The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science by E. J. LoweThe Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science by E. J. Lowe

The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural Science

byE. J. Lowe

Paperback | November 1, 2007

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E. J. Lowe sets out and defends his theory of what there is. His four-category ontology is a metaphysical system that recognizes two fundamental categorial distinctions which cut across each other to generate four fundamental ontological categories. The distinctions are between the particularand the universal and between the substantial and the non-substantial. The four categories thus generated are substantial particulars, non-substantial particulars, substantial universals and non-substantial universals. Non-substantial universals include properties and relations, conceived asuniversals. Non-substantial particulars include property-instances and relation-instances, otherwise known as non-relational and relational tropes or modes. Substantial particulars include propertied individuals, the paradigm examples of which are persisting, concrete objects. Substantial universalsare otherwise known as substantial kinds and include as paradigm examples natural kinds of persisting objects. This ontology has a lengthy pedigree, many commentators attributing it to Aristotle on the basis of certain passages in his apparently early work, the Categories. At various times during the history of Western philosophy, it has been revived or rediscovered, but it has never found universal favour,perhaps on account of its apparent lack of parsimony as well as its commitment to universals. In pursuit of ontological economy, metaphysicians have generally preferred to recognize fewer than four fundamental ontological categories. However, Occam's razor stipulates only that we should not multiplyentities beyond necessity; Lowe argues that the four-category ontology has an explanatory power unrivalled by more parsimonious systems, and that this counts decisively in its favour. He shows that it provides a powerful explanatory framework for a unified account of causation, dispositions, naturallaws, natural necessity and many other related matters, such as the semantics of counterfactual conditionals and the character of the truthmaking relation. As such, it constitutes a thoroughgoing metaphysical foundation for natural science. Contents List
E.J. Lowe is at University of Durham.
Title:The Four-Category Ontology: A Metaphysical Foundation for Natural ScienceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.56 inPublished:November 1, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199229813

ISBN - 13:9780199229819

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Table of Contents

I. Metaphysics, Ontology, and Logic1. Ontological Categories and Categorical Schemes2. The Four-Category Ontology and its Rivals3. Some Formal Ontological Relations4. Formal Ontology and Logical SyntaxII. Objects and Properties5. The Concept of an Object in Formal Ontology6. Properties, Modes, and Universals7. Ramsey's Problem and its SolutionIII. Metaphysics and Natural Science8. Dispositions Natural Laws9. Kinds, Essence, and Natural Necessity10. Categorial Ontology and Scientific EssentialismIV. Truth, Truthmaking, and Metaphysical Realism11. Metaphysical Realism and the Unity of Truth12. Truthmaking, Necessity, and Essential Dependence

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition The book is ambitious in its goals and clear in its presentation...those who follow Lowe's work will appreciate having a systemic statement of his current philosophical position. New readers will also find many topics of interest.'Ryan Wasserman, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews