Textual Realities

An Aristotelian Realist Ontology of Textual Entities

Bibliographic Entry

Plaisance, Christopher A. "Textual Realities: An Aristotelian Realist Ontology of Textual Entities." Variants: Journal of the European Society for Textual Scholarship 14 (2019): 23–40.


This paper is a study conducted within the domain of textual scholarship, which develops a cartographic ontology of the four primary entity types dealt with by scholars working within this domain: (1) the text, (2) the document, (3) the version, (4) and the work. The specific ontology advanced is an Aristotelian realist treatment of the four entity types, which synthesizes (a) implicit Aristotelian ontologies present in the theoretical textual scholarly works of Greg, Tanselle, and Shillingsburg, with (b) explicit Aristotelian ontologies of textual entities put forward by Gracia and Bruin, to (c) develop a novel position that best describes the realities of these four entity types within two specific Aristotelian ontological frameworks: (1) the fourfold model of causation, and (2) the substance/accidence theory.


textual theory, ontology, Aristotelian realism