Ontology and the construction of systems

Synthese 95 (1):29 - 53 (1993)
After drawing attention to the basic importance of Goodman's workThe Structure of Appearance, this paper turns to a critical analysis of Goodman's claims concerning worldmaking. It stresses that Goodman's acceptance of a multiplicity of actual worlds doesnot involve the belief in an unknowable underlying reality; but that it is due to the non-mysterious fact that constructional systems allow for a multiplicity of disagreeing, right versions. However, from the point of view of truthmaker ontology, most worlds of constructional systems are not genuine worlds; and so far it hasnot been shown that there are genuine truthmaker worlds that disagree.It is suggested that the construction of systems usually involves three conflicting aims: the logical, the ontological, and the psychological. Considering the current interest in cognitive psychology and phenomenology, the implications of the psychological aim, too, deserve to be reexamined.
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DOI 10.1007/BF01064666
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