Object as a determinable

Nicholas Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

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This chapter examines an intriguing and largely explored conception of objecthood, inspired by David Wiggins. On this view, the notion of an individual object is a determinable: there are many different and incompatible ways of being an object, by being one or another determinate kind of object. The view is used to expose the metaphysical and conceptual presuppositions of more familiar conceptions of objecthood, by showing how it undermines the Quinean dichotomy of ontology and ideology. It is then argued that the view allows us to systematise and unify some core components of a broadly Aristotelian metaphysic, including restrictions on de re possibility, as well as non-modal notions of essence and real definition. The focus is exclusively on explicating a conception of objecthood; positive arguments for it must await another occasion.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReality Making
EditorsMark Jago
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)9780198755722
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • essence
  • real definition
  • objecthood
  • Fine
  • determinates and determinables
  • Wiggins
  • ontology
  • de re possibility


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