The Universe As We Find It

The Universe As We Find It

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What does reality encompass? Is reality exclusively physical? Or does reality include nonphysical -mental, and perhaps 'abstract' -aspects? What is it to be physical or mental, or to be an abstract entity? What are the elements of being, reality's raw materials? How is the manifest image we inherit from our culture and refine in the special sciences related to the scientific image as we have it in fundamental physics? Can physics be
understood as providing a 'theory of everything', or do the various sciences make up a hierarchy corresponding to autonomous levels of reality? Is our conscious human perspective on the universe in the universe or at its limits? What, if anything, makes ordinary truths, truths of the special sciences, and truths of mathematics true?
And what is it for an assertion or judgment to be 'made true'?
In The Universe As We Find It, John Heil offers answers to these questions framed in terms of a comprehensive ontology of substances and properties inspired by Descartes, Locke, their successors, and their latter day exemplars. Substances are simple, lacking parts that are themselves substances. Properties are modes -particular ways particular substances are -and arrangements of propertied substances serve as truthmakers for all the truths that have truthmakers. Heil argues that the
deep story about the nature of these truthmakers can only be told by fundamental physics.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 326 pages
  • 164 x 240 x 25mm | 658g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0199596204
  • 9780199596201
  • 1,132,753

Table of contents

Preface ; 1. Introduction ; 2. Substance ; 3. Substance Stressed ; 4. Properties ; 5. Universals ; 6. Causing ; 7. Relations ; 8. Truthmaking ; 9. Reduction, Kinds, and Essences ; 10. Mind and Mentality ; 11. Conscious Experience ; 12. Conscious Thought ; 13. The Ontological Turn ; References ; Index
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Review quote

The book is a pleasure to read, fun and provocative, and the historical breadth of the discussion is a welcome contrast to much in contemporary metaphysics. I highly recommend it. * Alyssa Ney, British Journal of Philosophy of Science * masterful. It is a paradigmatic example of serious ontology. It is clearly argued, full of insights, and provocative. The list of topics covered is just impressive... * Javier Cumpa, Metascience * the book is an enquiry that reaches beyond the universe as we find it, and even beyond the universe as our best discoveries and scientific theories say it is * Barry Stroud, Times Literary Supplement * Heil's analytically rigorous yet nondogmatic treatment of the subject deserves careful study. * L. B. McHenry, CHOICE *
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About John Heil

John Heil is Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St Louis and Honorary Research Associate at Monash University. He works primarily on topics in metaphysics and the philosophy of mind and is author of From an Ontological Point of View (Oxford, 2003), Philosophy of Mind: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge, 2012), The Nature of True Minds (Cambridge, 1992), and Perception and Cognition (California,
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.6 out of 5 stars
5 10% (1)
4 50% (5)
3 30% (3)
2 10% (1)
1 0% (0)
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