How to Express Ontological Commitment in the Vernacular

Philosophia Mathematica 18 (3):293-310 (2010)
Jamin Asay
University of Hong Kong
According to the familiar Quinean understanding of ontological commitment, (1) one undertakes ontological commitments only via theoretical regimentations, and (2) ontological commitments are to be identified with the domain of a theory’s quantifiers. Jody Azzouni accepts (1), but rejects (2). Azzouni accepts (1) because he believes that no vernacular expression carries ontological commitments. He rejects (2) by locating a theory’s commitments with the extension of an existence predicate. I argue that Azzouni’s two theses undermine each other. If ontological commitments follow from predications of existence, then ontological commitments can be expressed in the vernacular via negative existential sentences
Keywords Azzouni  Quine  ontological commitment
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DOI 10.1093/philmat/nkq005
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On "on What There Is".Jody Azzouni - 1998 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 79 (1):1–18.
Ontology and the Word 'Exist': Uneasy Relations.Jody Azzouni - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (1):74-101.

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