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Ontology Without Borders$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190622558

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190622558.001.0001

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The Master Argument Against Ontological Borders

The Master Argument Against Ontological Borders

(p.143) 6 The Master Argument Against Ontological Borders
Ontology Without Borders

Jody Azzouni

Oxford University Press

The “master argument” is given: No metaphysical sense can be made of ontological boundaries (ones that support individuation conditions) above and beyond feature changes in the world. Ontological boundaries make no sense as brute items above and beyond properties and relations; but they make no sense as a particular subset of properties and relations either. Attempts to defend the reality of ontological boundaries on the basis of experience of them or because of their essentiality to theorizing are refuted. Moorean considerations are shown not to work either. This undermines standard metaphysical positions: mereological universalism, ontological nihilism, and others. Although no metaphysical distinction exists between changes within an object and changes from one object to another, it’s shown that projecting such contours onto the world can differ in value. This value can be explained in non-worldly-object terms. The master argument is distinguished from Occam’s razor approaches against rich metaphysical structure.

Keywords:   projectivism, mereological universalism, ontological boundaries, phenomenology, Moorean facts, coordinates, visual cues, identity conditions, Occam’s razor, thisness

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