A metaphysics of ordinary things and why we need it

Philosophy 83 (1):5-24 (2008)

Lynne Rudder Baker
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Metaphysics has enjoyed a vigorous revival in the last few decades. Even so, there has been little ontological interest in the things that we interact with everyday—trees, tables, other people.1 It is not that metaphysicians ignore ordinary things altogether. Indeed, they are happy to say that sentences like ‘The daffodils are out early this year’ or ‘My computer crashed again’ are true. But they take the truth of such sentences not to require that a full description of reality mention daffodils or computers. Many metaphysicians now interpret the apparent variety of things in the world as variety only of concepts applied to things that are basically of the same sort—for example, sums of particles or of temporal parts of particles
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DOI 10.1017/S0031819108000284
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References found in this work BETA

Constitution is Not Identity.Mark Johnston - 1992 - Mind 101 (401):89-106.
Can Mereological Sums Change Their Parts?Peter Van Inwagen - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):614-630.

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Citations of this work BETA

Counting and Countenancing.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Aaron J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press. pp. 47–69.
Christian Materialism in a Scientific Age.Lynne Rudder Baker - 2011 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 70 (1):47-59.
Ontology Down-to-Earth.L. R. Baker - 2015 - The Monist 98 (2):145-155.
Revisiting Nāgārjuna’s Vigrahavyāvartanī.Ramesh K. Sharma - 2018 - Journal of Indian Philosophy 46 (1):113-151.

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