In this paper, which is an exercise in formal ontology – an area of research concerning fundamental ontological categories and their relations – Markku Keinänen (Tampere) and Tuomas Tahko examine the tempting idea that there could be just one fundamental ontological category. The most famous attempts to get by with just one ontological category are versions of ‘universal bundle theory’, where property universals bundled together constitute all the familiar objects, making it unnecessary to commit to category of ‘substance’. One of the most developed versions of this idea is L.A. Paul’s mereological bundle theory. Keinänen & Tahko argue that Paul’s attempt to construct a one category ontology may be challenged with some of her own arguments. In the positive part of the paper, a two category ontology with property universals and kind universals is outlined. Keinänen & Tahko also examine Paul’s arguments against a version of universal bundle theory that takes spatiotemporal co-location instead of compresence or coinstantiation as the feature by which we can identify genuine bundles. The novel theory, bundle theory with kinds, is compared with Paul’s mereological bundle theory and applied to a case study concerning entangled fermions and co-located bosons.
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This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, grant agreement No 771509. All project outputs are published Open Access. Website photo credit: Matt Lincoln Photography
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