Structure and Completeness: A Defense of Factualism in Categorial Ontology

  • Javier CumpaEmail author


The aim of this paper is to offer two novel solutions to two perennial problems of categorial ontology, namely, the problem of the categorial structure: how are the categories related to one another? And the problem of categorial completeness: how is the completeness of a proposed list of categories justified? First, I argue that a system of categories should have a structure such that there is a most basic category that is a bearer of all other categories and that has what I shall call “combinatorial conditions”. To do so, I compare this approach to categorial structure with the approaches given by substantialist (Heil 2012), mereological (Betti 2016), factualist (Armstrong 1997), and geo (Tambassi 2018) ontologies. Second, I argue that the problem of categorial completeness is only a problem for certain ontologies. In this connection, I explore views on categorial completeness proposed by substantialists and geo-ontologists. Lastly, I conclude that factualism does a better job of accounting for categorial structure and categorial completeness than other categorial ontologies.



This article has been made possible thanks to the support provided by the Talent Attraction Program (Project ID: 2016-T1/HUM-1263) from the Consejería de Educación e Investigación de la Comunidad de Madrid.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Complutense University of MadridMadridSpain

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