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The Four-Category OntologyA Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science$
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E. J. Lowe

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199254392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199254397.001.0001

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Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax

Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax

(p.52) 4 Formal Ontology and Logical Syntax
The Four-Category Ontology

E. J. Lowe (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Traditional formal logic as developed by Fred Sommers is compared and contrasted with the modern quantified predicate logic that we owe to Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell; the latter is argued to be implicitly committed to a two-category ontology of particulars and universals. A system of sortal logic is described, which exhibits some features of traditional formal logic and some of modern quantified predicate logic, such as its deployment of a symbol for identity. It is argued that this system represents more perspicuously than other systems the ontological distinctions of the four-category ontology, and that this counts as a distinct advantage in its favour.

Keywords:   categories, Gottlob Frege, identity, ontology, quantified predicate logic, Bertrand Russell, sortal logic, Fred Sommers, traditional formal logic

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