Download Ontological Categories by Jan Westerhoff PDF

By Jan Westerhoff

The idea that of an ontological type is principal to metaphysics. Metaphysicians argue approximately which classification of life an item will be assigned to, no matter if one class might be lowered to a different one, or no matter if there should be various both enough structures of categorization. solutions to those questions presuppose a transparent figuring out of what accurately an ontological type is, and Jan Westerhoff now presents the 1st in-depth research. After interpreting numerous tried definitions, he proceeds to argue for a brand new knowing of ontological different types, in response to which they're systematizations of our wisdom of the area instead of crucial features of the realm itself. Metaphysicians will locate his paintings hugely stimulating.

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II Attempted definitions of ‘ontological category’ Having introduced the different kinds of categories featuring in ontological theories we now turn to the question of what makes all of them ontological categories. Why are they regarded as ontological categories rather than others? What makes the different categories hang together? Why are the systems of ontological categories structured in the way they are? Answering these questions crucially depends on being able to give a satisfactory definition of the notion of an ontological category.

But we notice that the minimal categories on the ‘abstract’ branch are one level of generality higher up than the minimal categories on the ‘concrete’ branch. Thus the categories directly below ‘property’, ‘relation’, and ‘propositions’ (whatever they are) would have to count as ontological categories, contrary to the situation represented in the diagram. It is thus evident that Hoffman and Rosenkrantz’s approach manages to escape the cut-off point problem but is confronted with other difficulties which prevent it from being a convincing account of ontological categories.

There will be some x such that if it has some marker (X) it will also have marker (A). So (X) −→ (A) will be a reduction rule. But ex hypothesi there is no Z such that whenever x is A it is also Z . So (A) is not on the left of any reduction rule, and so it is an ontological category. §11 Advantages and problems of Katz’s account Katz’s account of ontological categories has a number of advantages. It provides us with a precise criterion for picking out the ontological categories and makes it possible to construct a taxonomic tree of kinds.

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