Easy Ontology and its Consequences

Amie L. Thomasson
2015 Zenodo  
Stephen Schiffer's recent work in developing a pleonastic account of propositions (and other entities) leads to major, game-changing results in both first-order ontology and meta-ontology. This paper aims to clarify what these consequences are and why they are so important. In my view, the biggest threat to the metaphysical party comes from a view I have elsewhere called the «easy» approach to ontology: Schiffer's arguments for «pleonastic» propositions, properties, fictional characters, states
more » ... characters, states and events; the neo-Fregean's arguments for the existence of numbers; and my own arguments for fictional characters, social and cultural objects, and ordinary objects such as tables and chairs. The paper draws out these three different forms of easy ontology, showing their interrelations, and argues that these approaches really give us a straightforward, out and out realism about the entities in question. On the meta-ontological level however, it suggests that serious ontological debate in metaphysics is confused because its ontological questions have so straightforward answers. This approach may be the most important threat to serious metaphysics but it is also extremely promising as a way of dissolving mysteries and clarifying the epistemology of metaphysics.
doi:10.5281/zenodo.3551739 fatcat:b53cco2qnnbodmmub5iumcvw4q