This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the aim of this book, which is to investigate the notion of an ontological category. It argues that it is possible to give a coherent account of ontological categories, which incorporates many of the features philosophers have traditionally ascribed to them: that they are the most general kinds of things, that they are organized in a non-overlapping hierarchy, and that certain categories are too special to be ontological categories. However, the conception of ontological category emerging from this specification cannot justify the fundamental status it is usually assumed to have. An overview of the chapters included in this volume is presented.
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