Familiar Objects and their Shadows
Most contemporary metaphysicians are sceptical about the reality of familiar objects such as dogs and trees, people and desks, cells and stars. They prefer an ontology of the spatially tiny or temporally tiny. Tiny microparticles 'dog-wise arranged' explain the appearance, they say, that there are dogs; microparticles obeying microphysics collectively cause anything that a baseball appears to cause; temporal stages collectively sustain the illusion of enduring objects that persist across changes. Crawford L. Elder argues that all such attempts to 'explain away' familiar objects project downwards, onto the tiny entities, structures and features of familiar objects themselves. He contends that sceptical metaphysicians are thus employing shadows of familiar objects, while denying that the entities which cast those shadows really exist. He argues that the shadows are indeed really there, because their sources - familiar objects - are mind-independently real.
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2 Conventionalism as ontological relativism
persistence persistence conditions and natural kinds
4 Ontological preference for the temporally small
5 Ontological preference for microphysical causes
6 Ontological preference for the spatially small
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accidental properties apceans argue argument atoms attunement baseball behavior Being-for-self beliefs and desires belong carples cause chapter characterized claim common sense supposes complex microparticle event compose concept conceptual scheme conjuncts contrast conventionalist courses of persistence D-fusion device diachronic dimensions of difference distinct dog’s dogwise arrangement entities exceptionless laws exdurantism exdurantist explosivism explosivist familiar objects haecceity Hegel Hirsch host’s incar individual instance instantiated intuitively invariance judgements of kind-sameness kind-membership klable located matter mental event mereological essentialism mereological object mereological sum methane mind-independent multivalued variable natural kind natural selection numerical persistence obtain ontological overdetermination particles particular perdurantism persistence conditions philosophers plausible plurality position predicates proponent qualities quarks question relativism Rube Goldberg machines Ruth Millikan samples seems Sider sorts of properties spatially spin strange structural properties subvenes system of sortals t-counterpart relations temporal stage thing tion token treewise true truth conditions typical UMC objects variants virtue Woodward and Hitchcock