In Denis Seron, Sebastien Richard & Bruno Leclercq (eds.), Objects and Pseudo-Objects Ontological Deserts and Jungles from Brentano to Carnap. Berlin: De Gruyter. pp. 17-50 (2015)

Anna C. Zielinska
Université de Lorraine
Ontological reism remains a defensible metaphysical position, and Kotarbiński’s unwillingness to propose a more robust defence of his views has some identifiable historical causes, i.e. his post-war engagement in practical philosophy (both praxeology and ethics), more relevant in the context of a war-ravaged country. There is however one more reason why it remains difficult to justify the ontological part of the doctrine. Kotarbiński assumes indeed that “the fundamental justification of concretism is both naively intuitive and ordinarily inductive” (Kotarbiński 1958, 402). Does this mean that no decent philosophical discussion can be proposed in defence of intuitively grasped ideas? Certainly not, as, once again, is shown by the contemporary works on qualia. Ontological reism should be pursued as a negative theory though, not as a positive one. This question of the burden of the proof was raised by Kotarbiński in 1966, surprised by the fact that it is the reist, the one who rejects imaginary entities, who is supposed to bring new evidence in favour of his positions, whereas those who assume their existence do not feel compelled to go beyond intuitive claims. It cannot rely on analysis of language alone, but has to engage in the investigation of the world. This idea is coherent with the naturalistic tendencies of Kotarbiński’s approach, even if they did not yield any substantial results on their own.
Keywords praxiology  reism  nominalism  Lvov-Warsaw School
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DOI 10.1515/9781501501371-003
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