David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy 77 (2):235-260 (2002)
Early analytic philosophers like Carnap, Wittgenstein and Ryle regarded ontology as a branch of metaphysics that is either trivial or meaningless. But at present it is generally assumed that philosophy can make substantial discoveries about what kinds of things exist and about the essence of these kinds. My paper challenges this ontological turn. The currently predominant conceptions of the subject, at any rate, do not license the idea that ontology can provide distinctively philosophical insights into the constituents of reality. I distinguish four main sources of analytic ontology—Strawson's descriptive metaphysics, Kripke's realist semantics, the Austro-Australian truth-maker principle, Quine's naturalistic conception of ontology—and indicate briefly why the first three do not rehabilitate ontology. In the remainder, I concentrate on the most influential and promising position. Quinean ontology seeks to bring out and reduce the ontological commitments of our best scientific theories through logical paraphrase. Against this programme, I argue that Quine's conception of ontological commitment is inadequate, and that his logical paraphrase cannot contribute to the exploration of reality, but at most to the clarification of our conceptual framework.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Hans-Johann Glock (2008). Necessity and Language: In Defence of Conventionalism. Philosophical Investigations 31 (1):24–47.
Similar books and articles
Johanna Oksala (2010). Foucault's Politicization of Ontology. Continental Philosophy Review 43 (4):445-466.
Lorenz B. Puntel (2001). Truth, Sentential Non-Compositionality, and Ontology. Synthese 126 (1-2):221 - 259.
Thomas Hofweber (1999). Ontology and Objectivity. Dissertation, Stanford University
Ross P. Cameron (2010). How to Have a Radically Minimal Ontology. Philosophical Studies 151 (2):249 - 264.
Thomas Hofweber (2005). A Puzzle About Ontology. Noûs 39 (2):256-283.
Thomas Hofweber (2005). A Puzzle About Ontology. Noûs 39 (2):256–283.
Barry Smith (2003). Ontology. In Luciano Floridi (ed.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information. Blackwell 155-166.
Cory Juhl (2009). Analyticity. Routledge.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads127 ( #30,714 of 1,911,401 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #79,655 of 1,911,401 )
How can I increase my downloads?