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A proposal for a minimalist ontology

Esfeld, Michael (2017) A proposal for a minimalist ontology. [Preprint]

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Abstract

This paper seeks to answer the following question: What is a minimal set of entities that form an ontology of the natural world, given our well-established physical theories? The proposal is that the following two axioms are sufficient to obtain such a minimalist ontology: (1) There are distance relations that individuate simple objects, namely matter points. (2) The matter points are permanent, with the distances between them changing. I sketch out how one can obtain our well-established physical theories on the basis of just these two axioms. The argument for minimalism in ontology then is that it yields all the explanations that one can reasonably demand in science and philosophy, while avoiding the drawbacks that come with a richer ontology.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Esfeld, MichaelMichael-Andreas.Esfeld@unil.ch
Keywords: minimalist ontology, parsimony, Humeanism, relationalism about space-time, ontic structural realism, classical mechanics, quantum physics, Bohmian mechanics
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Depositing User: Michael Esfeld
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2017 13:02
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2017 13:02
Item ID: 13011
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
Specific Sciences > Physics > Quantum Mechanics
Date: 29 April 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13011

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