Physical-object ontology, verbal disputes, and common sense

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 assertions, the members of each community speak the truth in their respective languages. This follows from an application of the principle of interpretive charity to the two communities.
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DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2005.tb00506.x
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Kris McDaniel (2010). A Return to the Analogy of Being. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (3):688 - 717.
M. B. Willard (2014). Against Simplicity. Philosophical Studies 167 (1):165-181.
Theodore Sider (2007). Neo-Fregeanism and Quantifier Variance. Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 81 (1):201–232.

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