About this topic
Summary For Quine, 'to be is to be the value of a variable': serious theoretical claims about what there is, or what exists, are most perspicuously articulated using the quantifier of first-order logic. On this view, one incurs ontological commitment to whatever one's first-order theory quantifies over. Others have different attitudes towards the relationship between ontological inquiry and first-order quantification, including: those who claim that being is distinct from existence; those who hold that other expressions (e.g. predicates) can incur ontological commitment; those who reject the idea that all serious talk about being and existence can be captured by the first-order quantifier, and those who deny that first-order languages are the best vehicles for articulating metaphysical theories. 
Key works Meinong 1904 Quine 1951 Alston 1958 Quine 1953 Routley 1982 Boolos 1984 Lewis 1990 Melia 1995 Yablo 1998 Azzouni 1998 Rayo & Yablo 2001 Manley 2009   
Introductions Rayo 2007 Hofweber 2005 van Inwagen 2009
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305 found
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1 — 50 / 305
  1. The Epistemic Role of our Ontological Scheme - Arguments (draft).Julian Manuel Galvez Bunge - manuscript
    Arguments for a theory about the nature of the ontological categories, the relations that determine them and their epistemic role in the construction of different kinds of limited, but true knowledge of reality in itself.
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  2. Metaphysics: Study of Categories as Manners of Existence.Jani Hakkarainen - manuscript
    In this talk, I propose a new account of ontological form, formal ontological relations, modes of being and hence of specifying the subject matter of metaphysics.
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  3. Meinongian Merits and Maladies.Samuel Hoadley-Brill - manuscript
    According to what has long been the dominant school of thought in analytic meta-ontology––defended not only by W. V. O. Quine, but also by Bertrand Russell, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, and many others––the meaning of ‘there is’ is identical to the meaning of ‘there exists.’ The most (in)famous aberration from this view is advanced by Alexius Meinong, whose ontological picture has endured extensive criticism (and borderline abuse) from several subscribers to the majority view. Meinong denies the identity of being (...)
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  4. Why Care About What There Is?Daniel Z. Korman - manuscript
    There’s the question of what there is, and then there’s the question of what ultimately exists. Many contend that, once we have this distinction clearly in mind, we can see that there is no sensible debate to be had about whether there are such things as properties or tables or numbers, and that the only ontological question worth debating is whether such things are ultimate (in one or another sense). I argue that this is a mistake. Taking debates about ordinary (...)
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  5. Keeping Up Appearances: A Reducer's Guide.David Manley - manuscript
    Metaphysicians with reductive theories of reality like to say how those theories account for ordinary usage and belief. A typical strategy is to offer theoretical sentences, often called ‘paraphrases’, to serve in place of various sentences that occur in ordinary talk. But how should we measure success in this endeavor? Those of us who undertake it usually have a vague set of theoretical desiderata in mind, but we rarely discuss them in detail. My purpose in this paper is to say (...)
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  6. Modal Realism and the Meaning of 'Exist'.T. Parent - manuscript
    Here I first raise an argument purporting to show that Lewis’ Modal Realism ends up being entirely trivial. But although I reject this line, the argument reveals how difficult it is to interpret Lewis’ thesis that possibilia “exist.” Five natural interpretations are considered, yet upon reflection, none appear entirely adequate. On the three different “concretist” interpretations of ‘exist’, Modal Realism looks insufficient for genuine ontological commitment. Whereas, on the “multiverse” interpretation, Modal Realism acknowledges physical possibilities only--and worse, (assuming either axiom (...)
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  7. A Quantificational Analysis of the Liar Paradox.Matheus Silva - manuscript
    It seems that the most common strategy to solve the liar paradox is to argue that liar sentences are meaningless and, consequently, truth-valueless. The other main option that has grown in recent years is the dialetheist view that treats liar sentences as meaningful, truth-apt and true. In this paper I will offer a new approach that does not belong in either camp. I hope to show that liar sentences can be interpreted as meaningful, truth-apt and false, but without engendering any (...)
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  8. Existence, quantification, and shallow ontology.Matti Eklund - manuscript
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  9. Linceo e la presbiopia ontologica. Considerazioni sul nominalismo di Achille Varzi.Francesco F. Calemi - forthcoming - Isonomía. Revista de Teoría y Filosofía Del Derecho.
    According to Varzi's nominalism properties are typical examples of ontological hallucinations. In this brief paper I'll focus on an interesting argument that Varzi puts forward against the Realists’ tenet according to which predicates have properties as ontological correlates. I’ll argue that even if Varzi's argument is not convincing, the metalinguistic nominalism he espouses has sufficient resources to meet the realists' challenge concerning the phenomenon of predication. Furthermore, I'll make some methodological remarks about the relationship holding between the «dot quote» analysis (...)
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  10. A Counterexample to Deflationary Nominalism.Nicholas Danne - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
    According to Jody Azzouni’s “deflationary nominalism,” the singular terms of mathematical language applied or unapplied to science refer to nothing at all. What does exist, Azzouni claims, must satisfy the quaternary condition he calls “thick epistemic access”. In this paper I argue that TEA surreptitiously reifies some mathematical entities. The mathematical entity that I take TEA to reify is the Fourier harmonic, an infinite-duration monochromatic sinusoid applied throughout engineering and physics. I defend the reality of the harmonic, in Azzouni’s account, (...)
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  11. Symmetry and Hybrid Contingentism.Maegan Fairchild - forthcoming - In Peter Fritz & Nicholas K. Jones (eds.), Higher-order Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This paper outlines a defense of hybrid contingentism: that it is contingent which individuals there are, but not contingent what properties there are. Critics pursue two main lines of complaint. First, that the hybrid contingentist’s treatment of haecceitistic properties is metaphysically mysterious, and second, that hybrid contingentism involves an unjustified asymmetry in the associated modal logic. I suggest that these complaints may be too quick, at least in the setting of higher-order metaphysics. It is not at all obvious whether and (...)
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  12. A Puzzle About Parsimony.Peter Finocchiaro - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    In this paper, I argue for the instability of an increasingly popular position about how metaphysicians ought to regard parsimony. This instability is rooted in an unrecognized tension between two claims. First, we as metaphysicians ought to minimize the number of ontological kinds we posit. Second, it is not the case that we ought to minimize the number of ideological expressions we employ, especially when those expressions are of the same ideological kind (e.g. the compositional predicates "is a part of" (...)
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  13. Two Conceptions of Absolute Generality.Salvatore Florio & Nicholas K. Jones - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    What is absolutely unrestricted quantification? We distinguish two theoretical roles and identify two conceptions of absolute generality: maximally strong generality and maximally inclusive generality. We also distinguish two corresponding kinds of absolute domain. A maximally strong domain contains every potential counterexample to a generalisation. A maximally inclusive domain is such that no domain extends it. We argue that both conceptions of absolute generality are legitimate and investigate the relations between them. Although these conceptions coincide in standard settings, we show how (...)
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  14. Higher-order logic as metaphysics.Jeremy Goodman - forthcoming - In Peter Fritz & Jones Nicholas (eds.), Higher-Order Metaphysics. Oxford University Press.
    This chapter offers an opinionated introduction to higher-order formal languages with an eye towards their applications in metaphysics. A simply relationally typed higher-order language is introduced in four stages: starting with first-order logic, adding first-order predicate abstraction, generalizing to higher-order predicate abstraction, and finally adding higher-order quantification. It is argued that both β-conversion and Universal Instantiation are valid on the intended interpretation of this language. Given these two principles, it is then shown how we can use pure higher-order logic to (...)
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  15. Fictional Domains.Dominic Gregory - forthcoming - Noûs.
    (Open Access.) Quantifiers frequently figure in works of fiction. But occurrences of quantificational expressions within fictions seem no more inevitably to be associated with real domains than uses of names within fictions seem inevitably to be associated with existing referents. The paper outlines some philosophical puzzles resulting from this apparent lack of associated domains, puzzles that are broadly analogous to more familiar ones raised by the apparently nonreferential nature of many fictional names. The paper argues, in the light of an (...)
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  16. Quantification and ontological commitment.Nicholas K. Jones - forthcoming - In Anna Sofia Maurin & Anthony Fisher (eds.), Routledge Handbook on Properties.
    This chapter discusses ontological commitment to properties, understood as ontological correlates of predicates. We examine the issue in four metaontological settings, beginning with an influential Quinean paradigm on which ontology concerns what there is. We argue that this naturally but not inevitably avoids ontological commitment to properties. Our remaining three settings correspond to the most prominent departures from the Quinean paradigm. Firstly, we enrich the Quinean paradigm with a primitive, non-quantificational notion of existence. Ontology then concerns what exists. We argue (...)
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  17. Review of The Metaphysics of Relations, Edited by Marmodoro & Yates, OUP, 2015. [REVIEW]Fraser MacBride - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    In this review I take to task the related views of E.J. Lowe, John Heil and Peter Simons according to which relations don't exist because they're dispensable qua truth-makers. I argue that this view is methodologically unstable because we also have reason to believe that relations exist because our best mathematical and scientific theories say so, i.e. quantify over them.
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  18. Special Quantification: Substitutional, Higher-Order, and Nominalization Approaches.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Anthony Savile & Alex Grzankowski (eds.), Festschrift for Mark Sainsbury.
    Prior’s problem consists in the impossibility of replacing clausal complements of most attitude verbs by ‘ordinary’ NPs; only ‘special quantifiers’ that is, quantifiers like 'something' permit a replacement, preserving grammaticality or the same reading of the verb: (1) a. John claims that he won. b. ??? John claims a proposition / some thing. c. John claims something. In my 2013 book Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, I have shown how this generalizes to nonreferential complements of various other (...)
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  19. I Think; Therefore, I am a Fiction.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. New York:
    The Cartesian thinking self may seem indisputably real. But if it is real, then so thinking, which would undercut mental fictionalism. Thus, in defense of mental fictionalism, this paper argues for fictionalism about the thinking self. In short form, the argument is: (1) If I exist outside of fiction, then I am identical to (some part of/) this biomass [= my body]. (2) If I die at t, I cease to exist at t. (3) If I die at t, no (...)
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  20. Ontological Commitment and Quantifiers.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York: Routledge.
    This is a slightly opinionated review of three main factions in metaontology: Quineans, Carnapians, and Meinongians. Emphasis is given to the last camp, as the metaontological aspect of Meinongianism has been underappreciated. The final section then offers some general remarks about the legitimacy of ontology, touching on ideas I have developed in other publications.
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  21. On what there is in particular.Jonathan D. Payton - forthcoming - Analysis.
    Quine says that ontology is about what there is, suggesting that to be ontologically committed to Fs is to be committed to accepting a sentence which existentially quantifies over Fs. Kit Fine argues that this gets the logical form of some ontological theses wrong. Fine is right that some ontological theses cannot be rendered simply as ‘There are Fs’. But the root of the problem has yet to be recognized, either by Fine or by his critics. Sometimes to adopt an (...)
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  22. Thought and Talk in a Generous World.Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    The problem of the many seems to problematize the platitude that we can think about particular things in the world. How is it that, given how very many cat-like candidates there are, we often manage to think and talk about a particular cat? I argue that this challenge stems from an under-examined assumption about the relationship between metaphysics and intentionality. I explore and develop a way of characterizing what it is to think and talk about the world, according to which (...)
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  23. Engineering Existence?Lukas Skiba - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper investigates the connection between two recent trends in philosophy: higher-orderism and conceptual engineering. Higher-orderists use higher-order quantifiers (in particular quantifiers binding variables that occupy the syntactic positions of predicates) to express certain key metaphysical doctrines, such as the claim that there are properties. I argue that, on a natural construal, the higher-orderist approach involves an engineering project concerning, among others, the concept of existence. I distinguish between a modest construal of this project, on which it aims at engineering (...)
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  24. Quantifier Variance, Vague Existence, and Metaphysical Vagueness.Rohan Sud - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    This paper asks: Is the quantifier variantist committed to metaphysical vagueness? My investigation of this question goes via a study of vague existence. I’ll argue that the quantifier variantist is committed to vague existence and that the vague existence posited by the variantist requires a puzzling sort of metaphysical vagueness. Specifically, I distinguish between (what I call) positive and negative metaphysical vagueness. Positive metaphysical vagueness is (roughly) the claim that there is vagueness in the world; negative metaphysical vagueness is (roughly) (...)
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  25. Nothing, Everything, Something!Achille C. Varzi - forthcoming - In The Meaning of Something. Rethinking the Logic and the Unity of Metaphysics. Springer.
    Universalist and nihilist answers to philosophical questions may be extreme, but they are clear enough. Aliquidist answers, by contrast, are typically caught between the Scylla of vagueness and indeterminacy and the Charybdis of ungroundedness and arbitrariness, and steering a proper middle course—saying exactly where in the middle one is going to settle—demands exceptional navigating powers. I myself tend to favor extreme answers precisely for this reason. Here, however, I consider one sense in which Something may claim superiority over its polar (...)
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  26. Ontological disagreements, reference, and charity: A challenge for Hirsch's deflationism.Delia Belleri - 2022 - Theoria 88 (5):982-996.
    Eli Hirsch argues that certain ontological disputes involve a conflict between “equivalent” languages, and that the principle of charity compels each disputant to interpret the other as speaking truly in their own language. For Hirsch, a language’s semantics maps sentences (in context) onto sets of possible worlds but assigns no role to reference. I argue that this method leads to an overly uncharitable portrayal of the disputes at issue – whereby ontologists who speak “equivalent” languages can only argue about syntax. (...)
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  27. Quantifier Variance, Mathematicians’ Freedom and the Revenge of Quinean Indispensability Worries.Sharon Berry - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (5):2201-2218.
    Invoking a form of quantifier variance promises to let us explain mathematicians’ freedom to introduce new kinds of mathematical objects in a way that avoids some problems for standard platonist and nominalist views. In this paper I’ll note that, despite traditional associations between quantifier variance and Carnapian rejection of metaphysics, Siderian realists about metaphysics can naturally be quantifier variantists. Unfortunately a variant on the Quinean indispensability argument concerning grounding seems to pose a problem for philosophers who accept this hybrid. However (...)
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  28. Generality.Nils Kürbis - 2022 - In Nils Kürbis, Jonathan Nassim & Bahram Assadian (eds.), Knowledge, Number and Reality. Encounters with the Work of Keith Hossack. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 161-176.
    Hossack's 'The Metaphysics of Knowledge' develops a theory of facts, entities in which universals are combined with universals or particulars, as the foundation of his metaphysics. While Hossack argues at length that there must be negative facts, facts in which the universal 'negation' is combined with universals or particulars, his conclusion that there are also general facts, facts in which the universal 'generality' is combined with universals, is reached rather more swiftly. In this paper I present Hossack with three arguments (...)
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  29. Motivating a Pragmatic Approach to Naturalized Social Ontology.Richard Lauer - 2022 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 53 (4):403–419.
    Recent contributions to the philosophy of the social sciences have motivated ontological commitments using appeals to the social sciences (_naturalized_ social ontologies). These arguments rely on social scientific realism about the social sciences, the view that our social scientific theories are approximately true. I apply a distinction formulated in metaontology between ontologically loaded and unloaded meanings of existential quantification to argue that there is a pragmatic approach to naturalized social ontology that is minimally realist (it treats existence claims as true (...)
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  30. Ruth Barcan Marcus’s Role in the Mid-Twentieth Century Debates on Analyticity and Ontology.Gregory Lavers - 2022 - In J. Peijnenburg & S. Verhaegh (eds.), Women in the History of Analytic Philosophy. pp. 247-272.
    Quine’s ‘Two Dogmas of Empiricism’ is generally seen as overturning Carnap’s epistemological picture of mathematics and the sciences. However, I wish to stress how this paper grew out of arguments not having anything to do with large-scale epistemological concerns, but ones originally presented against quantified modal logic. Quine thought he could demonstrate the impossibility of adding anything like ordinary quantification to modal logic, but Barcan Marcus did exactly this. In fact, as I will argue, ‘Two Dogmas ...’ can be seen (...)
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  31. The structuralist approach to underdetermination.Chanwoo Lee - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    This paper provides an exposition of the structuralist approach to underdetermination, which aims to resolve the underdetermination of theories by identifying their common theoretical structure. Applications of the structuralist approach can be found in many areas of philosophy. I present a schema of the structuralist approach, which conceptually unifies such applications in different subject matters. It is argued that two classic arguments in the literature, Paul Benacerraf’s argument on natural numbers and W. V. O. Quine’s argument for the indeterminacy of (...)
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  32. Truthmaker Noumenalism.Damian Melamedoff-Vosters - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):40-55.
    ABSTRACT One of the core issues where interpreters of Kant disagree concerns his alleged Noumenalism—the claim that the objects of our experience, which are in space and time, are underpinned by entities that are not spatio-temporal and that non-spatio-temporally cause our representations of empirical objects. Although there is much textual evidence in favour of Noumenalism, non-Noumenalists have also gathered a significant number of philosophical and exegetical challenges to such a reading of Kant. I present a novel way of understanding the (...)
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  33. Names, light nouns, and countability.Friederike Moltmann - 2022 - Linguistic Inquiry.
    Making use of Kayne's (2005, 2010) theory of light nouns, this paper argues that light nouns are part of (simple) names and that a mass-count distinction among light nouns explains the behavior of certain types of names in German as mass rather than count. The paper elaborates the role of light nouns with new generalizations regarding their linguistic behavior in quantificational and pronominal NPs, their selection of relative pronouns in German, and a general difference in the support of plural anaphora (...)
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  34. Composition and plethological innocence.Jonathan D. Payton - 2022 - Analysis 82 (1):67-74.
    According to Composition as Identity, a whole is distinct from each of its parts individually, but identical to all of them taken together. It is sometimes claimed that, if you accept CAI, then your belief in a whole is ‘ontologically innocent’ with respect to your belief in its parts. This claim is false. But the defender of CAI can claim a different advantage for her view. Following Agustín Rayo, I distinguish ontology from plethology. I then show that CAI allows us (...)
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  35. Should an Ontological Pluralist Be a Quantificational Pluralist?Byron Simmons - 2022 - Journal of Philosophy 119 (6):324-346.
    Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different fundamental ways of being. Recent defenders of this view—such as Kris McDaniel and Jason Turner—have taken these ways of being to be best captured by semantically primitive quantifier expressions ranging over different domains. They have thus endorsed, what I shall call, quantificational pluralism. I argue that this focus on quantification is a mistake. For, on this view, a quantificational structure—or a quantifier for short—will be whatever part or aspect of reality’s structure (...)
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  36. In Defence of Hybrid Contingentism.Lukas Skiba - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (4):1-30.
    Hybrid contingentism combines first-order contingentism, the view that it is contingent what individuals there are, with higher-order necessitism, the view that it is non-contingent what properties and propositions there are (where these are conceived as entities in the range of appropriate higher-order quantifiers). This combination of views avoids the most delicate problems afflicting alternative contingentist positions while preserving the central contingentist claim that ordinary, concrete entities exist contingently. Despite these attractive features, hybrid contingentism is usually faced with rejection. The main (...)
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  37. Quantifier variance, semantic collapse, and “genuine” quantifiers.Jared Warren - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):745-757.
    Quantifier variance holds that different languages can have unrestricted quantifier expressions that differ in meaning, where an expression is a “quantifier” just in case it plays the right inferential role. Several critics argued that J.H. Harris’s “collapse” argument refutes variance by showing that identity of inferential role is incompatible with meaning variance. This standard, syntactic collapse argument has generated several responses. More recently, Cian Dorr proved semantic collapse theorems to generate a semantic collapse argument against variance. The argument is significantly (...)
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  38. Ramsification and the Ramifications of Prior's Puzzle.Justin D'Ambrosio - 2021 - Noûs 55 (4):935-961.
    Ramsification is a well-known method of defining theoretical terms that figures centrally in a wide range of debates in metaphysics. Prior's puzzle is the puzzle of why, given the assumption that that-clauses denote propositions, substitution of "the proposition that P" for "that P" within the complements of many propositional attitude verbs sometimes fails to preserve truth, and other times fails to preserve grammaticality. On the surface, Ramsification and Prior's puzzle appear to have little to do with each other. But Prior's (...)
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  39. It Takes More than Moore to Answer Existence-Questions.Karl Egerton - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (2):355-366.
    Several recent discussions of metaphysics disavow existence-questions, claiming that they are metaphysically uninteresting because trivially settled in the affirmative by Moorean facts. This is often given as a reason to focus metaphysical debate instead on questions of grounding. I argue that the strategy employed to undermine existence-questions fails against its usual target: Quineanism. The Quinean can protest that the formulation given of their position is a straw man: properly understood, as a project of explication, Quinean metaphysics does not counsel us (...)
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  40. Collapse and the Varieties of Quantifier Variance.Matti Eklund - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology.
    The aim of the paper is to bring clarity regarding the doctrine of quantifier variance (due to Eli Hirsch), and two prominent arguments against this doctrine, the collapse argument and the Eklund-Hawthorne argument. Different versions of the doctrine of quantifier variance are distinguished, and it is shown that the effectiveness of the arguments against it depends on what version of the doctrine is at issue. The metaontological significance of the different versions of the doctrine are also assessed. Roughly, quantifier variance (...)
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  41. A problem for easy ontology.Sybren Heyndels - 2021 - Disputatio 10 (16).
    Thomasson’s easy ontology approach (2015) aims at deflating existence questions through a revival of Carnap’s (1950) distinction between internal and external questions. Importantly, her account depends on an analysis of the ordinary meaning of ‘exist(s)’ as a second-order predicate. I do two things in this paper. First, I show that Thomasson’s analysis fails to do justice to the complexity of the English predicate ‘exist(s)’. Against Thomasson, I argue that there are cases in which ‘exist(s)’ functions as a first-order predicate. Because (...)
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  42. Groundwork for a pragmatics for formalized languages.David Kashtan - 2021 - Semiotica 2021 (240):211-239.
    The use-mention distinction is elaborated into a four-way distinction between use, formal mention, material mention and pragmatic mention. The notion of pragmatic mention is motivated through the problem of monsters in Kaplanian indexical semantics. It is then formalized and applied in an account of schemata in formalized languages.
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  43. Should a higher-order metaphysician believe in properties?David Liggins - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):10017-10037.
    In this paper I take second order-quantification to be a sui generis form of quantification, irreducible to first-order quantification, and I examine the implications of doing so for the debate over the existence of properties. Nicholas K. Jones has argued that adding sui generis second-order quantification to our ideology is enough to establish that properties exist. I argue that Jones does not settle the question of whether there are properties because—like other ontological questions—it is first-order. Then I examine three of (...)
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  44. ‘Quantifier Variance’ Is Not Quantifier Variance.Poppy Mankowitz - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):611-627.
    ABSTRACT There has been recent interest in the idea that, when metaphysicians disagree over the truth of ‘There are numbers’ or ‘Chairs exist’, their dispute is merely verbal. This idea has been taken to motivate quantifier variance, the view that the meanings of quantifier expressions vary across different ontological languages, and that each of these meanings is of equal metaphysical merit. I argue that quantifier variance cannot be upheld in light of natural language theorists’ analyses of quantifier expressions. The idea (...)
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  45. What Counts as a ‘Good’ Metaphysical Language?J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 102-118.
    The objectively best language is intended to refer to some metaphysically privileged language that ‘carves reality at its joints’ perfectly. That is, it is the kind of language that various ‘metaphysical deflationists’ have argued is impossible. One common line of argument amongst deflationists is that we have no means to compare languages that all express true facts about the world in such a way to decide which is ‘better’. For example, the language is physics is not objectively better than the (...)
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  46. The Language of Ontology.James Miller (ed.) - 2021 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
    Metaphysical and ontological debates, concerning what exists and the nature of reality, are perennial features of the philosophical landscape. However, some have argued that ontological debates are non-substantive, pointless, trivial, incoherent, or impossible. Debates about whether tables exist, for example, or about the nature of reality, are taken to be in some way deficient. This has led to a burgeoning literature studying the nature of metaphysical and ontological disputes themselves. One major debate within this context concerns the language of ontology. (...)
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  47. Higher‐order metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Philosophy Compass 16 (10):1-11.
    Subverting a once widely held Quinean paradigm, there is a growing consensus among philosophers of logic that higher-order quantifiers (which bind variables in the syntactic position of predicates and sentences) are a perfectly legitimate and useful instrument in the logico-philosophical toolbox, while neither being reducible to nor fully explicable in terms of first-order quantifiers (which bind variables in singular term position). This article discusses the impact of this quantificational paradigm shift on metaphysics, focussing on theories of properties, propositions, and identity, (...)
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  48. Higher-order metaphysics and the tropes versus universals dispute.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (9):2805-2827.
    Higher-order realists about properties express their view that there are properties with the help of higher-order rather than first-order quantifiers. They claim two types of advantages for this way of formulating property realism. First, certain gridlocked debates about the nature of properties, such as the immanentism versus transcendentalism dispute, are taken to be dissolved. Second, a further such debate, the tropes versus universals dispute, is taken to be resolved. In this paper I first argue that higher-order realism does not in (...)
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  49. Structural Pluralism.Alessandro Torza - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 162-180.
    The chapter introduces and defends structural pluralism: the view that there is a plurality of ways of carving nature at the joints. The first part of the chapter argues that structural pluralism is able to meet a challenge to Ted Sider’s monism about joint-carving. The second part spells out the metaontological consequences of adopting structural pluralism, and shows that the view is compatible with a moderate form of deflationism about ontological disagreement. The third and last part fleshes out a number (...)
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  50. V—The Linguistic Approach to Ontology.Lee Walters - 2021 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 121 (2):127-152.
    What are the prospects for a linguistic approach to ontology? Given that it seems that there are true subject-predicate sentences containing empty names, traditional linguistic approaches to ontology appear to be flawed. I argue that in order to determine what there is, we need to determine which sentences ascribe properties (and relations) to objects, and that there does not appear to be any formal criterion for this. This view is then committed to giving an account of what predicates do in (...)
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