The Ontological Turn

John Heil

in The Universe As We Find It

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596201
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741876 | DOI:
The Ontological Turn

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This chapter is a summary of conclusions reached in preceding chapters. The fundamental things, or perhaps arrangements of the fundamental things, serve as truthmakers for all the truths that have truthmakers. Although fundamental physics is in the business of providing accounts of the fundamental things, physics has no monopoly on the truths. Everyday truths and truths of the special sciences are neither reducible to nor replaceable by truths of physics. Reduction is not on the cards. This does not imply an ontology of levels of being or levels of reality, each level corresponding to an autonomous science. The mistake is to imagine that there is a direct route from taxonomy to ontology. An ontology of substances and properties, where properties are modes, powerful qualities, provides both a framework in which physical theory can be developed empirically, and truthmaking resources for truths of the manifest image.

Keywords: truthmaker; truth; ontology; physics; special sciences; reduction; level; quality; power; manifest image

Chapter.  5754 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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