Synthese 198 (2):957-983 (2019)

Authors
Peter Finocchiaro
Wuhan University
Abstract
Metaphysicians now typically distinguish between a theory’s ontology and its ideology. But besides a few cursory efforts, no one has explained the role of ideology in theory choice. In this paper I develop a framework for discussing how differing approaches to ideology impact metaphysical disputes. I first provide an initial characterization of ideology and develop two contrasting types of criteria used to evaluate its quality. In using externalist criteria, we judge the quality of a theory’s ideology by its relation to external features of the world. In contrast, in using internalist criteria, we judge the quality of a theory’s ideology by features internal to the theory and the theorizer, e.g. the intelligibility of the terminology employed. I then argue for an unrestricted application of externalist criteria, what I call maximal realism. According to maximal realism, we ought to apply externalist criteria to the entirety of a theory’s ideology—to not only predicates but also to quantifiers and logical operators. I defend maximal realism from what I take to be the best objection to it: that the view leads to bad questions. As part of my defense, I argue that those who would restrict their application of externalist criteria either adopt an unjustified partition of ideology or reject seemingly benign questions. Finally, I apply my discussion of ideology to two extant metaphysical disputes.
Keywords Ideology  Metametaphysics  Methodology  Ontological Disagreement  Theory Choice
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-018-02077-6
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References found in this work BETA

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Fact, Fiction, and Forecast.Nelson Goodman - 1955 - Harvard University Press.
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Citations of this work BETA

High‐Fidelity Metaphysics: Ideological Parsimony in Theory Choice.Peter Finocchiaro - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (4):613-632.
The Explosion of Being: Ideological Kinds in Theory Choice.Peter Finocchiaro - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (276):486-510.
Structural Indeterminacy.Alessandro Torza - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):365-382.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

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