An Ontology of Words

Erkenntnis 84 (5):1139-1158 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Words are indispensable linguistic tools for beings like us. However, there is not much philosophical work done about what words really are. In this paper, I develop a new ontology for words. I argue that words are abstract artifacts that are created to fulfill various kinds of purposes, and words are abstract in the sense that they are not located in space but they have a beginning and may have an end in time given that certain conditions are met. What follows from this two-fold argument is that words, from an ontological point of view, are more like musical works, fictional characters or computer programs, than numbers or sets.

Similar books and articles

Real Rules Are Conscious.Axel Cleeremans & Arnaud Destrebecqz - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (1):19-20.
Names and Words in the Philosophy of Zhuangzi.Guorong Yang - 2008 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 3 (1):1-26.
On Writing: “What Do You Read, My Lord,” “Words, Words, Words.”.Morton D. Rich - 1993 - Inquiry: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines 11 (1):2-2.
Erratum: Book Reviews: Words About Words About Words.[author unknown] - 1990 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 48 (3):263-263.
Generalized Periodicity and Primitivity for Words.Masami Ito & Gerhard Lischke - 2007 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 53 (1):91-106.
Frege on Direct Quotation.Robert M. Harnish - 2007 - Essays in Philosophy 8 (1):8.
Words, Images, Artifacts and Sound: Documents for the History of Technology.Reese V. Jenkins - 1987 - British Journal for the History of Science 20 (1):39-56.
Recall and Recognition of Semantically Encoded Words.Endel Tulving - 1974 - Journal of Experimental Psychology 102 (5):778.
D-Words, a-Words, and G-Words.H. J. McCloskey - 1965 - Philosophical Studies 16 (1-2):21 - 30.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-04-18

Downloads
448 (#23,000)

6 months
58 (#14,925)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Nurbay Irmak
Bogazici University

Citations of this work

A Bundle Theory of Words.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5731–5748.
A Pluralistic Theory of Wordhood.Luca Gasparri - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (4):592-609.
On the Individuation of Words.J. T. M. Miller - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (8):875-884.
Words, Species, and Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Metaphysics 4 (1):18–31.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On the Plurality of Worlds.David Lewis - 1986 - Wiley-Blackwell.
On the Plurality of Worlds.David K. Lewis - 1986 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 178 (3):388-390.
On the Plurality of Worlds.William G. Lycan - 1988 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):42-47.
Fiction and Metaphysics.Amie L. Thomasson - 1998 - Cambridge University Press.
Abstract Objects.Bob Hale - 1987 - Blackwell.

View all 42 references / Add more references