Chapter

Classes

David M. Armstrong

in Sketch for a Systematic Metaphysics

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780199590612
Published online September 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191723391 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199590612.003.0014
Classes

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David Lewis' major contribution to the ontology of classes is to perceive that many‐membered classes are mereological sums of the singletons (unit‐classes of their members: This raises the question of what singletons are ontologically. My proposal that they are all states of affairs was refuted by Gideon Rosen. But a more limited claim is tenable. Only some singletons are states of affairs. Because set theory is a mathematical system it will produce structures that may not be instantiated, and therefore are no more than possibilities. Nelson Goodman's protest at using set theory to do metaphysics is endorsed. The null class is rejected as an existent.

Keywords: classes; David Lewis; singletons; mereology; Gideon Rosen; Nelson Goodman; null class

Chapter.  1117 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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