Steps Toward a Computational Metaphysics


Branden Fitelson and Edward N. Zalta


Journal of Philosophical Logic, 36/2 (April 2007): 227–247.


In this paper, the authors describe their initial investigations in computational metaphysics. Our method is to implement axiomatic metaphysics in an automated reasoning system. In this paper, we describe what we have discovered when the theory of abstract objects is implemented in PROVER9 (a first-order automated reasoning system which is the successor to OTTER). After reviewing the second-order, axiomatic theory of abstract objects, we show (1) how to represent a fragment of that theory in PROVER9's first-order syntax, and (2) how PROVER9 then finds proofs of interesting theorems of metaphysics, such as that every possible world is maximal. We conclude the paper by discussing some issues for further research.

[Preprint available online in PDF]