more from Jan Westerhoff

Single Idea 13135

[catalogued under 7. Existence / E. Categories / 5. Category Anti-Realism]

Full Idea

What ontological category a thing belongs to is not dependent on its inner nature, but dependent on what other things there are in the world, and this is a contingent matter.

Gist of Idea

A thing's ontological category depends on what else exists, so it is contingent


Jan Westerhoff (Ontological Categories [2005], 89)

Book Reference

Westerhoff,Jan: 'Ontological Categories' [OUP 2005], p.218

A Reaction

This is aimed at those, like Wiggins, who claim that category is essential to a thing, and there is no possible world in which that things could belong to another category. Sounds good, till you try to come up with examples.