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A World of Tropes?

Maurin, Anna-Sofia LU (2010) In Worldviews, Science and Us: Studies of Analytical Metaphysics. A Selection of Topics From a Methodological Perspective p.107-130
Abstract (Swedish)
Abstract in Undetermined

Why should one hold that the world is a world of tropes? Or, more generally: How do we justify our ontological conclusions? It seems clear that the only evidence at our disposal must belong to appearances. For a realist, however, it is unreasonable to think that our conceptualisation of reality will reveal to us reality as it is independently of how it seems. You simply cannot 'read off' the structure of reality from the way we talk and think about it. To some, this has been considered a reductio against any metaphysics interested in unveiling the structural features of reality hidden behind a veil of appearances. In this paper it is argued that ontological conclusions can nevertheless be justified.... (More)
Abstract in Undetermined

Why should one hold that the world is a world of tropes? Or, more generally: How do we justify our ontological conclusions? It seems clear that the only evidence at our disposal must belong to appearances. For a realist, however, it is unreasonable to think that our conceptualisation of reality will reveal to us reality as it is independently of how it seems. You simply cannot 'read off' the structure of reality from the way we talk and think about it. To some, this has been considered a reductio against any metaphysics interested in unveiling the structural features of reality hidden behind a veil of appearances. In this paper it is argued that ontological conclusions can nevertheless be justified. A close study of reality as it appears to us may not be able to reveal to what categories the most fundamental constituents of reality as it is belong. It can, however, reveal the fundamental 'truthmaking roles' that whatever there is must be able to play. An ontological theory is hence justified precisely if its posits can fulfil their truthmaking function. We could justifiably hold that the world is a world of tropes if tropes (or structured complexes of tropes) are able to play the requisite truthmaking roles, and in this paper it is argued that they can. Whether we should hold that the world is a world of tropes is another matter. In ontology, our choice between otherwise equally truthmaker-apt theories can not be justified with reference to anything pertaining to appearances; only the theoretical virtues can serve as the arbitrator. It is concluded, therefore, that in ontology, theory choice is less exciting than one might think. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceeding
publication status
published
subject
in
Worldviews, Science and Us: Studies of Analytical Metaphysics. A Selection of Topics From a Methodological Perspective
editor
Robrecht, Vanderbeeken and Erik, Weber
pages
107 - 130
publisher
World Scientific
external identifiers
  • WOS:000278246900008
  • Scopus:84971238746
ISBN
978-981-4295-81-9
DOI
10.1142/9789814299053_0008
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9bc8abe2-abcf-409e-8b29-a74f589ecb8f (old id 738569)
date added to LUP
2007-12-11 13:12:11
date last changed
2017-01-01 07:58:09
@inbook{9bc8abe2-abcf-409e-8b29-a74f589ecb8f,
  abstract     = {<b>Abstract in Undetermined</b><br/><br>
Why should one hold that the world is a world of tropes? Or, more generally: How do we justify our ontological conclusions? It seems clear that the only evidence at our disposal must belong to appearances. For a realist, however, it is unreasonable to think that our conceptualisation of reality will reveal to us reality as it is independently of how it seems. You simply cannot 'read off' the structure of reality from the way we talk and think about it. To some, this has been considered a reductio against any metaphysics interested in unveiling the structural features of reality hidden behind a veil of appearances. In this paper it is argued that ontological conclusions can nevertheless be justified. A close study of reality as it appears to us may not be able to reveal to what categories the most fundamental constituents of reality as it is belong. It can, however, reveal the fundamental 'truthmaking roles' that whatever there is must be able to play. An ontological theory is hence justified precisely if its posits can fulfil their truthmaking function. We could justifiably hold that the world is a world of tropes if tropes (or structured complexes of tropes) are able to play the requisite truthmaking roles, and in this paper it is argued that they can. Whether we should hold that the world is a world of tropes is another matter. In ontology, our choice between otherwise equally truthmaker-apt theories can not be justified with reference to anything pertaining to appearances; only the theoretical virtues can serve as the arbitrator. It is concluded, therefore, that in ontology, theory choice is less exciting than one might think.},
  author       = {Maurin, Anna-Sofia},
  editor       = {Robrecht, Vanderbeeken and Erik, Weber},
  isbn         = {978-981-4295-81-9},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {107--130},
  publisher    = {World Scientific},
  series       = {Worldviews, Science and Us: Studies of Analytical Metaphysics. A Selection of Topics From a Methodological Perspective},
  title        = {A World of Tropes?},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/9789814299053_0008},
  year         = {2010},
}