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Ordinary Objects$
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Amie L. Thomasson

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195319910

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195319910.001.0001

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 The Methods of Metaphysics

 The Methods of Metaphysics

(p.188) Eleven. The Methods of Metaphysics
Ordinary Objects

Amie L. Thomasson (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The cluster of theses that underpin the reflective common sense worldview defended in this book has significant consequences regarding the proper methods and limits of metaphysics. This chapter argues that given those theses, the metaphysical side of questions about identity and persistence conditions, ontological status, and existence must be addressed by a form of conceptual analysis whose proper methods and limits are very different from those of the empirical sciences. As a result, radically revisionary answers to any of these questions must be met with suspicion. Moreover, if we properly understand what we are doing in asking questions about existence, we must suspect that many apparent debates in ontology are pseudo-debates in which the disputants talk past each other or try to answer unanswerable questions. The book closes with a sketch of some of these important metaontological consequences that fall out of the work of this book.

Keywords:   metaontology, conceptual analysis, identity, persistence, pseudo-debates, metaphysics, existence

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