Ways of Being

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Abstract

Ontological pluralism is the view that there are ways of being. Ontological pluralism is enjoying a revival in contemporary metaphysics. We want to say that there are numbers, fictional characters, impossible things, and holes. But, we don’t think these things all exist in the same sense as cars and human beings. If they exist or have being at all, then they have different ways of being. Fictional characters exist as objects of make-believe and holes exist as absences in objects. But, human beings and cars exist in a much more robust sense. What are ways of being? Why should be believe in them and what should we believe about them? This short essay provides an overview of the recent revival of ways of being and explores some of the surrounding issues.

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