Synthese 71 (1):1 - 18 (1987)

My aim has been to adapt Quine's criterion of the ontological commitment of theories couched in standard quantificational idiom to a much broader class of theories by focusing on the set-theoretic structure of the models of those theories. For standard first-order theories, the two criteria coincide on simple entities. Divergences appear as they are applied to higher-order theories and as composite entities are taken into account. In support of the extended criterion, I appeal to its fruits in treating the various examples considered above and to the healthy intuitions of the non-noneists among us. Don't O(m) and E(m) comprise just the things we should have though existed according to a particular interpretation m of a language or a theory? Whatever the answer (and it will hardly be unanimous), I hope to have pointed the way towards a recognition of ontology as a worthwhile branch of modern theory
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DOI 10.1007/BF00486433
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References found in this work BETA

The Ways of Paradox and Other Essays.W. V. O. Quine - 1966 - Harvard University Press.
Methods of Logic.P. L. Heath & Willard Van Orman Quine - 1955 - Philosophical Quarterly 5 (21):376.
Ontology and the Vicious Circle Principle.Charles S. Chihara - 1973 - Ithaca [N.Y.]Cornell University Press.
The Logic of Existence.Henry S. Leonard - 1956 - Philosophical Studies 7 (4):49 - 64.

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