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Holes, from a Philosophical Perspective

Philosophers often look for holes in arguments. Some philosophers sometimes also look for holes of any and maybe any kind. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy has a newly updated discussion of this bottomless concept.

The discussion begins by saying:

“Holes are an interesting case study for ontologists and epistemologists. Naive, untutored descriptions of the world treat holes as objects of reference, on a par with ordinary material objects. (‘There are as many holes in the cheese as there are cookies in the tin.’) And we often appeal to holes to account for causal interactions, or to explain the occurrence of certain events. (‘The water ran out because the bucket has a hole.’) Hence there is prima facie evidence for the existence of such entities. Yet it might be argued that reference to holes is just a façon de parler, that holes are mere entia representationis, as-if entities, fictions.”

The publications list you see above is part of a part of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s reference list.


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