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Ontological CategoriesTheir Nature and Significance$
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Jan Westerhoff

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199285044

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199285044.001.0001

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Categories in an ontology of states of affairs

Categories in an ontology of states of affairs

(p.90) IV Categories in an ontology of states of affairs
Ontological Categories

Jan Westerhoff (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter details the account of ontological categories. It relies on two basic notions, that of a form-set and that of a base-set. The fundamental idea is that form-sets are sets of constituents of states of affairs which have the same form: they are intersubstitutable in states of affairs. Base-sets, on the other hand, are a particular kind of form-set, namely those form-sets which can be used to construct other form-sets. Ontological categories with base-sets are identified. The idea is that collections of form-sets usually contain some redundancy, some sets which, were they deleted, could immediately be reinstated by constructing them from other form-sets. Only those form-sets which are employed in such a construction constitute the actual core of the collection of form-sets.

Keywords:   states affairs, form-sets, base-sets, relativism

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