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Categories of BeingEssays on Metaphysics and Logic$
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Leila Haaparanta and Heikki Koskinen

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199890576

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199890576.001.0001

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D. M. Armstrong and the Recovery of Ontology

D. M. Armstrong and the Recovery of Ontology

(p.420) 18 D. M. Armstrong and the Recovery of Ontology
Categories of Being

Keith Campbell

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an overview of the development of Armstrong’s metaphysics, with special reference to his contributions to Ontology proper, and to the place that ontology now commands in Anglophone philosophy. Armstrong was among the most influential philosophers in the transformation of philosophy away from the linguistic and positivist stance of the mid-20th century. After beginning with realist excursions into epistemology, he returned to the classic program of western philosophy, presenting a Materialist theory of mind. This was followed by, first, the development of an Aristotelian Realism, the application of this theory to accounts of Laws of Nature and of Possible Worlds, then, the presentation of an ontology of States of Affairs which embraces modality, the objects of mathematics, and an account of truth. While the treatment is sympathetic, questions are raised over the need for properties to be Universals, and whether his system of higher-order properties is fully consistent.

Keywords:   D. M. Armstrong, materialism, Universals, Laws of Nature, States of Affairs, Possible Worlds, higher-order properties

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