Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):459-469 (2010)
|Abstract||There is currently debate between deflationists and anti-deflationists about the ontology of persisting objects. Some deflationists think that disputes between, for example, four-dimensionalists (e.g. Ted Sider and David Lewis) and quasi-nihilists (e.g. Peter Van Inwagen and Trenton Merricks) are merely verbal disputes. Anti-deflationists deny this. Eli Hirsch is a deflationist who maintains that many ontological disputes are merely verbal. Theodore Sider maintains that the disputes are not merely verbal. Hirsch and Sider are thus engaged in a metaontological dispute. In this paper, I argue that Hirsch's metaontological dispute with Sider is, by Hirsch's own lights, itself merely verbal. I conclude that the mere verbalness of his metaontological dispute with Sider suggests that Hirsch's account of what makes a dispute merely verbal may be problematic|
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