Ordinary Objects

Oxford University Press (2007)
Authors
Amie Thomasson
Dartmouth College
Amie Thomasson
Dartmouth College
Abstract
Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been done to address these arguments in a unified and systematic way. Ordinary Objects is designed to fill this gap, demonstrating that the mistakes behind all of these superficially diverse eliminativist arguments may be traced to a common source. It aims to develop an ontology of ordinary objects subject to no such problems, providing perhaps the first sustained defense of a common sense ontology in two generations. The work done along the way addresses a number of major issues in philosophy of language and metaphysics, contributing to debates about analyticity, identity conditions, co-location and the grounding problem, vagueness, overdetermination, parsimony, and ontological commitment. In the end, the most important result of addressing these eliminativist arguments is not merely avoiding their conclusions; examining their failings also gives us reason to suspect that many apparent disputes in ontology are pseudo-debates. For it brings into question widely-held assumptions about which uses of metaphysical principles are appropriate, which metaphysical demands are answerable, and how we should go about addressing such fundamental questions as "What exists?". As a result, the work of Ordinary Objects promises to provide not only the route to a reflective understanding of our unreflective common-sense view, but also a better understanding of the proper methods and limits of metaphysics
Keywords Object (Philosophy  Common sense  Ontology
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Reprint years 2010
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Call number BD336.T46 2007
ISBN(s) 0195319915   9780195319910     9780199764440
DOI 10.1093/analys/ann024
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 The Methods of Metaphysics

The cluster of theses that underpin the reflective common sense worldview defended in this book has significant consequences regarding the proper methods and limits of metaphysics. This chapter argues that given those theses, the metaphysical side of questions about identity and persistenc... see more

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Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
Overdetermination Underdetermined.Sara Bernstein - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (1):17-40.

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