What we disagree about when we disagree about ontology

In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. 234--86 (2005)
Abstract
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 is still room for genuine debate as regards the answers to ontological questions construed in the fundamental way. My attempt to explain what is distinctive about the fundamental senses of the quantifiers involves a generalisation of the idea that claims of existence are never analytic.<br>.
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Citations of this work BETA
Cian Dorr (2011). Physical Geometry and Fundamental Metaphysics. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):135-159.
Michael J. Raven (2012). In Defence of Ground. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):687 - 701.

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