The easy approach to ontology

Amie L. Thomasson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This paper defends the view that ontological questions (properly understood) are easy-too easy, in fact, to be subjects of substantive and distinctively philosophical debates. They are easy, roughly, in the sense that they may be resolved straightforwardly-generally by a combination of conceptual and empirical enquiries. After briefly outlining the view and some of its virtues, I turn to examine two central lines of objection. The first is that this 'easy' approach is itself committed to substantive ontological views, including an implausibly permissive ontology. The second is that it, like neo-Fregean views, relies on transformation rules that are questionable on both logical and ontological grounds. Ultimately, I will argue, the easy view is not easily assailed by either of these routes, and so remains (thus far) a tenable and attractive approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009


  • Existence
  • Metametaphysics
  • Metaontology
  • Neo-Fregean
  • Ontology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics (miscellaneous)
  • Philosophy


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