Published Papers in Peer-Reviewed Journals
Forthcoming: European Journal of Analytic Philosophy
(Co-authored with Davood Hosseini )
Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different ways of being. Historically, ways of being are aligned with the ontological categories. This paper is about to investigate why there is such a connection, and how it should be understood. Ontological pluralism suffers from an objection, according to which ontological pluralism collapses to ontological monism, i.e., there is only one way to be. Admitting to ontological categories can save ontological pluralism from this objection if ways of being ground ontological categories.
This paper deals with the question of what the most appropriate semantic theory for theoretical terms would be. Traditionally, in the contemporary literature of philosophy of language, there have been two widely held semantic theories: the descriptivist theory and the causal theory. Comparing theoretical terms with natural kind terms, I attempt to show that the causal theory of reference applies to natural kinds owing to certain ontological and epistemological assumptions of natural kinds realism. I argue that there is no reason to keep these assumptions with respect to theoretical entities. Consequently, the causal theory of reference cannot be applied to theoretical terms. Instead, because of certain ontological and epistemological features of theoretical entities, the rival semantic theory, i.e., the descriptivist theory of reference, properly explains how the referents of these terms get fixed and how these terms find their referents. The paper is structured as follows: the first part deals with the question of how a theoretical entity/kind should be distinguished from non-theoretical ones. The second part facilitates a comparison between theoretical kinds and natural kinds to reveal the ontological and epistemological features of each category. In the third part, I argue why the causal theory of reference fails to be a plausible semantic for theoretical terms, and why its rival theory, i.e., the descriptivist theory, provides an appropriate semantic for such terms. Finally, I raise two potential objections regarding my proposed view and try to show how these objections can be overcome.
Under Review Papers