Quantification and ontology

Synthese 124 (1-2):1-43 (2000)
Quineans have taken the basic expression of ontological commitment to be an assertion of the form '' x '', assimilated to theEnglish ''there is something that is a ''. Here I take the existential quantifier to be introduced, not as an abbreviation for an expression of English, but via Tarskian semantics. I argue, contrary to the standard view, that Tarskian semantics in fact suggests a quite different picture: one in which quantification is of a substitutional type apparently first proposed by Geach. The ontological burden is borne by constant symbols, and truth is defined separately from reference.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Epistemology   Logic   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language
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DOI 10.1023/A:1005257423415
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