Two Kinds of Discovery: An Ontological Account

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


What can we discover? As the discussion in this Chapter is limited to ontological considerations, it does not deal with the discovery of new concepts. It raises the following question: What are the entities or existents that we can discover? There are two kinds of such entities: (1) actual entities and (2) possible entities, which are individual pure possibilities. The Chapter explains why the first kind of discovery depends primarily on the second kind. The Chapter illustrates the discoveries of individual pure possibilities by presenting examples such as the Higgs particle, Dirac’s positron, and Pauli-Fermi’s neutrino.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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