David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Roberto Poli & Johanna Seibt (eds.), Theories and Applications of Ontology. Springer 23--55 (2010)
According to the standard view of particularity, an entity is a particular just in case it necessarily has a unique spatial location at any time of its existence. That the basic entities of the world we speak about in common sense and science are particular entities in this sense is the thesis of “foundational particularism,” a theoretical intuition that has guided Western ontological research from its beginnings to the present day. The main aim of this paper is to review the notion of particularity and its role in ontology. I proceed in four steps. First, I offer a brief reconstruction of the tasks of ontology as “theory of categorial inference in L”. An ontological theory states which (combinations of) entity types or categories make true L-sentences true; the features of the stipulated categories explain why L-speakers are entitled to draw certain material inferences from the classificatory expressions of L. Second, I draw attention to the fact that since Aristotle this theoretical program typically has been implemented with peculiar restrictions prescribing certain combinations of category features, e.g., the combination of particularity, concreteness, individuality, and subjecthood. I briefly sketch how these restrictions of the “substance paradigm” or “myth of substance” are reinforced by the standard readings of predicate-logical constants, viz. the existential quantifier and the identity sign. Third, I argue that in the context of the substance paradigm foundational particularism is incoherent. I discuss the current standard conceptions of particulars as developed in the debate about individuation (bare particulars, nude particulars, tropes) and show that their main difficulties derive from the traditional restriction that particulars are so also logical subjects and/or individuals. Fourth, to show that the traditional linkages of category features are not conceptual necessities, I sketch the outlines of an ontology (General Process Theory) based on non-particular individuals. For ontologists in computer science working with description logic this monocategoreal ontology based on more or less generic ‘dynamics’ may hold special interest. As General Process Theory documents, ontologists may well abandon the notion of particularity: in common sense and science we do reason about items that have a unique spatial location at any time, but the uniqueness of their location can be taken to be a contingent affair.
|Keywords||ontology particularity individuals process ontology substance methodology of ontology metaphilosophy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Fabian Neuhaus, Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith (2004). A Formal Theory of Substances, Qualities, and Universals. In Achille Varzi & Laure Vieu (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Proceedings of the Third International Conference. IOS Press
Fred Wilson (1983). Effability, Ontology, and Method. Philosophy Research Archives 9:419-469.
Daniel von Wachter (2007). God as Substance Without Substance Ontology. In Christian Kanzian & Muhammed Legenhausen (eds.), Substance and Attribute: Western and Islamic Traditions in Dialogue.
Francesca di Poppa (2010). Spinoza and Process Ontology. Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):272-294.
Daniel von Wachter (2007). God as Substance Without Substance Ontology. In Christian Kanzian & Muhammed Legenhausen (eds.), Substance and Attribute: Western and Islamic Traditions in Dialogue. Ontos Verlag 237-245, http://epub.ub.uni-muen.
Achille C. Varzi (2010). On the Boundary Between Material and Formal Ontology. In Barry Smith, Riichiro Mizoguchi & Sumio Nakagawa (eds.), Interdisciplinary Ontology, Vol. 3: Proceedings of the Third Interdisciplinary Ontology Meeting. Keio University Press 3–8.
Hartmann Romer (2006). Complementarity of Process and Substance. Mind and Matter 4 (1):69-89.
Lucía Lewowicz & Olimpia Lombardi (2013). Stuff Versus Individuals. Foundations of Chemistry 15 (1):65-77.
Thomas Bittner, Maureen Donnelly & Barry Smith (2004). Individuals, Universals, Collections: On the Foundational Relations of Ontology. In Achille Varzi & Laure Vieu (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Proceedings of the Third International Conference, 37–48. IOS Press 37–48..
Thomas Bittner, Maureen Donnelly & Barry Smith (2004). Individuals, Universals, Collections: On the Foundational Relations of Ontology. In Achille Varzi Laure Vieu (ed.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Proceedings of the Third International Conference. IOS Press 37–48.
Jonas R. B. Arenhart (2012). Ontological Frameworks for Scientific Theories. Foundations of Science 17 (4):339-356.
Pierre Grenon & Barry Smith (2004). SNAP and SPAN: Towards Dynamic Spatial Ontology. Spatial Cognition and Computation 4 (1):69–103.
Richard Brian Davis (2013). Are Bare Particulars Constituents? Acta Analytica 28 (4):395-410.
Uriah Kriegel (2011). Two Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology. Dialectica 65 (2):177-204.
Added to index2011-03-11
Total downloads57 ( #59,957 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #289,836 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?