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Title: Truthmaker Ontology
Author: Fiddaman, Mark
ISNI:       0000 0004 9355 2938
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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Truthmaker Ontology is the metaontological thesis that ontology should be framed as a search for truthmakers: the things in the world in virtue of which true representations are true. This dissertation develops Truthmaker Ontology in new ways, arguing that it offers an attractive mode of thinking about the subject matter and method of ontological inquiry. I begin by arguing that, if ontology is to live up to its aspirations to be a serious enterprise, we must abandon the orthodox view that ontology concerns what there is. The remaining chapters develop Truthmaker Ontology as an alternative. First, I clarify the two central notions on which my version of the approach rests: the truthmaking relation between truths and their truthmakers, and the grounding relation between truths and other truths. I then use these two notions to develop a heterodox view of the subject matter of ontology, whereby ontological status comes apart from what it’s true to say there is. Briefly, what has ontological status is just what makes a contribution as a fundamental truthmaker. Since not everything that can truly be said to exist is a fundamental truthmaker, the question of whether ‘There are Fs’ is true doesn’t settle the ontological question about Fs. Next I turn to questions of method, starting with the methodologically important notion of ontological commitment: the ontological commitments of a theory, I claim, are the entities its holders rationally ought to admit as truthmakers. I then discuss the implications of Truthmaker Ontology for the measure of ontological parsimony, which I compare favourably to the recent view that parsimony only measures a theory’s requirements on what is ontologically basic. I close by consolidating the case for Truthmaker Ontology, arguing that it avoids the pitfalls of orthodoxy and has attractive consequences for some perennial ontological debates.
Supervisor: Rodriguez-Pereyra, Gonzalo Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Ontology ; Truth ; Metaontology ; Philosophy ; Metaphysics ; Reality