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Bergmann, Gustav

Erwin Tegtmeier

Pages 93 - 95

Bergmann (1906-1987) argues that the problem of wholes (complexes) is the deepest problem of ontology since solutions to all other problems depend on how we approach the problem of complexes. According to Bergmann, the key element for a solution of the problem of complexes lies in the acknowledgement of a fundamental tie or ‘nexus’ which connects the constituents of a complex. Most ontologists assume a homogeneous fundamental tie, which ties entities of the same category together, while Bergman and some others operate with an inhomogeneous fundamental tie. The inhomogeneous tie is expressed by ‘exemplifies’ as, e.g., in the sentence ‘the apple exemplifies a green colour and an oval shape’. The homogeneous tie has to be expressed by ‘coincides’ as, e.g., in the sentence ‘the qualities green and oval coincide’. Ontologies with homogeneous tie were called bundle views because in them ordinary objects such apples are viewed as bundles of qualities.

1Department of Philosophy, University of Mannheim

1 Bergmann, G., (1967), Realism, Madison: University of Madison Press.

2 Bergmann, G., (1964), “Synthetic Apriori”, in Bergmann, G., Logic and Reality, Madison: University of Madison Press.

3 Bergmann, G., (1964), “The Ontology of Edmund Husserl”, in Bergmann, G.: Logic and Reality, Madison.

4 Goodman, N., (1951), The Structure of Appearance, Cambridge Mass.


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