Chapter

Categories and Kinds

E. J. Lowe

in The Possibility of Metaphysics

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244997
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597930 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199244995.003.0008
 Categories and Kinds

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The account of the ontological categories begun earlier in the book is completed and it is explained why and how such categories, which have an a priori status, must be distinguished from the empirically discoverable natural kinds into which objects—and, more particularly, naturally occurring individual substances—are divisible. By focusing on the problem of substantial change and associated questions concerning the persistence‐conditions of different kinds of object, the indispensable role that a system of ontological categories has in enabling us to understand the fundamental structure of reality is illustrated, thereby providing further and indeed conclusive evidence of the indispensability and autonomy of metaphysics as an intellectual discipline.

Keywords: a priori; change; metaphysics; natural kinds; ontological categories; persistence‐conditions; reality; substance

Chapter.  6756 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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