# Ontological Commitment

Edited by Henry Laycock (Queen's University)
 Summary Both the idea of ontological commitment and its connection to the idea of quantification are associated especially with the work of Quine. In Quine’s scheme (as in most others) the highest-level ontic category is that provided by the form of the variable itself; to be assumed as an entity is to be assumed as a value of a variable. Below this level, the question becomes one of the adoption of particular ranges of variables for particular ranges of putative entities (class variables versus individual variables, just for instance). In excluding semantically plural variables – a possiblity Quine seemingly never considered – his formulation is ‘singularist’; but this, it seems, should make no ontological difference. The idea of a distinctively ontic operator is articulated by Quine in several closely related ways - for example, ‘We commit ourselves outright to an ontology containing numbers when we say there are prime numbers between 1000 and1010; we commit ourselves to an ontology containing centaurs when we say there are centaurs’. Thus conceived, the role of the (so-called) existential quantifier is quite precise. It is not a device for expressing just any kind of existential information; it is a quite specifically ontic device, for speaking of categories and kinds of things exclusively – not for information as to numbers of the items in these categories and kinds. Ontically, what matters is purely and simply whether there are things of this or that kind or not. Quine declares: ‘Existence is what existential quantification expresses’, and continues, using the (bare plural) form, ‘There are things of kind F if and only if (∃x)(Fx)’. What the operator ∃ represents is here quantification in name only, precisely because its role is to be numerically neutral. Commonplace accounts of quantifiers stating that they specify ‘which or how many of some kind of things have some property’ misrepresent the content of the existential quantifier, in contrast with so-called numerical quantifiers (as in ‘There are exactly two prime numbers between 1 and 4’). Yet  insofar as the semantics of variables, whether singular or plural, implicate countability in the first place, the question of the ontological neutrality of their use is not distinct from the unsettled question of whether talk of entities or objects itself is ontically neutral. For Quine’s claim is that ‘all traits of reality worthy of the name can be set down in an idiom of this austere form if in any idiom’ – in spirit, ‘a philosophical doctrine of categories’. But Quine frequently indicates serious concern, regarding what he calls the 'artifice' or 'reduction' of talk involving his so-called 'mass terms' to talk of entities or objects in the first place.
 Key works Quine 1953 marks an early and powerful affirmation of the tight bond promoted by Quine between the semantics of current basic logic and ontology. Carnap 1950, in the spirit of Quine, explicitly relativises ontology to a 'linguistic framework', and in Quine 1957 and Quine 1960, a distinction is made between the inescapable formal framework of our 'adult' or 'mature' conceptual scheme, based on individuation or the use of variables, and the logically recalcitrant pre-individuative status of so-called 'mass terms' - which can only be accommodated in the scheme via certain artificial reductive devices. Ontological relativism is thereby reinforced.
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1. Metaphysicians with reductive theories of reality like to say how those theories account for ordinary usage and belief. A typical strategy is to offer theoretical sentences, often called ‘paraphrases’, to serve in place of various sentences that occur in ordinary talk. But how should we measure success in this endeavor? Those of us who undertake it usually have a vague set of theoretical desiderata in mind, but we rarely discuss them in detail. My purpose in this paper is to say (...)

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2. A Counterexample to Deflationary Nominalism.Nicholas Danne - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-20.
According to Jody Azzouni’s “deflationary nominalism,” the singular terms of mathematical language applied or unapplied to science refer to nothing at all. What does exist, Azzouni claims, must satisfy the quaternary condition he calls “thick epistemic access”. In this paper I argue that TEA surreptitiously reifies some mathematical entities. The mathematical entity that I take TEA to reify is the Fourier harmonic, an infinite-duration monochromatic sinusoid applied throughout engineering and physics. I defend the reality of the harmonic, in Azzouni’s account, (...)
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3. In this review I take to task the related views of E.J. Lowe, John Heil and Peter Simons according to which relations don't exist because they're dispensable qua truth-makers. I argue that this view is methodologically unstable because we also have reason to believe that relations exist because our best mathematical and scientific theories say so, i.e. quantify over them.

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4. I Think; Therefore, I Am a Fiction.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Tamas Demeter, T. Parent & Adam Toon (eds.), Mental Fictionalism: Philosophical Explorations. New York:
For various reasons, I am commitment-phobic in ontology: In a given context of inquiry, my ontological assumptions are highly provisional, and so, possibly inconsistent between different contexts of inquiry. A variety of objections arise for such “contextualism about ontological commitment;” but here, I limit myself to answering only one. This is the Cartesian objection that an ontological commitment to thinking and the thinking self is rationally required in all contexts of inquiry. In other work, I argued that an ontological commitment (...)

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5. Ontological Commitment and Quantifiers.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York: Routledge.
This is a slightly opinionated review of three main factions in metaontology: Quineans, Carnapians, and Meinongians. Emphasis is given to the last camp, as the metaontological aspect of Meinongianism has been underappreciated. The final section then offers some general remarks about the legitimacy of ontology, touching on ideas I have developed in other publications.

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6. Is There a Plural Object?Byeong-Uk Yi - forthcoming - In Donal Baxter & Aaron Cotnoir (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press.
A plurality or plural object is a single object that is also many, and pluralitism is the thesis that there is such an object. This paper argues that pluralitism and closely related theses (e.g., the many-one identity thesis and the composition as identity thesis) violate logic. To do so, it formulates an approach to the logic and semantics of plural constructions that results in plural logic and relates treatments of plural constructions to accounts of natural number. And it gives a (...)

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7. Back to the Question of Ontology.Jonas R. Becker Arenhart & Raoni W. Arroyo - 2021 - Manuscrito 44 (2):1-51.
We articulate a distinction between ontology, understood as involving existence questions, and metaphysics, understood as either providing for metaphysical profiles of entities or else as dealing with fundamentality and/or grounding and dependence questions. The distinction, we argue, allows a better understanding of the roles of metaontology and metametaphysics when it comes to discussing the relations between ontology and science on the one hand, and metaphysics and science on the other. We argue that while ontology, as understood in this paper, may (...)

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8. Grounding and the Myth of Ontological Innocence.Jonathan Barker - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):303-318.
According to the Ontological Innocence Thesis (OIT), grounded entities are ontologically innocent relative to their full grounds. I argue that OIT entails a contradiction, and therefore must be discarded. My argument turns on the notion of “groundmates,” two or more numerically distinct entities that share at least one of their full grounds. I argue that, if OIT is true, then it is both the case that there are groundmates and that there are no groundmates. Therefore, so I conclude, OIT is (...)

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9. A puzzle about Moorean metaphysics.Louis Doulas - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (2):493-513.
Some metaphysicians believe that existence debates are easily resolved by trivial inferences from Moorean premises. This paper considers how the introduction of negative Moorean facts—negative existentials that command Moorean certainty—complicates this picture. In particular, it shows how such facts, when combined with certain plausible metaontological principles, generate a puzzle that commits the proponents of this method to a contradiction.
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10. It Takes More than Moore to Answer Existence-Questions.Karl Egerton - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (2):355-366.
Several recent discussions of metaphysics disavow existence-questions, claiming that they are metaphysically uninteresting because trivially settled in the affirmative by Moorean facts. This is often given as a reason to focus metaphysical debate instead on questions of grounding. I argue that the strategy employed to undermine existence-questions fails against its usual target: Quineanism. The Quinean can protest that the formulation given of their position is a straw man: properly understood, as a project of explication, Quinean metaphysics does not counsel us (...)
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11. On Metaphysics’ Independence From Truthmaking.Aldo Filomeno - 2021 - Erkenntnis 1:1-14.
This paper aims to support the claim that analytic metaphysics should be more cautious regarding the constraints that truthmaking considerations impose on metaphysical theories. To this end, I reply to Briggs and Forbes (2017), whoargue that certain truthmaking commitments are incurred by a Humean metaphysics and by the Growing-Block theory. First, I argue that Humean Supervenience does not need to endorse a standard version of truthmaker maximalism. This undermines Briggs and Forbes’s conclusion that Humean Supervenience and the Growing-Block theory are (...)

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12. Discussions on Physics, Metaphysics and Metametaphysics: Interpreting Quantum Mechanics.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2020 - Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina
This thesis inquires what it means to interpret non-relativistic quantum mechanics (QM), and the philosophical limits of this interpretation. In pursuit of a scientific-realist stance, a metametaphysical method is expanded and applied to evaluate rival interpretations of QM, based on the conceptual distinction between ontology and metaphysics, for objective theory choice in metaphysical discussions relating to QM. Three cases are examined, in which this metametaphysical method succeeds in indicating what are the wrong alternatives to interpret QM in metaphysical terms. The (...)

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13. Why Ockham’s Razor Should Be Preferred to the Laser.Dean Da Vee - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (12):3679-3694.
Ockham’s Razor advises us to not multiply entities without necessity. Recently, Jonathan Schaffer and Karen Bennett have argued that we ought to replace Ockham’s Razor with the Laser, the principle that only advises us to not multiply fundamental entities without necessity. In this paper, I argue that Ockham’s Razor is preferable to the Laser. I begin by contending that the arguments offered for the Laser by Schaffer and Bennett are unpersuasive. Then I offer two cases of theory assessment that I (...)

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14. Ontological Investigations in the Quantum Domain: A Deflationary Approach on Ontology of Physics.Lauro de Matos Nunes Filho - 2020 - Dissertation, Federal University of Santa Catarina
The aim of this thesis is to propose a deflationary approach towards the ontological analysis of physical theories. Such an approach sustains that the development of ontologies for physical theories must be neutral relatively to the debate between realists and anti-realists in philosophy of physics. Mainly, our attention will be oriented towards what we called "quantum domain", which includes the non-relativistic Quantum Mechanics and variants of the Quantum Field Theory. This meta-ontological approach consists in an attempt to provide a methodology (...)

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15. Truthmakers for 1st Order Sentences - a Proposal.Friedrich Wilhelm Grafe - 2020 - Archive.Org.
The purpose of this paper is to communicate - as a proposal - a general method of assigning a 'truthmaker' to any 1st order sentence in each of its models. The respective construct is derived from the standard model theoretic (recursive) satisfaction definition for 1st order languages and is a conservative extension thereof. The heuristics of the proposal (which has been somewhat idiosyncratic from the current point of view) and some more technical detail of the construction may be found in (...)

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16. We aim to compile some means for a rational reconstruction of a named part of the start-over of Baruch (Benedictus) de Spinoza's metaphysics in 'de deo' (which is 'pars prima' of the 'ethica, ordine geometrico demonstrata' ) in terms of 1st order model theory. In so far, as our approach will be judged successful, it may, besides providing some help in understanding Spinoza, also contribute to the discussion of some or other philosophical evergreen, e.g. 'ontological commitment'. For this text we (...)

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17. Abstract Objects and the Core-Periphery Distinction in the Ontological and the Conceptual Domain of Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - In José Luis Falguera & María De La Martínez Vidal (eds.), Abstract Objects: For and Against. Springer. pp. 255-276.
This paper elaborates distinctions between a core and a periphery in the ontological and the conceptual domain associated with natural language. The ontological core-periphery distinction is essential for natural language ontology and is the basis for the central thesis of my 2013 book Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, namely that natural language permits reference to abstract objects in its periphery, but not its core.
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18. Ontological Commitment and Ontological Commitment S.Jared Warren - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2851-2859.
The standard account of ontological commitment is quantificational. There are many old and well-chewed-over challenges to the account, but recently Kit Fine added a new challenge. Fine claimed that the ‘‘quantificational account gets the basic logic of ontological commitment wrong’’ and offered an alternative account that used an existence predicate. While Fine’s argument does point to a real lacuna in the standard approach, I show that his own account also gets ‘‘the basic logic of ontological commitment wrong’’. In response, I (...)

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19. Is Coronavirus an Object? Metametaphysics Meets Medical Sciences.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2020 - Voluntas: Revista Internacional de Filosofia 11 (7):01-08.
In ontological terms, what can we learn from the current state of the art in Epidemiology? Applying the Quinean criterion of ontological commitment, we can learn that there are several fundamental entities for the theory to work. One is a virus type entity, in which the (in)famous Coronavirus is a particular case. In metaphysical terms, this entity can, in principle, be understood in several ways. One of those ways, apparently, and perhaps intuitively, is the notion of object. Applying the metametaphysical (...)

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20. Between Physics and Metaphysics: A Discussion of the Status of Mind in Quantum Mechanics.Raoni Arroyo & Jonas Arenhart - 2019 - In J. De Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Quanta and Mind. Springer Verlag. pp. 31-42.
We discuss the ‘Consciousness Causes Collapse Hypothesis’ (CCCH), the interpretation of quantum mechanics according to which consciousness solves the measurement problem. At first, it seems that the very hypothesis that consciousness causally acts over matter counts as a reductio of CCCH. However, CCCH won’t go so easily. In this paper we attempt to bring new light to the discussion. We distinguish the ontology of the interpretation (the positing of a causally efficacious consciousness as part of the furniture of reality) from (...)

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21. The Challenge of Many Logics: A New Approach to Evaluating the Role of Ideology in Quinean Commitment.Jody Azzouni - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2599-2619.
Can Quine’s criterion for ontological commitment be comparatively applied across different logics? If so, how? Cross-logical evaluations of discourses are central to contemporary philosophy of mathematics and metaphysics. The focus here is on the influential and important arguments of George Boolos and David Lewis that second-order logic and plural quantification don’t incur additional ontological commitments over and above those incurred by first-order quantifiers. These arguments are challenged by the exhibition of a technical tool—the truncation-model construction of notational equivalents—that compares the (...)

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22. On Quine's Ontology: Quantification, Extensionality and Naturalism (or From Commitment to Indifference).Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2019 - Proceedings of Ther 3rd Filomena Workshop.
Much of the ontology made in the analytic tradition of philosophy nowadays is founded on some of Quine’s proposals. His naturalism and the binding between existence and quantification are respectively two of his very influential metaphilosophical and methodological theses. Nevertheless, many of his specific claims are quite controversial and contemporaneously have few followers. Some of them are: (a) his rejection of higher-order logic; (b) his resistance in accepting the intensionality of ontological commitments; (c) his rejection of first-order modal logic; and (...)

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23. No Metaphysical Disagreement Without Logical Incompatibility.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2019 - Seminário Lógica No Avião - 2013-2018.
The purpose of this article is to support the logical incompatibility of the opposing views as a criterion for characterizing disagreements as genuinely metaphysical. That is, I intend to argue that a specific dispute is a metaphysical disagreement only when the conflicting views are governed by different logics. If correct, this criterion would not only help to separate merely verbal from genuine metaphysical debates, but it also would ground an argument against deflationism, guaranteeing the substantiality and relevance of metaphysics. I (...)

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24. Francisco Suárez on Beings of Reason and Non-Strict Ontological Pluralism.Brian Embry - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
For Francisco Suárez, beings of reason are non-existent objects that we can think about, objects like goat-stags and round squares. The first section of the fifty-fourth of Suárez’s Metaphysical Disputations is about the ontological status of beings of reason. Suárez’s view has been the subject of disagreement in the literature because he sometimes says that there are beings of reason, and he sometimes says there are not. In this paper, I argue for and explain an ontological pluralist reading of Suárez. (...)

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25. Existence, Really? Tacit Disagreements About “Existence” in Disputes About Group Minds and Corporate Agents.Johannes Himmelreich - 2019 - Synthese 198 (5):4939-4953.
A central dispute in social ontology concerns the existence of group minds and actions. I argue that some authors in this dispute rely on rival views of existence without sufficiently acknowledging this divergence. I proceed in three steps in arguing for this claim. First, I define the phenomenon as an implicit higher-order disagreement by drawing on an analysis of verbal disputes. Second, I distinguish two theories of existence—the theory-commitments view and the truthmaker view—in both their eliminativist and their constructivist variants. (...)

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26. Quine, Ontology, and Physicalism.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2019 - In Robert Sinclair (ed.), Science and Sensibilia by W.V. Quine: The 1980 Immanuel Kant Lectures. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 181-204.
Quine's views on ontology and naturalism are well-known but rarely considered in tandem. According to my interpretation the connection between them is vital. I read Quine as a global epistemic structuralist. Quine thought we only ever know objects qua solutions to puzzles about significant intersections in observations. Objects are always accessed descriptively, via their roles in our best theory. Quine's Kant lectures contain an early version of epistemic structuralism with uncharacteristic remarks about the mental. Here Quine embraces mitigated anomalous monism, (...)

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27. Natural Language and its Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian Mclaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 206-232.
This paper gives a characterization of the ontology implicit in natural language and the entities it involves, situates natural language ontology within metaphysics, and responds to Chomskys' dismissal of externalist semantics.

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28. Werk und Autorschaft. Eine Ontologie der Kunst.Maria Elisabeth Reicher - 2019 - Paderborn: Mentis.
In this book, a general type ontology of works is defended and developed in detail. A wide concept of “work” is used here, such that “work” roughly corresponds to “artefact”. Though the focus is on works of art, the theory is meant to be applicable, in principle, to works of science and technology and to everyday items of all sorts as well. Among others, the following questions are discussed: To what ontological category or categories do works belong? Is there a (...)
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29. Quantification in the Ontology Room.Bradley Rettler - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (4):563-585.
There is a growing movement towards construing some classic debates in ontology as meaningless, either because the answers seem obvious or the debates seem intractable. In this paper, I respond to this movement. The response has three components: First, the members of the two sides of the ontological debates that dismissivists have targeted are using different quantifiers. Second, the austere ontologist is using a more fundamental quantifier than her opponent. Third, the austere ontologist’s more fundamental quantifier is a restriction of (...)

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30. What is Field's Epistemological Objection to Platonism?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths : Essays in Honour of Anna-Sofia Maurin on her 50th Birthday. pp. 123-133.
This paper concerns an epistemological objection against mathematical platonism, due to Hartry Field.The argument poses an explanatory challenge – the challenge to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs – which the platonist, it’s argued, cannot meet. Is the objection compelling? Philosophers disagree, but they also disagree on (and are sometimes very unclear about) how the objection should be understood. Here I distinguish some options, and highlight some gaps that need to be filled in on the potentially most compelling version (...)

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31. Explaining Fictional Characters.Tatjana von Solodkoff - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6.
Fictional characters are awkward creatures. They are described as being girls, detectives, and cats; as being famous, based on real people, and well developed, and as being paradigmatic examples of things that don’t exist. It’s not hard to see that there are tensions between these various descriptions—how can something that is a detective not exist?—and there is a range of views designed to make sense of the pre-theoretical data. Fictional realists hold that we should accept that fictional characters are part (...)

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32. Do Divine Conceptualist Accounts Fail?Greg Welty - 2019 - Philosophia Christi 21 (2):255-266.
William Lane Craig’s God over All argues against the kind of “divine conceptualism” about abstract objects which I defend. In this conference presentation I note several points of agreement with and appreciation for Craig’s important work. I then turn to five points of critique and response pertaining to: the sovereignty-aseity intuition, the reality of false propositions, God’s having “inappropriate” thoughts, propositions being purely private and incommunicable, and a consistent view of God’s own ontological commitments. I conclude by summarizing our two (...)

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33. Ontological Commitment.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - 2018 - AL-Mukhatabat 1 (27):177-223.
Disagreement over what exists is so fundamental that it tends to hinder or even to block dialogue among disputants. The various controversies between believers and atheists, or realists and nominalists, are only two kinds of examples. Interested in contributing to the intelligibility of the debate on ontology, in 1939 Willard van Orman Quine began a series of works which introduces the notion of ontological commitment and proposes an allegedly objective criterion to identify the exact conditions under which a theoretical discourse (...)

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34. The Significance of the New Logic.Walter Carnielli, Frederique Janssen-Lauret & William Pickering (eds.) - 2018 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
W. V. Quine was one of the most influential figures of twentieth-century American analytic philosophy. Although he wrote predominantly in English, in Brazil in 1942 he gave a series of lectures on logic and its philosophy in Portuguese, subsequently published as the book O Sentido da Nova Lógica. The book has never before been fully translated into English, and this volume is the first to make its content accessible to Anglophone philosophers. Quine would go on to develop revolutionary ideas about (...)

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35. Sui criteri d'identità.Massimiliano Carrara - 2018 - Padova: Padova University Press.
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36. Quantifier Variance Dissolved.Suki Finn & Otávio Bueno - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:289-307.
Quantifier variance faces a number of difficulties. In this paper we first formulate the view as holding that the meanings of the quantifiers may vary, and that languages using different quantifiers may be charitably translated into each other. We then object to the view on the basis of four claims: (i) quantifiers cannot vary their meaning extensionally by changing the domain of quantification; (ii) quantifiers cannot vary their meaning intensionally without collapsing into logical pluralism; (iii) quantifier variance is not an (...)

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37. Ryle, the Double Counting Problem, and the Logical Form of Category Mistakes.Jonah Goldwater - 2018 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 56 (2):337-359.
Gilbert Ryle is most famous for accusing the Cartesian dualist of committing a category mistake. Yet the nature of this accusation, and the idea of a category mistake more generally, remains woefully misunderstood. The aim of this paper is to rectify this misunderstanding. I show that Ryle does not conceive of category mistakes as mistakes of predication, as is so widely believed. Instead I show category mistakes are mistakes of conjunction and quantification. This thesis uniquely unifies and explains the wide (...)

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38. Frames and the Ontology of Particular Objects.David Hommen - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (3):385-409.
The theory of frames has recently been proposed as a universal format for knowledge representation in language, cognition and science. Frames represent categories as well as individual objects and events in terms of recursive attribute-value structures. In this paper, we would like to explore the potential ontological commitments of frame-based knowledge representations, with particular emphasis on the ontological status of the possessors of quality attributes in individual object frames. While not strictly incompatible with nominalistic, bundle- or substratum-theoretic approaches to the (...)

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39. Misak's Peirce and Pragmatism's Metaphysical Commitments.Andrew Howat - 2018 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 54 (3):378.
In this comment on Misak’s Cambridge Pragmatism, I examine a case study—debate about the existence of free will—in order to explore residual tensions between Misak’s ‘truth-affirming,’ Peircean pragmatism, and mainstream analytic philosophy. I suggest that Misak’s Peirce makes a metaphysical commitment to the existence of rational self-control, and thereby to the existence of free will. I also suggest, however, that her ‘analytic pragmatism’ thus far offers few clues about how we should defend such a commitment from skeptical arguments emerging from (...)

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40. Willard Van Orman Quine's Philosophical Development in the 1930s and 1940s.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2018 - In Walter Carnielli, Frederique Janssen-Lauret & William Pickering (eds.), The Significance of the New Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
As analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly aware of and interested in its own history, the study of that field is broadening to include, not just its earliest beginnings, but also the mid-twentieth century. One of the towering figures of this epoch is W.V. Quine (1908-2000), champion of naturalism in philosophy of science, pioneer of mathematical logic, trying to unite an austerely physicalist theory of the world with the truths of mathematics, psychology, and linguistics. Quine's posthumous papers, notes, and drafts revealing (...)

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41. Ontology Without Borders. [REVIEW]Daniel Z. Korman - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
A review of Jody Azzouni's "Ontology without Borders". Azzouni defends "ontological projectivism", a variety of ontological nihilism according to which "ontological borders" are not "worldly". I raise some questions about the view and about his master argument for it.

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42. Parsimony, Ontological Commitment and the Import of Mathematics.Daniele Molinini - 2018 - In Gabriele Pulcini & Mario Piazza (eds.), Truth, Existence and Explanation. Springer Verlag.

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43. Meta-Metaphysics.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Meta-metaphysics concerns the nature and methodology of metaphysics and metaphysical inquiry. The emergence of meta-metaphysics as a systematic area of study is relatively recent, going back to the late 1990s. But the issues pursued in meta-metaphysics are certainly not novel: an age old question about the nature of metaphysics is whether it is possible to obtain knowledge about metaphysical matters in the first place, and if it is, how this knowledge is obtained.

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44. Review of 'Ontology After Carnap' Edited by Stephan Blatti and Sandra Lapointe. [REVIEW]Darren Bradley - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):858-861.
© The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com‘Carnap is not completely unknown to us’ comments Richard Creath in his contribution to this book. ‘We often know just enough to be baffled’. It will be no surprise to anyone when I say that this book will not unbaffle us. But it does give us a collection of rewarding papers that each wrestle with the legacy Carnap has (...)

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46. Devious Stipulations.John Horden - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10.
Recent attempts to answer ontological questions through conceptual analysis have been controversial. Still, it seems reasonable to assume that if the existence of certain things analytically follows from sentences we already accept, then there is no further ontological commitment involved in affirming the existence of those things. More generally, it is plausible that whenever a sentence analytically entails another, the conjunction of those sentences requires nothing more of the world for its truth than the former sentence alone. In his ‘Analyticity (...)

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47. On the Apparent Antagonism Between Feminist and Mainstream Metaphysics.Mari Mikkola - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (10):2435-2448.
The relationship between feminism and metaphysics has historically been strained. Metaphysics has until recently remained dismissive of feminist insights, and many feminist philosophers have been deeply skeptical about any value that metaphysics might have when thinking about advancing gender justice. Nevertheless, feminist philosophers have in recent years increasingly taken up explicitly metaphysical investigations. Such feminist investigations have expanded the scope of metaphysics in holding that metaphysical tools can help advance debates on topics outside of traditional metaphysical inquiry. Moreover, feminist philosophers (...)

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48. Natural Language Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Oxford Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
The aim of natural language ontology is to uncover the ontological categories and structures that are implicit in the use of natural language, that is, that a speaker accepts when using a language. This article aims to clarify what exactly the subject matter of natural language ontology is, what sorts of linguistic data it should take into account, how natural language ontology relates to other branches of metaphysics, in what ways natural language ontology is important, and what may be distinctive (...)
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49. On the Dispensability of Grounding: Ground-Breaking Work on Metaphysical Explanation.James Norton - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Sydney
Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much the same (...)

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50. Content Externalism and Quine’s Criterion Are Incompatible.T. Parent - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (3):625-639.
Externalism holds that the content of our utterances and thoughts are determined partly by the environment. Here, I offer an argument which suggests that externalism is incompatible with a natural view about ontological commitment--namely, the Quinean view that such commitments are fixed by the range of the variables in your theory. The idea in brief is that if Oscar mistakenly believes that water = XYZ, the externalist ontologically commits Oscar to two waterish kinds, whereas the Quinean commits him to one (...)

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