Ordinary Objects

Amie Thomasson

Research output: Book/ReportBook

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common. Some arguments for eliminativism 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 colocation; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. This book makes the case that the mistakes behind all of these superficially diverse eliminativist arguments may be traced to a common source, and may be successfully resisted by adopting a small cluster of interrelated and independently plausible theses about reference, analyticity, and modality. By adopting these theses, we can make sense of our common sense world view without internal contradiction, violation of plausible metaphysical principles, or rivalry with a scientific ontology. In the end, however, the most important result of addressing these eliminativist arguments is not merely avoiding their conclusions. It also leads to important metaontological results, bringing into question widely held assumptions about which uses of metaphysical principles are appropriate, which metaphysical demands are answerable, and how we incur ontological commitments. As a result, the work of this book hopes to provide not only the route to a reflective understanding of our unreflective common sense world view, but also a better understanding of the proper methods and limits of metaphysics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages288
ISBN (Print)9780199869602, 9780195319910
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

Fingerprint

Common Sense
Metaphysical
World View
Ontology
Vagueness
Mistakes
Modality
Route
Metaphysics
Causal
Rivals
Ontological
Redundancy
Reflective
Prohibition
Eliminativism
Analyticity
Rivalry
Parsimony
Ontological Commitment

Keywords

  • Analyticity
  • Causal redundancy
  • Colocation
  • Common sense
  • Metaontology
  • Modality
  • Ontological commitment
  • Parsimony
  • Vagueness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

Cite this

Thomasson, A. (2007). Ordinary Objects. Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319910.001.0001

Ordinary Objects. / Thomasson, Amie.

Oxford University Press, 2007. 288 p.

Research output: Book/ReportBook

Thomasson A. Ordinary Objects. Oxford University Press, 2007. 288 p. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319910.001.0001
Thomasson, Amie. / Ordinary Objects. Oxford University Press, 2007. 288 p.
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