Dividing Reality

Oxford University Press (1993)
The central question in this book is why it seems reasonable for the words of our language to divide up the world in ordinary ways rather than other imaginable ways. Hirsch calls this the division problem. His book aims to bring this problem into sharp focus, to distinguish it from various related problems, and to consider the best prospects for solving it. In exploring various possible responses to the division problem, Hirsch examines series of "division principles" which purport to express rational constraints on how our words ought to classify and individuate. The ensuing discussion deals with a wide range of metaphysical and epistemological topics, including projectibility and similarity, alternative analyses of natural properties and things, the inscrutability of reference, and the relevance of such pragmatic notions as salience and economy. The final chapters of the book develop what Hirsch contends is the most promising response to the division problem: a theory in which constraints on classification and individuation are seen to derive from the necessary structure of "fine-grained" propositions and the necessary dependence of some concepts on others.
Keywords Division (Philosophy
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Call number BD390.H57 1993
ISBN(s) 0195057546   0195111427   9780195057546   9780195111422  
DOI 10.2307/2108476
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Theodore Sider (2001). Maximality and Intrinsic Properties. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):357 - 364.
Theodore Sider (2003). Maximality and Microphysical Supervenience. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):139-149.

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