Oxford, England: Oxford University Press UK (2016)

Thomas Hofweber
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Many significant problems in metaphysics are tied to ontological questions, but ontology and its relation to larger questions in metaphysics give rise to a series of puzzles that suggest that we don't fully understand what ontology is supposed to do, nor what ambitions metaphysics can have for finding out about what the world is like. Thomas Hofweber aims to solve these puzzles about ontology and consequently to make progress on four metaphysical debates tied to ontology: the philosophy of arithmetic, the metaphysics of ordinary objects, the problem of universals, and the question of whether the fact-like aspect of reality is independent of us. Crucial parts of the proposed solution involve considerations about quantification and its relationship to ontology, the place of reference in natural languages, the relationship between syntactic form and focus, whether there could be any ineffable facts, and others.
Keywords arithmetic and rationalism
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ISBN(s) 9780198769835   0198802234   0198769830
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Chapters BETA
Ontology and Metaphysics

Many important metaphysical questions are closely tied to ontological questions. But ontology, the part of metaphysics that deals with what the world is made from or what exists, gives rise to a series of puzzles. This chapter distinguishes three puzzles about ontology in general. It argue... see more

The Philosophy of Arithmetic

In order to propose a minimally satisfactory philosophy of mathematics one must make sense of the apparent tension between the rationalist aspect of arithmetic and its seeming to be about a mind independent domain of entities. And one must solve at least two problems: the problem of why we... see more

The Philosophical Project of Ontology

Any metaphysics worth the name must meet two constraints: it has to be modest towards other incredibly successful parts of inquiry, and it has to be ambitious in claiming some questions of fact to be properly its own. How metaphysics can be ambitious, yet modest, is unclear, in particular ... see more

Esoteric and Egalitarian Metaphysics

This chapter investigates whether metaphysics has a special concern with what is fundamental, what is true in reality, grounding, or what is metaphysically most basic. It distinguishes esoteric from egalitarian metaphysics and argues that only the latter is acceptable. The issue remains wh... see more

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Citations of this work BETA

Realism and the Absence of Value.Shamik Dasgupta - 2018 - Philosophical Review 127 (3):279-322.
Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 337-363.
Why Composition Matters.Andrew M. Bailey & Andrew Brenner - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (8):934-949.
Nominalism and Material Plenitude.Uriah Kriegel - 2021 - Res Philosophica 98 (1):89-112.

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