Harmless, but necessary? (ontological commitments)

Are there ontological commitments we need to make (namely, to posit that something exists, or is part of our conceptual furniture, or methodological construal…) such that we cannot be without them, even if they seem weird, or pointless?

Destre threw some suggestions at me:

1. Causality – Do we need it?
2. The ’empty set’ – Do we need it?
3. Composites (as opposed to atoms) – Do we need it?
4. Atoms (indivisible individuals) – Why?
5. An ersatz world?
6. A world other than the actual world?
7. Enduring things?
8. Universals
9. Propositions and/or facts

Some answers to these are trivial (namely, we answer something like “yes, we do need them, what a stupid question!”, but the answer to why, is not so trivial…and to that I ask; why do we need them?



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