Metaphysical arguments against ordinary objects

Amie L. Thomasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Several prominent attacks on the objects of 'folk ontology' argue that these would be omitted from a scientific ontology, or would be 'rivals' of scientific objects for their claims to be efficacious, occupy space, be composed of parts, or possess a range of other properties. I examine causal redundancy and overdetermination arguments, 'nothing over and above' appeals, and arguments based on problems with collocation and with property additivity. I argue that these share a common problem: applying conjunctive principles to cases in which the claims conjoined are not analytically independent. This unified diagnosis provides a way of defending ordinary objects against these common objections, while also yielding warnings about certain uses of general conjunctive principles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-359
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophical Quarterly
Issue number224
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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