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This book presents a learned and ingenious attempt to understand the origin and nature of philosophical inquiry. It draws on material from numerous disciplines and from all periods of philosophy and provides challenging arguments on a wide range of topics. The author constructs a hierarchy of ontological claims, beginning with perceptual experience, moving to language and science. He traces subtle and unexpected relations among these and concludes by offering a system for classifying philosophical theories which reveals why they take the form they do and why philosophical dispute is ineradicable. The book offers many fresh insights into such topics as the nature of experience, the nature of language and that of philosophy itself. It will interest a wide range of philosophers, in particular those concerned with categorical schemes, grammar and ontology.