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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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Philosophical implications

Philosophical implications

(p.199) VI Philosophical implications
Ontological Categories

Jan Westerhoff (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This final chapter consists of three parts. It begins by giving a survey of the main assumptions underlying the account of ontological categories presented. The second section discusses the philosophical consequences of the account. The three main conclusions described are a relativistic conception of ontological categories which considers them to be not primarily categories of being but categories of systematization; a holistic and anti-essentialist conception, which states that it is not an intrinsic feature of an object to belong to a particular category; and a conception of the distinction between individuals and properties which denies them the status of a fundamental ontological distinction. These three entail that the status of ontological categories within the philosophical discussion has to be reassessed: they cannot fulfill the important role which is usually ascribed to them. The last section contains a number of comparisons of the book's account with philosophical projects that might be considered to be closely related. Amongst other topics, the study of structuralist logic, the theory of tropes, and situation semantics are considered.

Keywords:   relativistic conception, structuralist logic, relativisim, holism, individuals, properties

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