Writing the Book of the World

Research output: Book/ReportBook

877 Scopus citations


In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. One must also use the right concepts - including the right logical concepts. One must use concepts that carve at the joints', that give the world's *structure*. There is an objectively correct way to "write the book of the world". Metaphysics, as traditionally conceived, is about the fundamental nature of reality; in the present terms, metaphysics is about the world's structure. Metametaphysics - inquiry into the status of metaphysical questions - turns on structure. The question of whether ontological, causal, or modal questions are "substantive" is in large part a question of whether the world has ontological, causal, and modal structure - whether quantifiers, causal relations, and modal operators carve at the joints.

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages336
ISBN (Electronic)9780191732096
ISBN (Print)9780199697908
StatePublished - Nov 24 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Arts and Humanities(all)


  • Carving at the joints
  • Fundamentality
  • Ground
  • Metametaphysics
  • Metaontology
  • Natural property
  • Objectivity
  • Realism
  • Structure
  • Substantivity


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