Advertisement

Varieties of Explanation

  • Guido Imaguire
Chapter
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 397)

Abstract

In this chapter, some meta-metaphysical work is done. I discuss the important question of what kind of explanation the Problem of Universals demands. Since we accepted the major task of solving all main formulations of the problem, the results of this chapter will also be multiple. Each different formulation demands a particular kind of explanans . In agreement with most metaphysicians, I will reject conceptual explanation as a relevant explanans. But I will also present some reasons for rejecting contemporary orthodoxy, according to which truthmakers of simple predicative statements are the main explanans called for by the Problem of Universals (although I will later also offer truthmakers to keep truthmaker advocates happy). In this chapter, the notion of ontological grounding, which will play an important role in the rest of the book, will be explained. Finally, some general remarks will be made about the notions of ontological categories, the distinction of fundamental and derivative ontological categories, and so-called ‘systems’ of ontological categories.

References

  1. Alston, W.P. 1958. Ontological Commitments. Philosophical Studies 9: 8–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Armstrong, D.M. 1980. Against ‘Ostrich’ Nominalism: A Reply to Michael Devitt. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61: 440–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. ———. 1989. Universals: An Opinionated Introduction. Boulder: Westfield Press.Google Scholar
  4. ———. 1997. A World of States of Affairs. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. ———. 2004. Truth and Truth-makers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Audi, P. 2012. A Clarification and Defence of the Notion of Grounding. In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, ed. F. Correia and B. Schneider, 101–212. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Azzouni, J. 2012. Simple Metaphysics and “Ontological Dependence”. In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, ed. F. Correia and B. Schneider, 234–253. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bigelow, J. 1988. The Reality of Numbers: A Physicalist's Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Chisholm, R. 1996. A Realistic Theory of Categories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Correia, F. 2010. Grounding and Truth-Functions. Logique et Analyse 53: 251–279.Google Scholar
  11. Correia, F., and B. Schneider. 2012. Grounding: An Opinionated Introduction. In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, ed. F. Correia and B. Schneider. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Daly, C. 2012. Scepticism about Grounding. In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, ed. F. Correia and B. Schneider, 81–100. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. De Melo, T.X. 2013. O Problema dos Universais como um Problema de Categorização Ontológica. Master Dissertation, PPGLM/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro.Google Scholar
  14. Devitt, M. 1980. ‘Ostrich Nominalism’ or ‘Mirage Realism? Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 61: 433–439 Reprinted in Properties, Mellor, H., and Oliver, A., 1997.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Field, H. 1980. Science Without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Fine, K. 2009. The Question of Ontology. In Metametaphysics, ed. D. Chalmers, D. Manley, and R. Wasserman, 157–177. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  17. ———. 2012. The Pure Logic of Ground. Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (I): 1–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fox, J.F. 1987. Truth-maker. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 65: 188–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Grossmann, R. 1992. The Existence of the World: An Introduction to Ontology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  20. Hoffman, J., and G. Rosenkrantz. 1994. Substance Among Other Categories. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. van Inwagen, P. 2009. Being, Existence, and Ontological Commitment. In Metametaphysics, ed. D. Chalmers, D. Manley, and R. Wasserman, 472–526. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  22. ———. forthcoming. What is an Ontological Category? Metaphysical Disputations: Contemporary Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives, Novotny.Google Scholar
  23. Jackson, F. 1977. Statements about Universals. Mind 86. Reprint: Properties, ed. Mellor, D. H., and Oliver, A., 1997. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Lewis, D. 1983. New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (4): 343–377 Reprint in Properties, ed. Mellor, D.H., and Oliver, A., 1997. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lowe, E.J. 1997. Ontological Categories and Natural Kinds. Philosophical Papers 26 (1): 29–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. ———. 1999. The Possibility of Metaphysics: Substance, Identity, and Time. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  27. ———. 2006. The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. MacBride, F. 2002. The Problem of Universals and the Limits of Truthmaking. Philosophical Papers 31 (1): 27–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Maurin, A.-S. 2002. If Tropes. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mellor, D.H. 2012. Nature’s Joints: a Realistic Defence of Natural Properties. Ratio XXV: 387–404.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Mulligan, K. 2003. Stati di cose, verità e fattori di verità. Sistemi Intelligenti XV: 539–556.Google Scholar
  32. Mulligan, K., and B. Smith. 1984. A Relational Theory of the Act. Topoi 5 (2): 115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mulligan, K., P. Simons, and B. Smith. 1984. Truth-Makers. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 44: 287–321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nozick, R. 1981. Philosophical Explanations. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  35. Oliver, A. 1996. The Metaphysics of Properties. Mind 105: 1–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Peacock, H. 2009. What’s Wrong with Ostrich Nominalism? Philosophical Papers 38 (2): 183–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Pickel, B., and N. Mantegani. 2012. A Quinean Critique of Ostrich Nominalism. Philosophers’ Imprint 12 (6): 1–21.Google Scholar
  38. Quine, W.V.O. 1948. On What There Is. In Review of Metaphysics, 2. Reprinted in W.V.O. Quine, From a Logical Point of View, 1–19. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  39. Restall, G. 1996. Truth-makers, Entailment and Necessity. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74: 331–340.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Rodriguez-Pereyra, G. 2000. What is the Problem of Universals. Mind 109: 255–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. ———. 2002. Resemblance Nominalism. A Solution to the Problem of Universals. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  42. ———. 2015. Grounding is Not a Strict Order. Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (3): 517–534.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Rosenkrantz, G. 2012. Ontological Categories. In Contemporary Aristotelian Metaphysics, ed. T.E. Tahko, 83–93. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  44. Russell, B. 1905. On Denoting. Mind 14: 479–493 Reprint B. Russell, Logic and Knowledge, 41–56. London: George Allen and Unwin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Schaffer, J. 2009. On What Grounds What. In Metametaphysics, ed. D. Chalmers, D. Manley, and R. Wasserman, 356–362. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  46. ———. 2012. Grounding, Transitivity, and Contrastivity. In Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality, ed. F. Correia and B. Schneider. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  47. Schnieder, B. 2011. A Logic for Because. The Review of Symbolic Logic 4: 445–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Szabó, Z.G. 2005. Nominalism. In The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics, ed. M. Loux and D. Zimmerman, 11–45. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  49. Westerhoff, J. 2002a. Defining “Ontological Category”. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 102 (3): 337–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. ———. 2002b. Ontological Categories. Their Nature and Significance. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  51. ———. 2004. The Construction of Ontological Categories. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82 (4): 595–620.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guido Imaguire
    • 1
  1. 1.Universidade Federal do Rio de JaneiroRio de JaneiroBrazil

Personalised recommendations