Ontological and Conceptual Relativity and the Self

Ernest Sosa

in The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199284221
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

 Ontological and Conceptual Relativity and the Self

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This article takes up, in six sections, issues of realism and of ontological and conceptual relativity. The first section briefly lays out the kind of absolutist realism of interest in what follows. The second section considers arguments against ordinary common-sense entities such as bodies, and for the view that subjects enjoy a superior ontological position. No such argument is found persuasive. The third lays out three options in ontology, opts for a kind of conceptual relativism, and takes up three problems for the proposed view. The fourth section then offers a compromise position based on a kind of existential relativity meant to accommodate our most settled beliefs about what there is, while retaining a fundamentally realist and objectivist ontology. The main argument of that section relies on a distinction between (a) semantical relativity and (b) ontological relativity.

Keywords: ontological relativity; conceptual relativity; absolutist realism; common-sense entities; objectivist ontology

Article.  12245 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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