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Authors
Barry Smith
State University of New York, Buffalo
Abstract
Human cognitive acts are directed towards entities of a wide range of different types. What follows is a new proposal for bringing order into this typological clutter. A categorial scheme for the objects of human cognition should be (1) critical and realistic. Cognitive subjects are liable to error, even to systematic error of the sort that is manifested by believers in the Pantheon of Olympian gods. Thus not all putative object-directed acts should be recognized as having objects of their own. Broadly, the objects towards which human cognition is directed should be parts of reality in a sense that is at least consistent with the truths of natural science. But such a scheme should also be (2) comprehensive: it should do justice to each sort of object on its own terms, and not attempt to eliminate objects of one sort in favour of objects of other, more favoured sorts. Linguistic and other forms of idealism, as well as Meinongian theories, which assign to each and every referring expression or intentional act an object tailored to fit, yield categorial schemes which fail to satisfy (1). Physicalistic and other forms of reductionism yield categorial schemes which fail to satisfy (2). What follows is a categorial scheme that is both critically realistic and comprehensive. Thus it enjoys some of the benefits of linguistic idealism and physicalism, without (or so it is hoped) the corresponding disadvantages of each.
Keywords fiat objects  fiat and bona fide boundaries  mereotology
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References found in this work BETA

Events, Processes, and States.Alexander P. D. Mourelatos - 1978 - Linguistics and Philosophy 2 (3):415 - 434.
Characteristica Universalis.Barry Smith - 1992 - In Kevin Mulligan (ed.), Language, Truth and Ontology. London: Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 48--77.

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Citations of this work BETA

Ontology.Barry Smith - 2003 - In Luciano Floridi (ed.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 155-166.
Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):401-420.
Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
Mereotopology: A Theory of Parts and Boundaries.Barry Smith - 1996 - Data and Knowledge Engineering 20 (3):287–303.
On Drawing Lines on a Map.Barry Smith - 1995 - In A. U. Frank, W. Kuhn & D. M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: Proceedings of COSIT '95. New York: Springer. pp. 475-484.

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Similar books and articles

Fiat Objects.Barry Smith - 2001 - Topoi 20 (2):131-148.
Fiat and Bona Fide Boundaries.Barry Smith & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (2):401-420.
Interactive Fiat Objects.Juan C. González - 2013 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 4 (2):205-217.
On Drawing Lines on a Map.Barry Smith - 1995 - In A. U. Frank, W. Kuhn & D. M. Mark (eds.), Spatial Information Theory: Proceedings of COSIT '95. New York: Springer. pp. 475-484.
Oggetti fiat.Barry Smith - 2002 - Rivista di Estetica 42 (2):58–87.
The Ontology of Fields.Donna Peuquet, Barry Smith & Berit O. Brogaard (eds.) - 1998 - National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis.
Metaphysics.Barry Smith - 2010 - In Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen (ed.), Metaphysics: Five Questions. Automatic Press. pp. 143-158.
Oggetti fiat.Luca Morena & Achille C. Varzi (eds.) - 2002 - Rivista di estetica.
Teoria e pratica dei confini.Achille C. Varzi - 2005 - Sistemi Intelligenti 17 (3):399–418.
Boundaries, Conventions, and Realism.Achille C. Varzi - 2011 - In Michael O'Rourke, Joseph K. Campbell & Matthew H. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Natural Kinds in Metaphysics and Science. MIT Press. pp. 129–153.
Meinongian Objects.David W. Smith - 1975 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 1 (1):43-71.
On Drawing Lines Across the Board.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - In Leo Zaibert (ed.), The Theory and Practice of Ontology. London: Palgrave Macmillian. pp. 45-78.

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