In many different ontological debates, anti-arbitrariness considerations push one towards two opposing extremes. For example, in debates about mereology, one may be pushed towards a maximal ontology (mereological universalism) or a minimal ontology (mereological nihilism), because any intermediate view seems objectionably arbitrary. However, it is usually thought that anti-arbitrariness considerations on their own cannot decide between these maximalist or minimalist views. I will argue that this is a mistake. Anti-arbitrariness arguments may be used to motivate a certain popular thesis in the philosophy of mathematics that rules out the maximalist view in many different ontological debates.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- abstract objects
- indefinite extensibility