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Ontological anti-realism

In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press (2009)

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  1. Can Metaphysical Structuralism Solve the Plurality Problem?Sophie R. Allen - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):722-746.
    ABSTRACTMetaphysics has a problem with plurality: in many areas of discourse, there are too many good theories, rather than just one. This embarrassment of riches is a particular problem for metaphysical realists who want metaphysics to tell us the way the world is and for whom one theory is the correct one. A recent suggestion is that we can treat the different theories as being functionally or explanatorily equivalent to each other, even though they differ in content. The aim of (...)
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  • The Philosopher and the Grapes: On Descriptive Metaphysics and Why It Is Not 'Sour Metaphysics'.Giuseppina D'Oro - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (4):586 - 599.
    There is a widespread view according to which descriptive metaphysics is not ?real? metaphysics. This paper argues that first-order philosophical disagreements cannot be settled without re-opening the debate about the nature of philosophical enquiry and that failure to scrutinize and justify one?s own metaphilosophical stance leads to arguments which are circular or question begging.
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  • DEBATE: Kant, Ontology and Empirical Realism: Response to Assiter.Dustin McWherter - 2015 - Journal of Critical Realism 14 (5):518-529.
    In this debate article I respond to Alison Assiter's various objections and points regarding my work on Kant's empirical realism, his relation to ontology, and related issues. Although Assiter raises some very interesting and important issues, I do not find her ontological interpretation of Kant sufficiently supported textually, and I think her objections to my work are too dependent on omissions and mistaken assumptions to provide an effective challenge.
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  • The Syntactic Priority Thesis and Ontological Disputes.George Duke - 2012 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 42 (2):149-164.
    The syntactic priority thesis (henceforth SP) asserts that the truth of appropriate sentential contexts containing what are, by syntactic criteria, singular terms, is sufficient to justify the attribution of objectual reference to such terms (Wright, 1983, 24). One consequence that the neo-Fregean draws from SP is that it is through an analysis of the syntactic structure of true statements that 'ontological questions are to be understood and settled' (Wright, 1983, 25). Despite the significant literature on SP, little consideration has been (...)
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  • Two Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology.Uriah Kriegel - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (2):177-204.
    In a series of publications, Eli Hirsch has presented a sustained defense of common-sense ontology. Hirsch's argument relies crucially on a meta-ontological position sometimes known as ‘superficialism’. Hirsch's argument from superficialism to common-sense ontology is typically resisted on the grounds that superficialism is implausible. In this paper, I present an alternative argument for common-sense ontology, one that relies on (what I argue is) a much more plausible meta-ontological position, which I call ‘constructivism’. Note well: I will not quite argue that (...)
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  • Virtual Reality: Digital or Fictional?Neil McDonnell & Nathan Wildman - forthcoming - Disputatio.
    Are the objects and events that take place in Virtual Reality genuinely real? Those who answer this question in the affirmative are realists, and those who answer in the negative are irrealists. In this paper we argue against the realist position, as given by Chalmers, and present our own preferred irrealist account of the virtual. We start by disambiguat- ing two potential versions of the realist position—weak and strong— and then go on to argue that neither is plausible. We then (...)
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  • Verbal Disagreements and Philosophical Scepticism.Nathan Ballantyne - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):752-765.
    ABSTRACTMany philosophers have suggested that disagreement is good grounds for scepticism. One response says that disagreement-motivated scepticism can be mitigated to some extent by the thesis that philosophical disputes are often verbal, not genuine. I consider the implications of this anti-sceptical strategy, arguing that it trades one kind of scepticism for others. I conclude with suggestions for further investigation of the epistemic significance of the nature of philosophical disagreement.
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  • Unrestricted Composition and Restricted Quantification.Daniel Z. Korman - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (3):319-334.
    Many of those who accept the universalist thesis that mereological composition is unrestricted also maintain that the folk typically restrict their quantifiers in such a way as to exclude strange fusions when they say things that appear to conflict with universalism. Despite its prima facie implausibility, there are powerful arguments for universalism. By contrast, there is remarkably little evidence for the thesis that strange fusions are excluded from the ordinary domain of quantification. Furthermore, this reconciliatory strategy seems hopeless when applied (...)
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  • El Esencialismo Individuativo de Wiggins y la Función de los Juicios de Modalidad De Re.José Edgar González Varela - 2016 - Tópicos: Revista de Filosofía 51:55-82.
    Quine ha promovido una forma de escepticismo sobre los juicios de modalidad de re que cuestiona su función y sugiere, en consecuencia, su eliminación. Wiggins, por su parte, ha argumentado que nuestros juicios ordinarios de individuación de objetos nos comprometen con un cierto esencialismo, con la aceptación de ciertos juicios de modalidad de re. Si Wiggins tuviera razón, tendríamos una respuesta potencial al escepticismo quineano de la función. Sin embargo, en este trabajo argumento que la propuesta de Wiggins es incapaz (...)
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  • Blocking the A Priori Passage.Andreas Elpidorou - 2014 - Acta Analytica 29 (3):285-307.
    I defend the claim that physicalism is not committed to the view that non-phenomenal macrophysical truths are a priori entailed by the conjunction of microphysical truths , basic indexical facts , and a 'that's all' claim . I do so by showing that Chalmers and Jackson's most popular and influential argument in support of the claim that PIT ⊃ M is a priori, where 'M' stands for any ordinary, non-phenomenal, macroscopic truth, falls short of establishing its conclusion. My objection to (...)
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  • Linguistic Convention and Worldly Fact: Prospects for a Naturalist Theory of the a Priori.Brett Topey - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1725-1752.
    Truth by convention, once thought to be the foundation of a uniquely promising approach to explaining our access to the truth in nonempirical domains, is nowadays widely considered an absurdity. Its fall from grace has been due largely to the influence of an argument that can be sketched as follows: our linguistic conventions have the power to make it the case that a sentence expresses a particular proposition, but they can’t by themselves generate truth; whether a given proposition is true—and (...)
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  • Зеркало Клио: Метафизическое Постижение Истории.Алексей Владиславович Халапсис - 2017 - Днипро, Днепропетровская область, Украина, 49000:
    В монографии представлены несколько смысловых блоков, связанных с восприятием и интерпретацией человеком исторического бытия. Ранние греческие мыслители пытались получить доступ к исходникам (началам) бытия, и эти интенции легли в основу научного знания, а также привели к появлению метафизики. В классической (и в неклассической) метафизике за основу была принята догма Пифагора и Платона о неизменности подлинной реальности, из чего следовало отрицание бытийного характера времени. Автор монографии отказывается от этой догмы и предлагает стратегию обновления метафизики и перехода ее к новому — постнеклассическому (...)
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  • 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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  • Why Truthmaking Is Not a Case of Grounding.Paul Audi - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Transcendental Idealism Among the Jersey Metaphysicians.Gordon Belot - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):429 - 438.
    Some questions are posed for van Fraassen, concerning the role and status of metaphysics in his Scientific Representation.
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  • Relational and Substantival Ontologies, and the Nature and the Role of Primitives in Ontological Theories.Jiri Benovsky - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (1):101-121.
    Several metaphysical debates have typically been modeled as oppositions between a relationist approach and a substantivalist approach. Such debates include the Bundle Theory and the Substratum Theory about ordinary material objects, the Bundle (Humean) Theory and the Substance (Cartesian) Theory of the Self, and Relationism and Substantivalism about time. In all three debates, the substantivalist side typically insists that in order to provide a good treatment of the subject-matter of the theory (time, Self, material objects), it is necessary to postulate (...)
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  • The Unity of Grounding.Selim Berker - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):729-777.
    I argue—contra moderate grounding pluralists such as Kit Fine and more extreme grounding pluralists such as Jessica Wilson—that there is fundamentally only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation. I also argue that this single relation is indispensable for normative theorizing—that we can’t make sense of, for example, the debate over consequentialism without it. It follows from what I argue that there is no metaethically-pure normative ethics.
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  • A Clarification and Defense of the Notion of Grounding.Paul Audi - 2012 - In Fabrice Correia & Benjamin Schnieder (eds.), Metaphysical Grounding: Understanding the Structure of Reality. Cambridge University Press. pp. 101-121.
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  • The Combination Problem for Panpsychism.David Chalmers - 2016 - In Godehard Brüntrup & Ludwig Jaskolla (eds.), Panpsychism. Oxford University Press.
  • Scientific Models and Metalinguistic Negotiation.Mirco Sambrotta - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):277.
    The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility that, at least, some metaphysical debates are ‘metalinguistic negotiations’. I will take the dispute between the dominant approaches of realism and the anti-realism ones about the ontological status of scientific models as a case-study. I will argue that such a debate may be better understood as a disagreement, at bottom normatively, motivated, insofar as a normative and non-factual question may be involved in it: how the relevant piece of language ought (...)
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  • Vikingism as a Metametaphysical Thesis.Vassilis Livanios - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):516-535.
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  • Quantifier Variance and the Collapse Argument.Jared Warren - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):241-253.
    Recently a number of works in meta-ontology have used a variant of J.H. Harris's collapse argument in the philosophy of logic as an argument against Eli Hirsch's quantifier variance. There have been several responses to the argument in the literature, but none of them have identified the central failing of the argument, viz., the argument has two readings: one on which it is sound but doesn't refute quantifier variance and another on which it is unsound. The central lesson I draw (...)
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  • Scientific Knowledge in the Age of Computation: Explicated, Computable and Manageable?Sophia Efstathiou, Rune Nydal, Astrid Laegreid & Martin Kuiper - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):213.
    We have two theses about scientific knowledge in the age of computation. Our general claim is that scientific Knowledge Management practices emerge as second-order practices whose aim is to systematically collect, take care of and mobilise first-hand disciplinary knowledge and data. Our specific thesis is that knowledge management practices are transforming biological research in at least three ways. We argue that scientific Knowledge Management a. operates with founded concepts of biological knowledge as explicated and computable, b. enables new outputs and (...)
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  • Nature, Purpose, and Norm: A Program in American Philosophy.Preston Stovall - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (4):617-636.
    ABSTRACT:For over a century there has been a protracted effort in American philosophy to use Darwinian explanatory resources in order to make certain leading ideas in German idealism naturalistically intelligible. I trace some of the nineteenth and twentieth century contours of this effort. In doing so I outline an understanding of ourselves as norm-laden persons in a natural world. As a consequence, philosophical inquiry—understood in C. S. Peirce's sense as the practice of the ‘normative sciences’ of aesthetics, logic, and ethics—can (...)
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  • Necessitism, Contingentism, and Plural Quantification.Timothy Williamson - 2010 - Mind 119 (475):657-748.
    Necessitism is the view that necessarily everything is necessarily something; contingentism is the negation of necessitism. The dispute between them is reminiscent of, but clearer than, the more familiar one between possibilism and actualism. A mapping often used to ‘translate’ actualist discourse into possibilist discourse is adapted to map every sentence of a first-order modal language to a sentence the contingentist (but not the necessitist) may regard as equivalent to it but which is neutral in the dispute. This mapping enables (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - manuscript
    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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  • The Archimedean Urge.Amia Srinivasan - 2015 - Philosophical Perspectives 29 (1):325-362.
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  • Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics.Elizabeth Barnes - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (3pt3):335-351.
    Much recent literature in metaphysics attempts to answer the question, ‘What is metaphysics?’ In this paper I argue that many of the most influential contemporary answers to this question yield the result that feminist metaphysics is not metaphysics. I further argue this result is problematic.
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  • Carnap's Forgotten Criterion of Empirical Significance.James Justus - 2014 - Mind 123 (490):415-436.
    The waning popularity of logical empiricism and the supposed discovery of insurmountable technical difficulties led most philosophers to abandon the project to formulate a formal criterion of empirical significance. Such a criterion would delineate claims that observation can confirm or disconfirm from those it cannot. Although early criteria were clearly inadequate, criticisms made of later, more sophisticated criteria were often indefensible or easily answered. Most importantly, Carnap’s last criterion was seriously misinterpreted and an amended version of it remains tenable.
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  • The Doxastic Status of Delusion and the Limits of Folk Psychology.José Eduardo Porcher - 2018 - In Inês Hipólito, Jorge Gonçalves & João G. Pereira (eds.), Schizophrenia and Common Sense: Explaining the Relation Between Madness and Social Values. New York: Springer.
    Clinical delusions are widely characterized as being pathological beliefs in both the clinical literature and in common sense. Recently, a philosophical debate has emerged between defenders of the commonsense position (doxasticists) and their opponents, who have the burden of pointing toward alternative characterizations (anti-doxasticists). In this chapter, I argue that both doxasticism and anti- doxasticism fail to characterize the functional role of delusions while at the same time being unable to play a role in the explanation of these phenomena. I (...)
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  • The Possibility of Naturalized Metaphysics.Rasmus Jaksland - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Copenhagen
    This project investigates naturalized metaphysics as a recent trend in analytic metaphysics originating in the naturalist attitude of James Ladyman and Don Ross in their seminal work Everything must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized (2007). The primary focus, however, will be the more recent article “Neo-Positivist Metaphysics” (2012) by Alyssa Ney that originates in this tradition. The project will conclude that naturalized metaphysics is an unsuccessful attempt at an answer to the question ’how is metaphysics possible’. More precisely, the project will establish (...)
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  • Against the New Metaphysics of Race.David Ludwig - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):244-265.
    The aim of this article is to develop an argument against metaphysical debates about the existence of human races. I argue that the ontology of race is underdetermined by both empirical and non-empirical evidence due to a plurality of equally permissible candidate meanings of "race." Furthermore, I argue that this underdetermination leads to a deflationist diagnosis according to #hich disputes about the existence of human races are non-substantive verbal disputes. $hile this diagnosis resembles general deflationist strategies in contemporary metaphysics" I (...)
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  • Philosophy as Total Axiomatics: Serious Metaphysics, Scrutability Bases, and Aesthetic Evaluation.Uriah Kriegel - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):272-290.
    What is the aim of philosophy? There may be too many philosophical branches, traditions, practices, and programs to admit of a single overarching aim. Here I focus on a fairly traditional philosophical project that has recently received increasingly sophisticated articulation, especially by Frank Jackson (1998) and David Chalmers (2012). In §1, I present the project and suggest that it is usefully thought of as ‘total axiomatics’: the project of attempting to axiomatize the total theory of the world. In §2, I (...)
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  • Questions of Ontology.Kathrin Koslicki - 2015 - In Stephan Blatti & Sandra Lapointe (eds.), Ontology After Carnap. Oxford University Press.
    Following W.V. Quine’s lead, many metaphysicians consider ontology to be concerned primarily with existential questions of the form, “What is there?”. Moreover, if the position advanced by Rudolf Carnap, in his seminal essay, “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology ”, is correct, then many of these existential ontological questions ought to be classified as either trivially answerable or as “pseudo-questions”. One may justifiably wonder, however, whether the Quinean and Carnapian perspective on ontology really does justice to many of the most central concerns (...)
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  • Carnap’s Epistemological Critique of Metaphysics.Darren Bradley - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2247-2265.
    Many who take a dismissive attitude towards metaphysics trace their view back to Carnap’s ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology’. But the reason Carnap takes a dismissive attitude to metaphysics is a matter of controversy. I will argue that no reason is given in ‘Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology’, and this is because his reason for rejecting metaphysical debates was given in ‘Pseudo-Problems in Philosophy’. The argument there assumes verificationism, but I will argue that his argument survives the rejection of verificationism. The root (...)
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  • Composition.Daniel Z. Korman & Chad Carmichael - 2016 - Oxford Handbooks Online.
    When some objects are the parts of another object, they compose that object and that object is composite. This article is intended as an introduction to the central questions about composition and a highly selective overview of various answers to those questions. In §1, we review some formal features of parthood that are important for understanding the nature of composition. In §2, we consider some answers to the question: which pluralities of objects together compose something? As we will see, the (...)
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  • Fundamental Quantification and the Language of the Ontology Room.Daniel Z. Korman - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):298-321.
    Nihilism is the thesis that no composite objects exist. Some ontologists have advocated abandoning nihilism in favor of deep nihilism, the thesis that composites do not existO, where to existO is to be in the domain of the most fundamental quantifier. By shifting from an existential to an existentialO thesis, the deep nihilist seems to secure all the benefits of a composite-free ontology without running afoul of ordinary belief in the existence of composites. I argue that, while there are well-known (...)
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  • Composition as Pattern.Steve Petersen - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1119-1139.
    I argue for patternism, a new answer to the question of when some objects compose a whole. None of the standard principles of composition comfortably capture our natural judgments, such as that my cat exists and my table exists, but there is nothing wholly composed of them. Patternism holds, very roughly, that some things compose a whole whenever together they form a “real pattern”. Plausibly we are inclined to acknowledge the existence of my cat and my table but not of (...)
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  • Abstract Entities in a Presentist World.Aldo Filomeno - 2016 - Metaphysica 17 (2):177-193.
    How can a metaphysics of abstract entities be built upon a metaphysics of time? In this paper, I address the question of how to accommodate abstract entities in a presentist world. I consider both the traditional metaontological approach of unrestricted fundamental quantification and then ontological pluralism. I argue that under the former we need to impose two constraints in the characterization of presentism in order to avoid undesired commitments to abstract entities: we have to characterize presentism as a thesis only (...)
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  • Possible Worlds and the Objective World.Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2015 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 90 (2):389-422.
    David Lewis holds that a single possible world can provide more than one way things could be. But what are possible worlds good for if they come apart from ways things could be? We can make sense of this if we go in for a metaphysical understanding of what the world is. The world does not include everything that is the case—only the genuine facts. Understood this way, Lewis's “cheap haecceitism” amounts to a kind of metaphysical anti-haecceitism: it says there (...)
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  • Can an Ontological Pluralist Really Be a Realist?J. T. M. Miller - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (3):425-430.
    This article examines whether it is possible to uphold one form of deflationism towards metaphysics, ontological pluralism, whilst maintaining metaphysical realism. The focus therefore is on one prominent deflationist who fits the definition of an ontological pluralist, Eli Hirsch, and his self-ascription as a realist. The article argues that ontological pluralism is not amenable to the ascription of realism under some basic intuitions as to what a “realist” position is committed to. These basic intuitions include a commitment to more than (...)
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  • Berkeley's Meta-Ontology: Bodies, Forces, and the Semantics of 'Exists'.Kenneth L. Pearce - manuscript
    To the great puzzlement of his readers, Berkeley begins by arguing that nothing exists other than minds and ideas, but concludes by claiming to have defended the existence of bodies. How can Berkeley's idealism amount to such a defense? I introduce resources from Berkeley's philosophy of language, and especially his analysis of the discourse of physics, to defend a novel answer to this question. According to Berkeley, the technical terms of physics are meaningful despite failing to designate any reality; their (...)
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  • A Natural Case for Realism: Processes, Structures, and Laws.Andrew Michael Winters - 2015 - Dissertation, University of South Florida
    Recent literature concerning laws of nature highlight the close relationship between general metaphysics and philosophy of science. In particular, a person's theoretical commitments in either have direct implications for her stance on laws. In this dissertation, I argue that an ontic structural realist should be a realist about laws, but only within a non-Whiteheadean process framework. Without the adoption of a process framework, any account of laws the ontic structural realist offers will require metaphysical commitments that are at odds with (...)
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  • Ontological Nihilism.Jason Turner - 2011 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics. Oxford University Press. pp. 3-54.
  • The Relationist and Substantivalist Theories of Time: Foes or Friends?Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - European Journal of Philosophy 19 (4):491-506.
    Abstract: There are two traditionally rival views about the nature of time: substantivalism that takes time to be a substance that exists independently of events located in it, and relationism that takes time to be constructed out of events. In this paper, first, I want to make some progress with respect to the debate between these two views, and I do this mainly by examining the strategies they use to face the possibilities of ‘empty time’ and ‘time without change’. As (...)
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  • Why Care About What There Is?Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - In Javier Cumpa (ed.), The Question of Ontology: The Contemporary Debate. Oxford University Press.
    There’s the question of what there is, and then there’s the question of what ultimately exists. Many contend that, once we have this distinction clearly in mind, we can see that there is no sensible debate to be had about whether there are such things as properties or tables or numbers, and that the only ontological question worth debating is whether such things are ultimate (in one or another sense). I argue that this is a mistake. Taking debates about ordinary (...)
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  • Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  • Endurance, Perdurance, and Metaontology.Jiri Benovsky - 2011 - SATS (2):159-177.
    The recent debate in metaontology gave rise to several types of (more or less classical) answers to questions about "equivalences" between metaphysical theories and to the question whether metaphysical disputes are substantive or merely verbal (i.e. various versions of realism, strong anti-realism, moderate anti-realism, or epistemicism). In this paper, I want to do two things. First, I shall have a close look at one metaphysical debate that has been the target and center of interest of many meta-metaphysicians, namely the problem (...)
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  • Robert Lorne Victor Hale FRSE May 4, 1945 – December 12, 2017.Roy T. Cook & Stewart Shapiro - 2018 - Philosophia Mathematica 26 (2):266-274.
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  • Rethinking the Human Condition: Skepticism, Realism, and Transactional Pragmatism.Frank X. Ryan - 2016 - Contemporary Pragmatism 13 (3):263-297.
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