of the world, examining properties, relations, numbers, classes, possibility and necessity, dispositions, causes and laws. All these, it is argued, find their place and can be understood inside a scheme of states of affairs. This is a comprehensive and (...)
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  • Tropes and Ordinary Physical Objects.Kris McDaniel - 2001 - Philosophical Studies 104 (3):269-290.
    I argue that a solution to puzzles concerning the relationship ofobjects and their properties – a version of the `bundle' theory ofparticulars according to which ordinary objects are mereologicalfusions of monadic and relational tropes – is also a solution topuzzles of material constitution involving the allegedco-location of material objects. Additionally, two argumentsthat have played a prominent role in shaping the current debate,Mark Heller's argument for Four Dimensionalism and Peter vanInwagen's argument against Mereological Universalism, are shownto be unsound given this version (...)
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  • Are Quantum Particles Objects?Simon Saunders - 2006 - Analysis 66 (1):52-63.
    Particle indistinguishability has always been considered a purely quantum mechanical concept. In parallel, indistinguishable particles have been thought to be entities that are not properly speaking objects at all. I argue, to the contrary, that the concept can equally be applied to classical particles, and that in either case particles may (with certain exceptions) be counted as objects even though they are indistinguishable. The exceptions are elementary bosons (for example photons).
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  • Four-Dimensionalist Theories of Persistence.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):671-686.
    I demonstrate that the theory of persistence defended in Sider [2001] does not accommodate our intuitions about counting sentences. I develop two theories that improve on Sider's: a contextualist theory and an error theory. I argue that the latter is stronger, simpler, and better fitted to some important ordinary language judgments than rival four-dimensionalist theories of persistence.
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  • Parts: A Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Oxford University Press.
    Although the relationship of part to whole is one of the most fundamental there is, this is the first full-length study of this key concept. Showing that mereology, or the formal theory of part and whole, is essential to ontology, Simons surveys and critiques previous theories--especially the standard extensional view--and proposes a new account that encompasses both temporal and modal considerations. Simons's revised theory not only allows him to offer fresh solutions to long-standing problems, but also has far-reaching consequences for (...)
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  • The Individuation of Tropes.Jonathan Schaffer - 2001 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):247 – 257.
    A tropel is a particular property: the redness of a rose, the roundness of the moon. It is generally supposed that tropes are individuated by primitive quantity: this redness, that roundness. I argme that the trope theorist is far better served by individuating tropes by spatiotemporal relation: here redness, there roundness. In short, tropes are not this-suches but here-suches.
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  • Parts : a Study in Ontology.Peter Simons - 1987 - Revue de Métaphysique et de Morale 2:277-279.
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  • Ways of Being.Kris McDaniel - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    There are different ways to be. This paper explicates and defends this controversial thesis. Special attention is given to the meta-ontology of Martin Heidegger. -/- .
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  • Causation: A User’s Guide.L. A. Paul & Ned Hall - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Causation is at once familiar and mysterious. Neither common sense nor extensive philosophical debate has led us to anything like agreement on the correct analysis of the concept of causation, or an account of the metaphysical nature of the causal relation. Causation: A User's Guide cuts a clear path through this confusing but vital landscape. L. A. Paul and Ned Hall guide the reader through the most important philosophical treatments of causation, negotiating the terrain by taking a set of examples (...)
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  • Universals and Property Instances: The Alphabet of Being.Max Urchs - 1998 - Erkenntnis 49 (1):123-125.
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  • A World of States of Affairs.[author unknown] - 1997 - Philosophy 74 (287):130-134.
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  • Particulars in Particular Clothing: Three Trope Theories of Substance.Peter Simons - 1994 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (3):553-575.
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  • Topics in the Philosophy of Possible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2002 - Routledge.
    This book discusses a range of important issues in current philosophical work on the nature of possible worlds. Areas investigated include the theories of the nature of possible worlds, general questions about metaphysical analysis and questions about the direction of dependence between what is necessary or possible and what could be.
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  • The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science.E. J. Lowe - 2005 - Clarendon Press.
    E. J. Lowe, a prominent figure in contemporary metaphysics, sets out and defends his theory of what there is. His four-category ontology is a metaphysical system which recognizes four fundamental categories of beings: substantial and non-substantial particulars and substantial and non-substantial universals. Lowe argues that this system has an explanatory power which is unrivalled by more parsimonious theories and that this counts decisively in its favour. He shows that it provides a powerful explanatory framework for a unified account of causation, (...)
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  • Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics.D. M. Armstrong - 2010 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press UK.
    In his last book, David Armstrong sets out his metaphysical system in a set of concise and lively chapters each dealing with one aspect of the world. He begins with the assumption that all that exists is the physical world of space-time. On this foundation he constructs a coherent metaphysical scheme that gives plausible answers to many of the great problems of metaphysics. He gives accounts of properties, relations, and particulars; laws of nature; modality; abstract objects such as numbers; and (...)
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  • Abstract Particulars.Keith Campbell - 1990 - Blackwell.
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  • Universals and Property Instances: The Alphabet of Being.John Bacon - 1995 - Blackwell.
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  • The Status of Our Ordinary Three Dimensions in a Quantum Universe.Alyssa Ney - 2012 - Noûs 46 (3):525-560.
    There are now several, realist versions of quantum mechanics on offer. On their most straightforward, ontological interpretation, these theories require the existence of an object, the wavefunction, which inhabits an extremely high-dimensional space known as configuration space. This raises the question of how the ordinary three-dimensional space of our acquaintance fits into the ontology of quantum mechanics. Recently, two strategies to address this question have emerged. First, Tim Maudlin, Valia Allori, and her collaborators argue that what I have just called (...)
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  • The Structure of Appearance.Nelson Goodman - 1952 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 3 (11):284-286.
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  • The Structure of Appearance.Nelson Goodman - 1956 - Studia Logica 4:255-261.
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  • A Counter-Example to Locke’s Thesis.Kit Fine - 2000 - The Monist 83 (3):357-361.
    Locke’s thesis states that no two things of the same sort can be in the same place at the same time. The thesis has recently received extensive discussion, with some philosophers attempting to find arguments in its favour and others attempting to provide counter-examples. However, neither the arguments nor the counter-examples have been especially convincing; and it is my aim, in this short note, to present what I believe is a more convincing counter-example to the thesis.
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  • Primitive Thisness and Primitive Identity.Robert Merrihew Adams - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Coincidence as Overlap.L. A. Paul - 2006 - Noûs 40 (4):623–659.
    I discuss puzzles involving coinciding material objects (such as statues and their constitutive lumps of clay) and propose solutions.
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  • Quantum Physics, the Identity of Indiscernibles, and Some Unanswered Questions.Paul Teller - 1983 - Philosophy of Science 50 (2):309-319.
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