Lowe’s ontology vs Surimposium

Lowe is famous author of an ontology with 4 categories: substantial universals (kinds), non-substantial universals (properties), individual substances (objects), instantiations of properties (modes). This classification is not satisfactory, leading to dualism and insoluble questions —why these 4 categories? Surimposium approaches ontology much more simply by placing it in the complex dimension.

In summary: Properties are inseparable from an observer, that is to say from a complex entity which has the means to recognize these properties in its own ontology. There are then two ontological directions: the one which constitutes the entity (the less complex, the more complex form) and the one which observes the constituted entity (the more complex enters into a relationship with the less complex). These directions correspond to the substances and properties at Lowe. Substance and property designate a single physical reality. It is only the direction of the look in the complex dimension that individualizes them.

Lowe sees universals as ideals embedded in reality. He is thus forced to a dualist, Platonic vision of reality, which poses the insurmountable question of the mode of exchange between the space of ideals/universals and local instantiations in reality.

We must abandon this dualism and see universals as complex models (our concepts) seeking each other in reality. The fact that they reveal themselves to our attention in varied circumstances (the phenomenon of multiple realization) does not mean that universals exist independently of physical reality. There is no need to make it a separate category.

The method used by Surimposium is monistic and allows all aspects of reality to be described by simply moving the point of view in the complex dimension.


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