The Ontology of Complex Systems: Levels of Organization, Perspectives, and Causal Thickets

  title={The Ontology of Complex Systems: Levels of Organization, Perspectives, and Causal Thickets},
  author={William C. Wimsatt},
  journal={Canadian Journal of Philosophy},
  • W. Wimsatt
  • Published 1994
  • Philosophy
  • Canadian Journal of Philosophy
Willard van Orman Quine once said that he had a preference for a desert ontology. This was in an earlier day when concerns with logical structure and ontological simplicity reigned supreme. Ontological genocide was practiced upon whole classes of upper-level or "derivative" entities in the name of elegance, and we were secure in the belief that one strayed irremediably into the realm of conceptual confusion and possible error the further one got from ontic fundamentalism. In those days, one… 


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