Inception of Quine's ontology

History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (2):111-129 (2004)
This paper traces the development of Quine's ontological ideas throughout his early logical work in the period before 1948. It shows that his ontological criterion critically depends on this work in logic. The use of quantifiers as logical primitives and the introduction of general variables in 1936, the search for adequate comprehension axioms, and problems with proper classes, all forced Quine to consider ontological questions. I also show that Quine's rejection of intensional entities goes back to his generalisation of Principia Mathematica in 1932
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