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

Marc Alspector-Kelly
Western Michigan University
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
Keywords W.V. Quine  Rudolf Carnap  Ontology
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Reprint years 2004
DOI 10.1023/A:1010353825006
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