On Quine on Carnap on Ontology

Philosophical Studies 102 (1):93 - 122 (2001)
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Abstract

W. V. Quine assumed that in _Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology Rudolf Carnap was attempting to dodge commitment to abstract entities--without either renouncing quantification over them or demonstrating their dispensability--by wielding the analytic/synthetic distinction against ontological issues. Quine's interpretation of Carnap's intent--and his criticism of it--is widely endorsed. But Carnap objected, I argue, not to abstract entities, but to his critics' suggestion that empiricism implies nominalism. Quine's and Carnap's views are therefore more akin than Quine ever suspected. Unfortunately, Quine's misinterpretation of Carnap's position has led to a misunderstanding of the implications of Quine's own naturalistic turn for contemporary ontology

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Marc Alspector-Kelly
Western Michigan University

Citations of this work

Carnap and Ontological Pluralism.Matti Eklund - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 130--56.
Quine's Monism and Modal Eliminativism in the Realm of Supervenience.Atilla Akalın - 2019 - International Journal of Social Humanities Sciences Research (JSHRS) 6 (34):795-800.
Carnap's Metaontology.Matti Eklund - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):229-249.

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References found in this work

Symposium: On What There Is.P. T. Geach, A. J. Ayer & W. V. Quine - 1948 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 25 (1):125-160.
Intellectual Autobiography.Rudolf Carnap - 1963 - In Paul Arthur Schilpp (ed.), The Philosophy of Rudolf Carnap. LaSalle, Illinois: Open Court. pp. 3--84.
Does Ontology Rest on a Mistake?Stephen Yablo - 1998 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 72 (1):229 - 283.
Identity, Ostension, and Hypostasis.W. V. Quine - 1950 - Journal of Philosophy 47 (22):621-633.
Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism.Nelson Goodman & W. V. Quine - 1947 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 13 (1):49-50.

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