Monday, October 04, 2010

Ordinary Objects

Further to the question of whether or not Chairs Exist, I notice that Amie L. Thomasson’s 2007 book Ordinary Objects is out in paperback next month. Basically, it shows how “the claim that there are ordinary objects can form part of a coherent, reflective metaphysical view built up out of our common sense way of looking at the world, in a way that avoids the philosophical problems that have long been feared to plague a common sense ontology” (pp. 7–8).
......The first problem addressed (pp. 9–24) was that if all such things are made of atoms then there’s causal redundancy, e.g. if it’s really atoms arranged stone-wise that break a window (atoms arranged window-wise) then we shouldn’t also have a stone breaking it. But of course, the former just is the stone breaking it, if all such things are made of atoms. Thomasson’s analysis was more detailed, of course, but still readable, and seems to generalize nicely (e.g. the next section addressed the related issue of epiphenomenalism in the theory of mind).

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