Book

The Universe As We Find It

John Heil

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596201
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741876 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596201.001.0001
The Universe As We Find It

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This book offers answers to the following questions. What does reality encompass? Is reality exclusively physical? Or does reality include non‐physical — mental, and perhaps ‘abstract’ — aspects? What is it to be physical or mental — or to be an abstract entity? What are the elements of being, reality’s building blocks? How is the manifest image we inherit from our culture and refine in the special sciences related to the scientific image as we have it in fundamental physics? Can physics be understood as providing a ‘theory of everything’, or do the various sciences make up a hierarchy corresponding to autonomous levels of reality? Is our conscious human perspective on the universe in the universe or at its limits? What, if anything, makes ordinary truths, truths of the special sciences, and truths of mathematics true? And what is it for an assertion or judgment to be ‘made true’? Answers to these questions are framed in terms of a comprehensive ontology of substances and properties inspired by Descartes, Locke, their successors, and their more recent exemplars. Substances are simple, lacking parts that are themselves substances. Properties are modes (tropes), particular ways particular substances are, not universals. Arrangements of propertied substances serve as truthmakers for all the truths that have truthmakers. The deep story about the nature of these truthmakers is addressed by fundamental physics.

Keywords: metaphysics; ontology; being; mind; substance; property; universal; mode; trope; level; relation; truthmaking; manifest image; scientific image

Book.  328 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Metaphysics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Universe As We Find It

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Substance in The Universe As We Find It

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Substance Stressed in The Universe As We Find It

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Properties in The Universe As We Find It

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Universals in The Universe As We Find It

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Causing in The Universe As We Find It

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Relations in The Universe As We Find It

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Truthmaking in The Universe As We Find It

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Reduction, Kinds, and Essences in The Universe As We Find It

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Mind and Mentality in The Universe As We Find It

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