Much Ado about 'Something': Critical Notice of Chalmers, Manley, Wasserman, Metametaphysics [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Analysis 71 (1):172-188 (2011)
Every paper in this collection is worth reading, for one reason or another. Still, due to certain problematic metametaphysical presuppositions most of these discussions miss the deeper mark, on the pessimist as well as the optimist side. My reasons for thinking this come from considering how best to answer three metametaphysical questions. First, why be pessimistic about metaphysics – why be Carnapian in a post-positivist age? There is, I’ll suggest, a post-positivist strategy for reviving Carnapian pessimism, but it is almost entirely neglected here; and the motivations that pessimists offer instead are not compelling. Second, why think that the best way to approach metametaphysical questions is by attention to features of language, and in particular to quantifier semantics, in ordinary or ontological language(s)? Here again we are offered little motivation for this supposition, which, notwithstanding its acceptance by nearly all contributors, faces clear difficulties. Third, granting that quantification is somehow bound up with first-order questions about what exists, what is the nature of this connection, and what are the associated implications for metametaphysics? Here I find the accounts of the connection on offer implausible, especially as compared to an alternative that makes better sense of metaphysical practice and disagreement. The moral following consideration of these questions is that real progress in metametaphysics is likely to occur less by attention to semantic issues pertaining to representation, translation and quantification and more to non-semantic issues pertaining to epistemology and metaphysical determinacy.
|Keywords||metametaphysics Carnap quantification ontology|
|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
Matthew C. Haug (2014). On the Prospects for Ontology: Deflationism, Pluralism, and Carnap's Principle of Tolerance. European Journal of Philosophy 22 (4):593-616.
Similar books and articles
Kris McDaniel (2009). Ways of Being. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press
D. Chalmers, D. Manley & R. Wasserman (eds.) (2009). Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.
John Hawthorne (2009). Superficialism in Ontology. In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press 213--30.
Elizabeth Barnes (2009). Review of David Chalmers, David Manley, Ryan Wasserman (Eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2009 (10).
Barbara Vetter (2012). On Linking Dispositions and Which Conditionals? Mind 120 (480):1173-1189.
Added to index2010-04-17
Total downloads312 ( #1,828 of 1,699,481 )
Recent downloads (6 months)47 ( #9,194 of 1,699,481 )
How can I increase my downloads?