In Defense of Quinean Ontological Naturalism

Erkenntnis 76 (2):225-242 (2012)
Abstract
Quinean Ontological Naturalism addresses the question “What is there?” Advocates of the view maintain that we can answer this question by applying Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment to our best scientific theories. In this paper, I discuss two major objections that are commonly offered to this view, what I call the “Paraphrase Objection” and “First Philosophy Objection”. I argue that these objections arise from a common uncharitable characterization of the Quinean Ontological Naturalist’s project that fails to distinguish two distinct roles for Quine’s Criterion, a descriptive role and a normative role. The objections target the descriptive role, but only the normative role is important to Quinean Ontological Naturalism
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    References found in this work BETA
    William P. Alston (1958). Ontological Commitments. Philosophical Studies 9 (1-2):8 - 17.
    Jody Azzouni (1998). On "on What There Is". Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1):1–18.

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