Existence, Fundamentality, and the Scope of Ontology

Argumenta 1 (1):97-109 (2015)

Abstract

A traditional conception of ontology takes existence to be its proprietary subject matter—ontology is the study of what exists (§ 1). Recently, Jonathan Schaffer has argued that ontology is better thought of rather as the study of what is basic or fundamental in reality (§ 2). My goal here is twofold. First, I want to argue that while Schaffer’s characterization is quite plausible for some ontological questions, for others it is not (§ 3). More importantly, I want to offer a unified characterization of ontology that covers both existence and fundamentality questions (§§ 4-5).

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Uriah Kriegel
Rice University

References found in this work

Writing the Book of the World.Theodore Sider - 2011 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
The Question of Realism.Kit Fine - 2001 - Philosophers' Imprint 1:1-30.
Putnam’s Paradox.David Lewis - 1984 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):221 – 236.

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