Heil’s Two-Category Ontology and Causation

Erkenntnis 80 (5):1091-1099 (2015)
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Abstract

In his recent book, The Universe As We Find It, John Heil offers an updated account of his two-category ontology. One of his major goals is to avoid including relations in his basic ontology. While there can still be true claims positing relations, such as those of the form “x is taller than y” and “x causes y,” they will be true in virtue of substances and their monadic, non-relational properties. That is, Heil’s two-category ontology is deployed to provide non-relational truthmakers for relational truths. This paper challenges the success of Heil’s project with respect to causation. The arguments here are not entirely negative, however. An option is made available to Heil’s ontology so that it might, at least to some extent, regain non-relational causings.

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References found in this work

Getting Causes From Powers.Stephen Mumford & Rani Lill Anjum - 2011 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press. Edited by Rani Lill Anjum.
The Universe as We Find It.John Heil - 2012 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Abstract particulars.Keith Campbell - 1990 - Cambridge, Mass., USA: Blackwell.
Laws in nature.Stephen Mumford - 2004 - New York: Routledge.
The Mind in Nature.C. B. Martin - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.

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