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 2008 van Inwagen 2009
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251 found
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  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. 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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  4. 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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  5. On the Logic of Quantifier Variance.Marcus Rossberg - manuscript
    Eli Hirsch recently suggested the metaontological doctrine of so-called "quantifier variance", according to which ontological disputes—e.g. concerning the question whether arbitrary, possibly scattered, mereological fusions exist, in the sense that these are recognised as objects proper in our ontology—can be defused as insubstantial. His proposal is that the meaning of the quanti er `there exists' varies in such debates: according to one opponent in this dispute, some existential statement claiming the existence of, e.g., a scattered object is true, according to (...)
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  6. Existence, Quantification, and Shallow Ontology.Matti Eklund - manuscript
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  7. 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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  8. Ramsification and the Ramifications of Prior's Puzzle.Justin D'Ambrosio - forthcoming - Noûs.
    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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  9. 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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  10. Why Care About What There Is?Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), The Question of Ontology: The Contemporary Debate. Oxford University Press.
    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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  11. 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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  12. Truthmaker Noumenalism.Damian Melamedoff-Vosters - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    One of the core issues where interpreters of Kant disagree is with regards to Kant’s 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 which 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 (...)
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  13. Names, Light Nouns, and Countability.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - 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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  14. 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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  15. Composition and Plethological Innocence.Jonathan D. Payton - forthcoming - Analysis.
    According to Composition as Identity (CAI), 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 (which concerns what there is) from plethology (which (...)
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  16. Should an Ontological Pluralist Be a Quantificational Pluralist?Byron Simmons - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    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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  17. 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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  18. The Linguistic Approach to Ontology.Lee Walters - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    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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  19. Quantifier Variance, Semantic Collapse, and “Genuine” Quantifiers.Jared Warren - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-13.
    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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  20. 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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  21. Preface to Forenames of God: Enumerations of Ernesto Laclau Toward a Political Theology of Algorithms.Virgil W. Brower - 2021 - Internationales Jahrbuch Für Medienphilosophie 7 (1):243-251.
    Perhaps nowhere better than, "On the Names of God," can readers discern Laclau's appreciation of theology, specifically, negative theology, and the radical potencies of political theology. // It is Laclau's close attention to Eckhart and Dionysius in this essay that reveals a core theological strategy to be learned by populist reasons or social logics and applied in politics or democracies to come. // This mode of algorithmically informed negative political theology is not mathematically inert. It aspires to relate a fraction (...)
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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. ‘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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  28. 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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  29. The Language of Ontology.James Miller (ed.) - 2021 - 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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  30. Higher‐Order Metaphysics.Lukas Skiba - 2021 - Wiley: 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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  31. 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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  32. The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics.Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.) - 2020 - Routledge.
    Philosophical questions regarding the nature and methodology of philosophical inquiry have garnered much attention in recent years. Perhaps nowhere are these discussions more developed than in relation to the field of metaphysics. The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics is an outstanding reference source to this growing subject. It comprises thirty-eight chapters written by leading international contributors, and is arranged around five themes: • The history of metametaphysics • Neo-Quineanism (and its objectors) • Alternative conceptions of metaphysics • The epistemology of metaphysics (...)
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  33. Quine's Metametaphysics.Karl Egerton - 2020 - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. Routledge. pp. 49-60.
    W. V. Quine stands out as one of the foremost figures of twentieth-century analytic philosophy. This chapter aims to show that a significant part of his work’s enduring value lies in its contribution to metametaphysics, which will include showing how some more contentious aspects of Quine’s thought can be seen as indispensable to it; we will problematise the widespread belief that one can isolate basic elements of Quine’s metametaphysics without eroding their warrant. -/- §1 introduces the broad context. §2 examines (...)
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  34. How Many there Are Isn’t.Jonah P. B. Goldwater - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):1037-1057.
    A world where there exists n concrete things is a count-determinate world. The orthodox view is count-determinacy is necessary; if to be is to be the value of a variable and the domain of quantification is enumerable, count-determinacy follows. Yet I argue how many there are can be indeterminate; count-indeterminacy is metaphysically possible and even likely actual. Notably, my argument includes rebuttals of Evans’ reductio of indeterminate identity and the Lewis/Sider ‘argument from vagueness’. Count-indeterminacy should therefore be recognized as another (...)
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  35. Higher-Order Metaphysics and the Tropes Versus Universals Dispute.Lukas Skiba - 2020 - 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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  36. The Fragmentation of Being. [REVIEW]Kelly Trogdon - 2020 - Philosophical Review 129 (1):149-153.
  37. The Fragmentation of Being.Douglas I. Campbell - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (3):634-635.
    This is a review of Kris McDaniel's book, 'The Fragmentation of Being'. In the book McDaniel defends ontological pluralism -- the doctrine that there are multiple 'ways of being' (i.e., multiple modes, or degrees, or orders, or levels, or gradations of existence). In defending ontological pluralism, McDaniel must reject the rival, Quinean position that there is at root just one generic way for a thing to exist: viz., by its falling in the domain of unrestricted quantification. McDaniel argues against Quine (...)
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  38. On Quine's Ontology: Quantification, Extensionality and Naturalism (or From Commitment to Indifference).Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2019 - Proceedings of Ther 3rd Filomena Workshop.
    Much of the ontology made in the analytic tradition of philosophy nowadays is founded on some of Quine’s proposals. His naturalism and the binding between existence and quantification are respectively two of his very influential metaphilosophical and methodological theses. Nevertheless, many of his specific claims are quite controversial and contemporaneously have few followers. Some of them are: (a) his rejection of higher-order logic; (b) his resistance in accepting the intensionality of ontological commitments; (c) his rejection of first-order modal logic; and (...)
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  39. No Metaphysical Disagreement Without Logical Incompatibility.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2019 - Seminário Lógica No Avião - 2013-2018.
    The purpose of this article is to support the logical incompatibility of the opposing views as a criterion for characterizing disagreements as genuinely metaphysical. That is, I intend to argue that a specific dispute is a metaphysical disagreement only when the conflicting views are governed by different logics. If correct, this criterion would not only help to separate merely verbal from genuine metaphysical debates, but it also would ground an argument against deflationism, guaranteeing the substantiality and relevance of metaphysics. I (...)
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  40. The Explosion of Being: Ideological Kinds in Theory Choice.Peter Finocchiaro - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):486-510.
    In this paper, I develop a novel account of ideological kinds. I first present some conceptual territory regarding the use of Occam’s Razor in minimizing ontological commitments. I then present the analogous device for minimizing ideological commitments, what I call the Comb. I argue that metaphysicians ought to use both or none at all. This means that those who endorse a principle of ontological parsimony ought to also endorse some principle of ideological parsimony, where we ought to prefer the metaphysical (...)
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  41. Quantifier Variance and the Demand for a Semantics.Eli Hirsch & Jared Warren - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):592-605.
    In the work of both Matti Eklund and John Hawthorne there is an influential semantic argument for a maximally expansive ontology that is thought to undermine even modest forms of quantifier variance. The crucial premise of the argument holds that it is impossible for an ontologically "smaller" language to give a Tarskian semantics for an ontologically "bigger" language. After explaining the Eklund-Hawthorne argument (in section I), we show this crucial premise to be mistaken (in section II) by developing a Tarskian (...)
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  42. Quantifier Variance.Eli Hirsch & Jared Warren - 2019 - In The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. New York: pp. 349-357.
    Quantifier variance is a well-known view in contemporary metaontology, but it remains very widely misunderstood by critics. Here we briefly and clearly explain the metasemantics of quantifier variance and distinguish between modest and strong forms of variance (Section I), explain some key applications (Section II), clear up some misunderstandings and address objections (Section III), and point the way toward future directions of quantifier-variance-related research (Section IV).
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  43. Quantifier Variance, Ontological Pluralism and Ideal Languages.A. Arturo Javier-Castellanos - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):277-293.
    Kris McDaniel has recently defended a criterion for being an ontological pluralist that classifies the quantifier variantist as one. In this paper, I argue that this is a mistake. There is an important difference between the two views, which is sometimes obscured by a common view in the metaphysics of fundamentality. According to the simple analysis, a language is ideal—it allows for a maximally metaphysically perspicuous description of reality—just in case all its primitives are perfectly natural. I argue that this (...)
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  44. Answering Existence Questions in the Best Language for Inquiry.Eve Kitsik - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):141-156.
    Folk ontology seems baroque, compared to the austere ontology of many philosophers. Plausibly, the issue comes down to a choice between existence concepts: the folk and the austere philosophers employ different quantifier meanings. This paper aims to clarify and defend this hypothesis and explore its upshots. How do we choose between the alternative existence concepts; is the austere philosophers’ concept better than the folk’s undiscriminating one? I will argue that contrary to what Ted Sider suggests, the austere existence concept and (...)
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  45. Easy Ontology Without Deflationary Metaontology.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):236-243.
    This is a contribution to a symposium on Amie Thomasson’s Ontology Made Easy (2015). Thomasson defends two deflationary theses: that philosophical questions about the existence of numbers, tables, properties, and other disputed entities can all easily be answered, and that there is something wrong with prolonged debates about whether such objects exist. I argue that the first thesis (properly understood) does not by itself entail the second. Rather, the case for deflationary metaontology rests largely on a controversial doctrine about the (...)
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  46. Natural Language and its Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian Mclaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 206-232.
    This paper gives a characterization of the ontology implicit in natural language and the entities it involves, situates natural language ontology within metaphysics, and responds to Chomskys' dismissal of externalist semantics.
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  47. Quantification in the Ontology Room.Bradley Rettler - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (4):563-585.
    There is a growing movement towards construing some classic debates in ontology as meaningless, either because the answers seem obvious or the debates seem intractable. In this paper, I respond to this movement. The response has three components: First, the members of the two sides of the ontological debates that dismissivists have targeted are using different quantifiers. Second, the austere ontologist is using a more fundamental quantifier than her opponent. Third, the austere ontologist’s more fundamental quantifier is a restriction of (...)
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  48. Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics, by Thomas Hofweber. [REVIEW]Chad Carmichael - 2018 - Review of Metaphysics 71 (4):810-812.
    A review of Thomas Hofweber's book, Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics.
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  49. Found Guilty by Association: In Defence of the Quinean Criterion.Karl Egerton - 2018 - Ratio 31 (1):37-56.
    Much recent work in metaontology challenges the so-called ‘Quinean tradition’ in metaphysics. Especially prominently, Amie Thomasson argues for a highly permissive ontology over ontologies which eliminate many entities. I am concerned with disputing not her ontological claim, but the methodology behind her rejection of eliminativism – I focus on ordinary objects. Thomasson thinks that by endorsing the Quinean criterion of ontological commitment eliminativism goes wrong; a theory eschewing quantification over a kind may nonetheless be committed to its existence. I argue (...)
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  50. Quantifier Variance Dissolved.Suki Finn & Otávio Bueno - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:289-307.
    Quantifier variance faces a number of difficulties. In this paper we first formulate the view as holding that the meanings of the quantifiers may vary, and that languages using different quantifiers may be charitably translated into each other. We then object to the view on the basis of four claims: (i) quantifiers cannot vary their meaning extensionally by changing the domain of quantification; (ii) quantifiers cannot vary their meaning intensionally without collapsing into logical pluralism; (iii) quantifier variance is not an (...)
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