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reification, hypostatization

christopher hookway

Subject Philosophy » Epistemology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631192589.1993.x


We interpret our world as composed of things or objects. As well as everyday external things and the posits of scientific theory, there are more controversial objects like universals, sense-data, classes and numbers. When we reify objects we accept their existence as distinct things in the world, and this requires us to be able to count them and quantify over them; it also requires us to understand identity statements involving objects of the appropriate kinds. Claims about the existence of particular kinds of objects can be challenged by arguing that we lack criteria for counting them or for evaluating identity statements, and by denying that they contribute to our understanding of our surroundings. See also existence . : From a Logical Point of View ( Cambridge , MA : Harvard University Press , 1953 ), ch. 4 . : Ontological Relativity and Other Essays ( New York : Columbia University Press , 1969 ), ch. 1 . : Theories and Things ( Cambridge , MA : Harvard University Press , 1981 ), ch. 1 . : Pursuit of Truth ( Cambridge , MA : Harvard University Press , 1990 ), ch. 2 . ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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