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Positions, Ordering Relations and O-Roles



This paper first discusses how Russell and Hochberg have addressed some phenomena of relatedness, notably relational order, in a similarly ‘positionalist’ way, yet by appealing to different sorts of formal relations: “positions” in Russell's case and “ordering relations” in Hochberg's. After pointing out some shortcomings of both approaches, the paper then proposes an alternative view based on ‘o-roles’, which are, roughly speaking, ontological counterparts of the thematic roles postulated in linguistics. It is argued that o-roles are sort of middle-of-the-road entities in the sense that they have the virtues of positions and those of ordering relations, without having their respective vices. Some tentative ideas on which o-roles should be acknowledged are also put forward.

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