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Easy Ontology, Regress, and Holism

Miller, J. T. M. 'Easy Ontology, Regress, and Holism.', Erkenntnis .


In this paper, I distinguish between two possible versions of Amie Thomasson’s easy ontology project that differ in virtue of positing atomic or holistic application conditions, and evaluate the strengths of a holistic version over a non-holistic version. In particular, I argue that neither of the recently identified regress or circularity problems are troublesome for the supporter of easy ontology if they adopt a holistic account of application conditions. This is not intended to be a defence of easy ontology from all possible objections, but rather to compare holistic and non-holistic versions of the view. This discussion is also significant in that it serves to highlight two distinct forms of easy ontology, which, I argue, need to be distinguished when assessing the merits of the easy approach in future work.

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Publisher statement:Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Date accepted:31 May 2021
Date deposited:11 June 2021
Date of first online publication:10 June 2021
Date first made open access:11 June 2021

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