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  1. added 2020-06-01
    The Ontology of Words: Realism, Nominalism, and Eliminativism.James Miller - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
    What are words? What makes two token words tokens of the same word-type? Are words abstract entities, or are they (merely) collections of tokens? The ontology of words tries to provide answers to these, and related questions. This article provides an overview of some of the most prominent views proposed in the literature, with a particular focus on the debate between type-realist, nominalist, and eliminativist ontologies of words.
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  2. added 2020-04-27
    The Problem of Creation and Abstract Artifacts.Nurbay Irmak - forthcoming - Synthese:1-14.
    Abstract artifacts such as musical works and fictional entities are human creations; they are intentional products of our actions and activities. One line of argument against abstract artifacts is that abstract objects are not the kind of objects that can be created. This is so, it is argued, because abstract objects are causally inert. Since creation requires being caused to exist, abstract objects cannot be created. One common way to refute this argument is to reject the causal inefficacy of abstracta. (...)
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  3. added 2020-04-15
    Abstract Objects: An Introduction to Axiomatic Metaphysics.Edward N. Zalta - 1983 - D. Reidel.
    In this book, Zalta attempts to lay the axiomatic foundations of metaphysics by developing and applying a (formal) theory of abstract objects. The cornerstones include a principle which presents precise conditions under which there are abstract objects and a principle which says when apparently distinct such objects are in fact identical. The principles are constructed out of a basic set of primitive notions, which are identified at the end of the Introduction, just before the theorizing begins. The main reason for (...)
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  4. added 2020-04-02
    Platonism and the Objects of Science.Scott Berman - 2020 - London, UK: Bloomsbury Academic.
  5. added 2020-03-30
    How Can Mathematical Objects Be Real but Mind-Dependent?Hazhir Roshangar - manuscript
    Taking mathematics as a language based on empirical experience, I argue for an account of mathematics in which its objects are abstracta that describe and communicate the structure of reality based on some of our ancestral interactions with their environment. I argue that mathematics as a language is mostly invented, and it is mind-dependent in a specific sense. However, the bases of mathematics will characterize it as a real, non-fictional science of structures.
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  6. added 2020-02-07
    What Do We See in Museums?Graham Oddie - 2016 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 79:217-240.
    I address two related questions. First: what value is there in visiting a museum and becoming acquainted with the objects on display? For art museums the answer seems obvious: we go to experience valuable works of art, and experiencing valuable works of art is itself valuable. In this paper I focus on non-art museums, and while these may house aesthetically valuable objects, that is not their primary purpose, and at least some of the objects they house might not be particularly (...)
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  7. added 2020-01-30
    Hilbert on Consistency as a Guide to Mathematical Reality.Fiona T. Doherty - 2017 - Logique Et Analyse 237:107-128.
  8. added 2020-01-06
    Physical Processes, Their Life and Their History.Gilles Kassel - 2020 - Applied Ontology 15 (2):109-133.
    Here, I lay the foundations of a high-level ontology of particulars whose structuring principles differ radically from the 'continuant' vs. 'occurrent' distinction traditionally adopted in applied ontology. These principles are derived from a new analysis of the ontology of “occurring” or “happening” entities. Firstly, my analysis integrates recent work on the ontology of processes, which brings them closer to objects in their mode of existence and persistence by assimilating them to continuant particulars. Secondly, my analysis distinguishes clearly between processes and (...)
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  9. added 2019-12-11
    A Geneticist's Roadmap to Sanity.Gilbert B. Côté - manuscript
    World news can be discouraging these days. In order to counteract the effects of fake news and corruption, scientists have a duty to present the truth and propose ethical solutions acceptable to the world at large. -/- By starting from scratch, we can lay down the scientific principles underlying our very existence, and reach reasonable conclusions on all major topics including quantum physics, infinity, timelessness, free will, mathematical Platonism, happiness, ethics and religion, all the way to creation and a special (...)
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  10. added 2019-12-11
    Triple-Aspect Monism and the Ontology of Quantum Particles.Côté Gilbert B. - 2013 - Open Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):451.
    An analysis of the physical implications of abstractness reveals the reality of three interconnected modes of existence: abstract, virtual and concrete, corresponding in physics to information, energy and matter. This triple-aspect monism clarifies the ontological status of subatomic quantum particles. It also provides a non-spooky solution to the weirdness of quantum physics and a new outlook for the mind-body problem. The ontological implications are profound for both physics and philosophy.
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  11. added 2019-10-23
    A Contingency Interpretation of Information Theory as a Bridge Between God’s Immanence and Transcendence.Philippe Gagnon - 2020 - In Michael Fuller, Dirk Evers, Anne L. C. Runehov, Knut-Willy Sæther & Bernard Michollet (eds.), Issues in Science and Theology: Nature – and Beyond. Cham: Springer. pp. 169-185.
    This paper investigates the degree to which information theory, and the derived uses that make it work as a metaphor of our age, can be helpful in thinking about God’s immanence and transcendance. We ask when it is possible to say that a consciousness has to be behind the information we encounter. If God is to be thought about as a communicator of information, we need to ask whether a communication system has to pre-exist to the divine and impose itself (...)
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  12. added 2019-09-30
    Semantik, Pragmatik Und Ontologie: Felka Über Spezifizierende Sätze Und Einfache Argumente.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 70 (3):406-411.
    This paper critically comments on Katharina Felka's book "Talking about numbers". I question her assumption that specifying sentences are a semantically unified class. The paper is part of a symposium on the book (in German).
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  13. added 2019-09-27
    Unifying Three Notions of Concepts.Edward N. Zalta - forthcoming - Theoria.
    Three different notions of concepts are discussed: Frege's notion of Begriffe, Leibniz's notion in his calculus of concepts, and Frege's notion of sense. Each notion of a concept is formally analysed within the theory of abstract objects. The resulting analysis unifies the three different notions of concepts.
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  14. added 2019-09-19
    Logic and Ontology of Language.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 2019 - In Bartłomiej Skowron (ed.), Contemporary Polish Ontology. Berlin/Boston: DE GRUYTER, MOUTON. pp. 109-132.
    The main purpose of the paper is to outline the formal-logical, general theory of language treated as a particular ontological being. The theory itself is called the ontology of language, because it is motivated by the fact that the language plays a special role: it reflects ontology and ontology reflects the world. Language expressions are considered to have a dual ontological status. They are understood as either concretes, that is tokens – material, physical objects, or types – classes of tokens, (...)
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  15. added 2019-08-04
    The Metaphysics of Theism and Modality.Richard Brian Davis - 2001 - New York, NY, USA: Peter Lang.
    In this book, Richard Brian Davis explores various attempts to solve the Dependence Problem – the problem posed by the following question: How can necessary truths stand to God in a one-way relation of dependence when neither they nor God could have failed to exist? Critics charge that this problem is insoluble. Davis argues at length that the most powerful and promising contemporary solutions to this problem – those offered by Linda Zagzebski, Brian Leftow, Thomas V. Morris, and William Mann (...)
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  16. added 2019-05-10
    The Metaphysics of Establishments.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    I present two puzzles about the metaphysics of establishments (e.g., stores and restaurants). The first puzzle is that, while there is good reason to think that they are constituted by the buildings they occupy, there also is good reason to think that they can exist without being constituted by anything and that nothing that’s constituted can ever become unconstituted. The second is that, while there is good reason to think that they are material objects, there also is good reason to (...)
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  17. added 2019-05-10
    Nominalism.Ghislain Guigon - 2019 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    ‘Nominalism’ refers to a family of views about what there is. The objects we are familiar with (e.g. hands, laptops, cookies, and trees) can be characterized as concrete and particular. Nominalists agree that there are such things. But one group of nominalists denies that anything is non-particular and another group denies that anything is non-concrete. These two sorts of nominalism, referred to as ‘nominalism about universals’ and ‘nominalism about abstract objects’, have common motivations in contemporary philosophy.
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  18. added 2019-04-01
    On the Axiomatic Systems of Syntactically-Categorial Languages.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 1984 - Bulletin of the Section of Logic 13 (4):241-249.
    The paper contains an overview of the most important results presented in the monograph of the author "Teorie Językow Syntaktycznie-Kategorialnych" ("Theories of Syntactically-Categorial Languages" (in Polish), PWN, Warszawa-Wrocław 1985. In the monograph four axiomatic systems of syntactically-categorial languages are presented. The first two refer to languages of expression-tokens. The others also takes into consideration languages of expression-types. Generally, syntactically-categorial languages are languages built in accordance with principles of the theory of syntactic categories introduced by S. Leśniewski [1929,1930]; they are connected (...)
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  19. added 2018-11-18
    Why Can’T I Change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony?David Friedell - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (3):805-824.
    Musical works change. Bruckner revised his Eighth Symphony. Ella Fitzgerald and many other artists have made it acceptable to sing the jazz standard “All the Things You Are” without its original verse. If we accept that musical works genuinely change in these ways, a puzzle arises: why can’t I change Bruckner’s Eighth Symphony? More generally, why are some individuals in a privileged position when it comes to changing musical works and other artifacts, such as novels, films, and games? I give (...)
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  20. added 2018-09-29
    To Be Is to Be an F.Øystein Linnebo - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (2):201-222.
    I defend the view that our ontology divides into categories, each with its own canonical way of identifying and distinguishing the objects it encompasses. For instance, I argue that natural numbers are identified and distinguished by their positions in the number sequence, and physical bodies, by facts having to do with spatiotemporal continuity. I also argue that objects belonging to different categories are ipso facto distinct. My arguments are based on an analysis of reference, which ascribes to reference a richer (...)
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  21. added 2018-09-24
    Review of "Abstract Objects: An Introduction to Axiomatic Metaphysics".Francesco Orilia - 1987 - Noûs 21 (2):270-276.
    This is Francesco Orilia's book review of Edward N. Zalta's 1983 book, Abstract Objects: An Introduction to Axiomatic Metaphysics.
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  22. added 2018-06-13
    Why is There Something Rather Than Nothing? A Probabilistic Answer Examined.Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra - 2018 - Philosophy 93 (4):505-521.
    Peter van Inwagen has given an answer to the question ‘Why is there something rather than nothing?’. His answer is: Because there being nothing is as improbable as anything can be: it has probability 0. Here I shall examine his argument for this answer and I shall argue that it does not work because no good reasons have been given for two of the argument’s premises and that the conclusion of the argument does not constitute an answer to the question (...)
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  23. added 2018-05-22
    Propositions.Andrea Iacona - 2002 - Name.
  24. added 2018-04-27
    Prioritizing Platonism.Kelly Trogdon & Sam Cowling - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2029-2042.
    Discussion of atomistic and monistic theses about abstract reality.
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  25. added 2017-03-21
    Ficta as Contingently Nonconcrete.Lightfield Ceth - 2014 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 21 (4):431-457.
    Fictional realism allows direct reference theorists to provide a straightfor- ward analysis of the semantics of fictional discourse by admitting into their ontology a set of objects (ficta) that serve as the referents of fictional names. Ficta may be modeled using an axiomatic object theory, but actualist interpretations of the formalism have been the subject of recent objections. In this paper, I provide an interpretation of object theory’s formalism that is consistent with actualism and avoids these objections. Drawing on insights (...)
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  26. added 2017-03-20
    Dummett’s Criticism of the Context Principle.A. Ebert Philip - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 92 (1):23-51.
    This paper discusses Michael Dummett’s criticism of the Neo-Fregean concep- tion of the context principle. I will present four arguments by Dummett that purport to show that the context principle is incompatible with platonism. I discuss and ultimately reject each argument. I will close this paper by identifying what I take to be a deep rooted tension in the Neo-Fregean project which might have motivated Dummett’s opposition to the Neo-Fregean use of the context principle. I argue that this tension does (...)
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  27. added 2017-03-20
    Meinong, Defective Objects, and Logical Paradox.William J. Rapaport - 1982 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 18 (1):17-39.
    Alexius Meinong developed a notion of defective objects in order to account for various logical and psychological paradoxes. The notion is of historical interest, since it presages recent work on the logical paradoxes by Herzberger and Kripke. But it fails to do the job it was designed for. However, a technique implicit in Meinong's investigation is more successful and can be adapted to resolve a similar paradox discovered by Romane Clark in a revised version of Meinong's Theory of Objects due (...)
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  28. added 2017-02-18
    Abstract Entities.Cowling Sam - 2017 - Routledge.
    Think of a number, any number, or properties like _fragility_ and _humanity_. These and other abstract entities are radically different from concrete entities like electrons and elbows. While concrete entities are located in space and time, have causes and effects, and are known through empirical means, abstract entities like meanings and possibilities are remarkably different. They seem to be immutable and imperceptible and to exist "outside" of space and time. This book provides a comprehensive critical assessment of the problems raised (...)
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  29. added 2016-09-09
    Abstracting Propositions.Anthony Wrigley - 2006 - Synthese 151 (2):157-176.
    This paper examines the potential for abstracting propositions – an as yet untested way of defending the realist thesis that propositions as abstract entities exist. I motivate why we should want to abstract propositions and make clear, by basing an account on the neo-Fregean programme in arithmetic, what ontological and epistemological advantages a realist can gain from this. I then raise a series of problems for the abstraction that ultimately have serious repercussions for realism about propositions in general. I first (...)
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  30. added 2016-09-01
    A Novel Category of Vague Abstracta.Jeffrey Goodman - 2007 - Metaphysica 8 (1):79-96.
    Much attention has been given to the question of ontic vagueness, and the issues usually center around whether certain paradigmatically concrete entities – cats, clouds, mountains, etc. – are vague in the sense of having indeterminate spatial boundaries. In this paper, however, I wish to focus on a way in which some abstracta seem to be locationally vague. To begin, I will briefly cover some territory already covered regarding certain types of “traditional” abstracta and the ways they are currently alleged (...)
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  31. added 2016-08-22
    Nominalistic Metalogic.Ken Akiba - 1998 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 27 (1):35-47.
    This paper offers a novel method for nominalizing metalogic without transcending first-order reasoning about physical tokens (inscriptions, etc.) of proofs. A kind of double-negation scheme is presented which helps construct, for any platonistic statement in metalogic, a nominalistic statement which has the same assertability condition as the former. For instance, to the platonistic statement "there is a (platonistic) proof of A in deductive system D" corresponds the nominalistic statement "there is no (metalogical) proof token in (possibly informal) set theory for (...)
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  32. added 2016-08-22
    KATZ, J.: "Language and Other Abstract Objects". [REVIEW]F. D' Agostino - 1983 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61:319.
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  33. added 2016-08-11
    Category Theory and Set Theory as Theories About Complementary Types of Universals.David P. Ellerman - 2017 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 26 (2):1-18.
    Instead of the half-century old foundational feud between set theory and category theory, this paper argues that they are theories about two different complementary types of universals. The set-theoretic antinomies forced naïve set theory to be reformulated using some iterative notion of a set so that a set would always have higher type or rank than its members. Then the universal u_{F}={x|F(x)} for a property F() could never be self-predicative in the sense of u_{F}∈u_{F}. But the mathematical theory of categories, (...)
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  34. added 2016-03-24
    The Modal Object Calculus and its Interpretation.Edward N. Zalta - 1997 - In M. de Rijke (ed.), Advances in Intensional Logic. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 249--279.
    The modal object calculus is the system of logic which houses the (proper) axiomatic theory of abstract objects. The calculus has some rather interesting features in and of itself, independent of the proper theory. The most sophisticated, type-theoretic incarnation of the calculus can be used to analyze the intensional contexts of natural language and so constitutes an intensional logic. However, the simpler second-order version of the calculus couches a theory of fine-grained properties, relations and propositions and serves as a framework (...)
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  35. added 2015-09-20
    The Existence (and Non-Existence) of Abstract Objects.Richard Heck - 2011 - In Frege's Theorem. Oxford University Press.
    This paper is concerned with neo-Fregean accounts of reference to abstract objects. It develops an objection to the most familiar such accounts, due to Bob Hale and Crispin Wright, based upon what I call the 'proliferation problem': Hale and Wright's account makes reference to abstract objects seem too easy, as is shown by the fact that any equivalence relation seems as good as any other. The paper then develops a response to this objection, and offers an account of what it (...)
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  36. added 2015-09-14
    Common Natures and Metaphysics in John Duns Scotus.Dino Buzzetti - 2005 - Quaestio 5 (1):543-557.
    The paper is about the relationship between Scotus’s notion of ‘natura communis,’ for an examination of the main features that Scotus ascribes to ‘common natures’ can shed substantial light on the nature of metaphysics in itself. Some preliminary observations on historiography are also deemed to be in order.
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  37. added 2015-08-26
    Fictional Realism and Negative Existentials.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2014 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 333-352.
    In this paper I confront what I take to be the crucial challenge for fictional realism, i.e. the view that fictional characters exist. This is the problem of accounting for the intuition that corresponding negative existentials such as ‘Sherlock Holmes does not exist’ are true (when, given fictional realism, taken literally they seem false). I advance a novel and detailed form of the response according to which we take them to mean variants of such claims as: there is no concrete (...)
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  38. added 2015-05-12
    On the Concept of a Token Generator.Takashi Iida - 2013 - Annals of the Japan Association for Philosophy of Science 21:37-55.
    There is a widely shared account of the distinction between types and tokens, which might be termed the standard account. However, it has some surprising consequences that are not always realized. According to the standard account, a type is a contingent abstract object that can be created by us, but it does not allow any change and can never be destroyed once it is created, because it is an abstract object. I would like to present an alternative account of types (...)
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  39. added 2015-05-12
    Perceiving Abstract Objects: Inheriting Ohmori Shozo's Philosophy of Perception.Takashi Iida - 2012 - In S. Watanabe (ed.), Logic and Sensiblity. Keio University Press.
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  40. added 2015-05-12
    How Are Language Changes Possible?Takashi Iida - 2009 - In M. Okada (ed.), Ontology and Phenomenology: Franco-Japanese Collaborative Lectures. Keio University. pp. 75-96.
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  41. added 2015-05-03
    A Deflationist Error Theory of Properties.Arvid Båve - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (1):23-59.
    I here defend a theory consisting of four claims about ‘property’ and properties, and argue that they form a coherent whole that can solve various serious problems. The claims are (1): ‘property’ is defined by the principles (PR): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property of x iff F’ and (PA): ‘F-ness/Being F/etc. is a property’; (2) the function of ‘property’ is to increase the expressive power of English, roughly by mimicking quantification into predicate position; (3) property talk should be understood at (...)
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  42. added 2015-02-18
    Criteria of Abstractness. The Ontologies of Husserl, Frege and Strawson Against the Background of Classical Metaphysics.Wolfgang Künne - 1982 - In Barry Smith (ed.), Parts and Moments: Studies in Logic and Formal Ontology. Philosophia Verlag. pp. 401--437.
  43. added 2014-10-10
    Approaching the Abstract: Building Blocks for an Epistemology of Abstract Objects.Søren Harnow Klausen - 2013 - Semiotica 2013 (194):3-20.
    Abstract objects are widely held to pose a formidable epistemological challenge. It has seemed mysterious to many how we can have access to such strange and intangible entities. The article considers five influential ways to meet the challenge: Transcendental arguments, the indispensability argument, insisting that we just are able to grasp abstract objects and that no further explanation is needed, abstractionist accounts, and ontological reduction. None of these approaches is by itself sufficient or completely convincing, but together they make out (...)
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  44. added 2014-08-07
    Charity and Error‐Theoretic Nominalism.Arvid Båve - 2015 - Ratio 28 (3):256-270.
    I here investigate whether there is any version of the principle of charity both strong enough to conflict with an error-theoretic version of nominalism (EN) about abstract objects, and supported by the considerations adduced in favour of interpretive charity in the literature. I argue that in order to be strong enough, the principle, which I call (Charity), would have to read, “For all expressions e, an acceptable interpretation must make true a sufficiently high ratio of accepted sentences containing e”. I (...)
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  45. added 2014-03-23
    Nominalizing Quantifiers.Friederike Moltmann - 2003 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 32 (5):445-481.
    Quantified expressions in natural language generally are taken to act like quantifiers in logic, which either range over entities that need to satisfy or not satisfy the predicate in order for the sentence to be true or otherwise are substitutional quantifiers. I will argue that there is a philosophically rather important class of quantified expressions in English that act quite differently, a class that includes something, nothing, and several things. In addition to expressing quantification, such expressions act like nominalizations, introducing (...)
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  46. added 2014-03-22
    Nonreferential Complements, Nominalizations, and Derived Objects.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Journal of Semantics 21 (1):1-43.
    This paper argues that certain complements in philosophically significant constructions, especially predicative and clausal complements and intensional NPs, should not be analysed as providing an argument for a relation expressed by the verb, but rather as forming a complex predicate together with the verb. Apparent evidence for the traditional relational analyses, namely the possibility of replacing the complement by quantifiers such as 'something', will be shown to be misguided. Quantifiers like 'something' rather act as nominalizing expressions introducing ‘new’, derived objects (...)
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  47. added 2014-03-19
    Names for Relations.Peter van Inwagen - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):453–477.
    A proper presentation of this theory [sc. of properties] would treat properties as a special kind of relation. And it would treat propositions as a special kind of relation: it would treat properties as monadic relations and propositions as 0-adic relations. But I will not attempt to discuss relations within the confines of this paper.[ii].
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  48. added 2014-02-19
    Abstract Entities.Wilfrid Sellars - 1963 - Review of Metaphysics 16 (4):627 - 671.
    Now the thesis that the universal redness is the linguistic type ⋅red⋅ has the ring of absurdity. There are several ways in which this discomfort can be expressed I shall open my argument by formulating an objection which, by cutting deeper than most, leads to a firm foundation for a restatement and defense of the thesis.
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  49. added 2014-01-26
    La abstracción en la teoría del conocimiento de Hegel.Hector Ferreiro - 2012 - Apuntes Filosóficos 21 (41):76-88.
    En la filosofía de Aristóteles y en la filosofía escolástica de cuño aristotélico, la abstracción constituía un acto fundamental del proceso cognitivo: marcaba el salto o ascenso de la sensibilidad a la inteligibilidad, del conocimiento del individuo al conocimiento de su esencia. En la teoría del conocimiento de Hegel, por el contrario, el concepto abstracto o, como Hegel prefiere llamarlo, la “representación abstracta” o “representación universal” es tan sólo un momento intermedio en el proceso fluido que va del conocimiento del (...)
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  50. added 2013-04-08
    Philosophical Perspectives on Fictional Characters.Paisley Nathan Livingston & Andrea Sauchelli - 2011 - New Literary History 42 (2):337-360.
    This paper takes up a series of basic philosophical questions about the nature and existence of fictional characters. We begin with realist approaches that hinge on the thesis that at least some claims about fictional characters can be right or wrong because they refer to something that exists, such as abstract objects. Irrealist approaches deny such realist postulations and hold instead that fictional characters are a figment of the human imagination. A third family of approaches, based on work by Alexius (...)
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