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  1. Tibor Bárány (2013). “This is Not Art” — Should We Go Revisionist About Works of Art? Proceedings of the European Society for Aesthetics 5:86-99.
    To propose a revisionist ontology of art one has to hold that our everyday intuitions about the identity and persistence conditions of various kinds of artworks can be massively mistaken. In my presentation I defend this view: our everyday intuitions about the nature of art can be (and sometimes are) mistaken. First I reconstruct an influential argument of Amie L. Thomasson (2004; 2005; 2006; 2007a; 2007b) against the fallibility of our intuitive judgments about the identity and persistence conditions of various (...)
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  2. Karen Bennett (2009). Composition, Colocation, and Metaontology. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    The paper is an extended discussion of what I call the ‘dismissive attitude’ towards metaphysical questions. It has three parts. In the first part, I distinguish three quite different versions of dismissivism. I also argue that there is little reason to think that any of these positions is correct about the discipline of metaphysics as a whole; it is entirely possible that some metaphysical disputes should be dismissed and others should not be. Doing metametaphysics properly requires doing metaphysics first. I (...)
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  3. Jiri Benovsky (2011). The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends? European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):491-506.
    Abstract: There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: substantivalism that takes time to be a substance that exists independently of events located in it, and relationism that takes time to be constructed out of events. In this paper, first, I want to make some progress with respect to the debate between these two views, and I do this mainly by examining the strategies they use to face the possibilities of ‘empty time’ and ‘time without change’. As (...)
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  4. Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.) (forthcoming). Ontology After Carnap. Oxford University Press.
    Analytic philosophy is once again in a methodological frame of mind. Nowhere is this more evident than in metaphysics, whose practitioners and historians are actively reflecting on the nature of ontological questions, the status of their answers, and the relevance of contributions both from other areas within philosophy (e.g., philosophical logic, semantics) and beyond (notably, the natural sciences). Such reflections are hardly new: the debate between Willard van Orman Quine and Rudolf Carnap about how to understand and resolve ontological questions (...)
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  5. Anna Brożek (2012). Spory rzeczowe i słowne. Filozofia Nauki 4.
    The main subject of the paper is to present the criteria which help us to establish whether a given ontological controversy (or even a whole dispute) is substantial or merely verbal. Metaphysics is often perceived as a discipline composed of endless disputes with no glimpse of hope for solution. This fact makes many philosophers claim that ontology is nothing more than matter of linguistic choice. In this paper, we argue that there exist certain methodological tools which enable us to establish (...)
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  6. D. Chalmers, D. Manley & R. Wasserman (eds.) (2009). Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
  7. David J. Chalmers (2009). Ontological Anti-Realism. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    The basic question of ontology is “What exists?”. The basic question of metaontology is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ontology? Here ontological realists say yes, and ontological anti-realists say no. (Compare: The basic question of ethics is “What is right?”. The basic question of metaethics is: are there objective answers to the basic question of ethics? Here moral realists say yes, and moral anti-realists say no.) For example, the ontologist may ask: Do numbers exist? The Platonist (...)
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  8. Daniel Cohnitz & Teresa Marques (2014). Disagreements. Erkenntnis 79 (1):1-10.
    This special issue of Erkenntnis is devoted to the varieties of disagreement that arise in different areas of discourse, and the consequences we should draw from these disagreements, either concerning the subject matter and its objectivity, or concerning our own views about this subject matter if we learn, for example, that an epistemic peer disagrees with our view. In this introduction we sketch the background to the recent philosophical discussions of these questions, and the location occupied therein by the articles (...)
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  9. Chris Daly & David Liggins, Hirsch's Charity Argument Against Revisionary Ontology.
    Eli Hirsch argues that metaphysical debates about material composition are merely verbal and the ontologists who take part in them are talking past each other. According to Hirsch, 'there is no uniquely best ontological language with which to describe the world', a doctrine he calls 'quantifier variance'. Hirsch argues that if we combine quantifier variance with an appeal to interpretative charity, we reach the conclusion that contemporary debates about composition are merely verbal. Much contemporary metaontological discussion has concerned Hirsch’s doctrine (...)
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  10. Cian Dorr, Comments on 'Ontological Anti-Realism'.
    In 1950, Quine inaugurated a strange new way of talking about philosophy. The hallmark of this approach is a propensity to take ordinary colloquial sentences that all of us utter routinely when we are not thinking about philosophy, or (more often) other sentences that very directly and obviously logically entail such sentences, and treat those sentences (i) as having a clear content, calling for little or no elucidation, and (ii) as proper objects of philosophical controversy. Questions like ‘are there numbers?’ (...)
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  11. Cian Dorr (2005). What We Disagree About When We Disagree About Ontology. In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 234--86.
    In this paper I attempt two things. First, I argue that one can coherently imagine different communities using languages structurally similar to English, but in which the meanings of the quantifiers vary, so that the answers to ontological questions, such as ‘Under what circumstances do some things compose something?’, are different. Second, I argue that nevertheless, one can make sense of the idea that of the various possible assignments of meanings to the quantifiers, one is especially fundamental, so that there (...)
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  12. John Hawthorne (2009). Superficialism in Ontology. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. 213--30.
    draft, forthcoming Chalmers, Manley and Wasserman eds., Metametaphysics.
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  13. Eli Hirsch (2013). Charity to Charity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (1):435-442.
  14. Eli Hirsch (2010). Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology. Oxford University Press.
    A sense of unity -- Basic objects : a reply to Xu -- Objectivity without objects -- The vagueness of identity -- Quantifier variance and realism -- Against revisionary ontology -- Comments on Theodore Sider's four dimensionalism -- Sosa's existential relativism -- Physical-object ontology, verbal disputes, and common sense -- Ontological arguments : interpretive charity and quantifier variance -- Language, ontology, and structure -- Ontology and alternative languages.
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  15. Eli Hirsch (2009). Ontology and Alternative Languages. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. 231--58.
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  16. Eli Hirsch (2008). Ontological Arguments : Interpretive Charity and Quantifier Variance. In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell Pub.. 367--81.
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  17. Eli Hirsch (2005). Physical-Object Ontology, Verbal Disputes, and Common Sense. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 70 (1):67–97.
    Two main claims are defended in this paper: first, that typical disputes in the literature about the ontology of physical objects are merely verbal; second, that the proper way to resolve these disputes is by appealing to common sense or ordinary language. A verbal dispute is characterized not in terms of private idiolects, but in terms of different linguistic communities representing different positions. If we imagine a community that makes Chisholm's mereological essentialist assertions, and another community that makes Lewis's four-dimensionalist (...)
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  18. Eli Hirsch (2002). Against Revisionary Ontology. Philosophical Topics 30 (1):103-127.
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  19. John Horden (2014). Ontology in Plain English. Philosophical Quarterly 64 (255):225-242.
    In a series of papers, Eli Hirsch develops a deflationary account of certain ontological debates, specifically those regarding the composition and persistence of physical objects. He argues that these debates are merely verbal disputes between philosophers who fail to correctly express themselves in a common language. To establish the truth in plain English about these issues, Hirsch contends, we need only listen to the assertions of ordinary speakers and interpret them charitably. In this paper, I argue that Hirsch's conclusions rest (...)
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  20. Nurbay Irmak (2013). The Privilege of the Physical and the Status of Ontological Debates. Philosophical Studies 166 (1 Supplement):1-18.
    Theodore Sider in his latest book provides a defense of the substantivity of the first-order ontological debates against recent deflationary attacks. He articulates and defends several realist theses: (a) nature has an objective structure, (b) there is an objectively privileged language to describe the structure, and (c) ontological debates are substantive. Sider’s defense of metaontological realism, (c), crucially depends on his realism about fundamental languages, (b). I argue that (b) is wrong. As a result, Sider’s metaontological realism fails to establish (...)
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  21. Brendan Balcerak Jackson (2013). Metaphysics, Verbal Disputes and the Limits of Charity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 86 (2):412-434.
    Intuitively, (1)-(3) seem to express genuine claims (true or false) about what the world is like, attempts to correctly describe parts of extra-linguistic reality. By contrast, it is tempting to regard (4)-(6) as merely reflecting decisions (or conventions, or dispositions, or rules) concerning the terms in which that extra-linguistic reality is described, decisions about which things to label with 'vixen', 'bachelor' or 'cup'.
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  22. Brendan Balcerak Jackson (2013). Verbal Disputes and Substantiveness. Erkenntnis (1):1-24.
    One way to challenge the substantiveness of a particular philosophical issue is to argue that those who debate the issue are engaged in a merely verbal dispute. For example, it has been maintained that the apparent disagreement over the mind/brain identity thesis is a merely verbal dispute, and thus that there is no substantive question of whether or not mental properties are identical to neurological properties. The goal of this paper is to help clarify the relationship between mere verbalness and (...)
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  23. Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.) (2005). Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Clarendon Press.
    This volume represents a major benchmark in the debate: it brings together an impressive international team of contributors, whose essays (all but one of them ...
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  24. Rogier De Langhe (2013). Peer Disagreement Under Multiple Epistemic Systems. Synthese 190 (13):2547-2556.
    In a situation of peer disagreement, peers are usually assumed to share the same evidence. However they might not share the same evidence for the epistemic system used to process the evidence. This synchronic complication of the peer disagreement debate suggested by Goldman (In Feldman R, Warfield T (eds) (2010) Disagreement. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 187–215) is elaborated diachronically by use of a simulation. The Hegselmann–Krause model is extended to multiple epistemic systems and used to investigate the role of (...)
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  25. David Ludwig (2013). Disagreement in Scientific Ontologies. Journal for General Philosophy of Science (1):1-13.
    The aim of this article is to discuss the nature of disagreement in scientific ontologies in the light of case studies from biology and cognitive science. I argue that disagreements in scientific ontologies are usually not about purely factual issues but involve both verbal and normative aspects. Furthermore, I try to show that this partly non-factual character of disagreement in scientific ontologies does not lead to a radical deflationism but is compatible with a “normative ontological realism.” Finally, I argue that (...)
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  26. David Manley (2009). When Best Theories Go Bad. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 78 (2):392-405.
    It is common for contemporary metaphysical realists to adopt Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment while at the same time repudiating his ontological pragmatism. Drawing heavily from the work of others--especially Joseph Melia and Stephen Yablo--I will argue that the resulting approach to metaontology is unstable. In particular, if we are metaphysical realists, we need not accept ontological commitment to whatever is quantified over by our best first-order theories.
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  27. Kris McDaniel (2009). Ways of Being. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    There are different ways to be. This paper explicates and defends this controversial thesis. Special attention is given to the meta-ontology of Martin Heidegger. -/- .
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  28. Matthew McGrath (2008). Conciliatory Metaontology and the Vindication of Common Sense. Noûs 42 (3):482-508.
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  29. Jesse M. Mulder (2012). What Generates the Realism/Anti-Realism Dichotomy? Philosophica 84 (1):53-84.
    The most basic divide amongst analytic metaphysicians separates realists from anti-realists. By examining certain characteristic and problematic features of these two families of views, we uncover their underlying metametaphysicalorientations, which turn out to coincide. This shared philosophical picture that underlies both the realist and the anti-realist project we call the Modern Picture. It rests on a crucial distinction between reality as it is for us and reality as it is in itself. It is argued that this distinction indeed generates the (...)
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  30. Bryan Pickel & Nicholas Mantegani (2012). A Quinean Critique of Ostrich Nominalism. Philosophers' Imprint 12 (6).
    Ostrich nominalists often cite Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment in order to claim that their view is more parsimonious than rival positions in ontology such as realism. We show that Quine’s criterion, properly understood, does not support this claim. Indeed, we show that ostrich nominalism has a far more profligate ontology than realism.
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  31. Alan Sidelle (2007). The Method of Verbal Dispute. Philosophical Topics 35 (1/2):83-113.
    The idea that disputes which are heated, and apparently important, may nonetheless be 'merely verbal' or 'just semantic' is surely no stranger to any philosopher. I urge that many disputes, both in and out of philosophy, are indeed plausibly considered verbal, and that it would repay us to more frequently consider whether they are so or not. Asking this question is what I call ‘The Method of Verbal Dispute’. Neither the notion nor the method of verbal dispute is new. What (...)
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  32. Theodore Sider (2013). Précis of Writing the Book of the World. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):706-708.
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  33. Theodore Sider (2011). Writing the Book of the World. Oxford University Press.
    In order to perfectly describe the world, it is not enough to speak truly. In this ambitious and ground-breaking book, Theodore Sider argues that for a representation to be fully successful, truth is not enough; the representation must also use the right concepts--concepts that 'carve at the joints'--so that its conceptual structure matches reality's structure. There is an objectively correct way to 'write the book of the world'. Sider's argument begins from the assertion that metaphysics is about the fundamental structure (...)
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  34. Theodore Sider (2009). Ontological Realism. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
    In , Peter van Inwagen asked a good question. (Asking the right question is often the hardest part.) He asked: what do you have to do to some objects to get them to compose something---to bring into existence some further thing made up of those objects? Glue them together or what?1 Some said that you don’t have to do anything.2 No matter what you do to the objects, they’ll always compose something further, no matter how they are arranged. Thus we (...)
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  35. Amie L. Thomasson (2010). The Controversy Over the Existence of Ordinary Objects. Philosophy Compass 5 (7):591-601.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against (...)
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  36. Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (forthcoming). The Endurance/Perdurance Controversy is No Storm in a Teacup. Axiomathes:1-20.
    Several philosophers have maintained in recent years that the endurance/perdurance debate is merely verbal: these prima facie distinct theories of objects’ persistence are in fact metaphysically equivalent, they claim. The present paper challenges this view. Three proposed translation schemes (those set forth by Miller in Erkenntnis 62:91–117, 2005, McCall and Lowe in Noûs 40:570–578, 2006, and Hirsch in Metametaphysics—new essays on the foundations of ontology. Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2009) are examined; all are shown to be faulty. In the process, (...)
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