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The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical…
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The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science (édition 2007)

par E. J. Lowe (Auteur)

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E. J. Lowe sets out and defends his theory of what there is. His four-category ontology is a metaphysical system that recognizes two fundamental categorial distinctions which cut across each other to generate four fundamental ontological categories. The distinctions are between the particularand the universal and between the substantial and the non-substantial. The four categories thus generated are substantial particulars, non-substantial particulars, substantial universals and non-substantial universals. Non-substantial universals include properties and relations, conceived asuniversals. Non-substantial particulars include property-instances and relation-instances, otherwise known as non-relational and relational tropes or modes. Substantial particulars include propertied individuals, the paradigm examples of which are persisting, concrete objects. Substantial universalsare otherwise known as substantial kinds and include as paradigm examples natural kinds of persisting objects.This ontology has a lengthy pedigree, many commentators attributing it to Aristotle on the basis of certain passages in his apparently early work, the Categories. At various times during the history of Western philosophy, it has been revived or rediscovered, but it has never found universal favour,perhaps on account of its apparent lack of parsimony as well as its commitment to universals. In pursuit of ontological economy, metaphysicians have generally preferred to recognize fewer than four fundamental ontological categories. However, Occam's razor stipulates only that we should not multiplyentities beyond necessity; Lowe argues that the four-category ontology has an explanatory power unrivalled by more parsimonious systems, and that this counts decisively in its favour. He shows that it provides a powerful explanatory framework for a unified account of causation, dispositions, naturallaws, natural necessity and many other related matters, such as the semantics of counterfactual conditionals and the character of the truthmaking relation. As such, it constitutes a thoroughgoing metaphysical foundation for natural science.… (plus d'informations)
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Titre:The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science
Auteurs:E. J. Lowe (Auteur)
Info:Clarendon Press (2007), 240 pages
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The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science par E. J. Lowe

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E. J. Lowe sets out and defends his theory of what there is. His four-category ontology is a metaphysical system that recognizes two fundamental categorial distinctions which cut across each other to generate four fundamental ontological categories. The distinctions are between the particularand the universal and between the substantial and the non-substantial. The four categories thus generated are substantial particulars, non-substantial particulars, substantial universals and non-substantial universals. Non-substantial universals include properties and relations, conceived asuniversals. Non-substantial particulars include property-instances and relation-instances, otherwise known as non-relational and relational tropes or modes. Substantial particulars include propertied individuals, the paradigm examples of which are persisting, concrete objects. Substantial universalsare otherwise known as substantial kinds and include as paradigm examples natural kinds of persisting objects.This ontology has a lengthy pedigree, many commentators attributing it to Aristotle on the basis of certain passages in his apparently early work, the Categories. At various times during the history of Western philosophy, it has been revived or rediscovered, but it has never found universal favour,perhaps on account of its apparent lack of parsimony as well as its commitment to universals. In pursuit of ontological economy, metaphysicians have generally preferred to recognize fewer than four fundamental ontological categories. However, Occam's razor stipulates only that we should not multiplyentities beyond necessity; Lowe argues that the four-category ontology has an explanatory power unrivalled by more parsimonious systems, and that this counts decisively in its favour. He shows that it provides a powerful explanatory framework for a unified account of causation, dispositions, naturallaws, natural necessity and many other related matters, such as the semantics of counterfactual conditionals and the character of the truthmaking relation. As such, it constitutes a thoroughgoing metaphysical foundation for natural science.

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