Metaontological Deflationism in the Aftermath of the Quine-Carnap Debate

Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (2):33-52 (2015)

Abstract
With metaphysical philosophy gaining prominence in the aftermath of the Quine-Carnap debate, not only has it become assumed that the Quinean critique leaves ontological pluralism behind as an untenable approach, but also that the same is true of deflationism more generally. Building on Quine’s criticisms against the analytic-synthetic distinction and the notion of quantifier variance, contemporary metaphysicians like van Inwagen and Sider continue to argue for the untenability of deflationary approaches to metaontology. In this paper I will argue that Quine’s criticisms do not provide sufficient grounds for revitalizing metaphysics, as the aforementioned metaphysicians conceive them as doing, and that they also don’t eliminate all hope for Carnapian pluralism. Furthermore, Carnap’s initial position may even yield the most promising route for the pluralistically inclined. Moreover, pluralism is often conceived as being equivalent with the narrower notion of quantifier variance, often associated with Hirsch and Putnam. As this notion often is attributed not only to Carnap and other pluralists, but also is taken to be an essential feature of deflationism, explicating how their merits in fact don’t necessarily coincide with those of quantifier variance will clarify matters. I will conclude by noting how neither pluralism nor deflationism is committed to quantifier variance, and thus how arguments against the latter don’t entail a refutation of the former.
Keywords deflationism  Quine-Carnap Debate   Ontological Pluralism  Quantifier Variance
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References found in this work BETA

Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
Ontological Pluralism.Jason Turner - 2010 - Journal of Philosophy 107 (1):5-34.
The Question of Ontology.Kit Fine - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 157--177.
Ontological Realism.Theodore Sider - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 384--423.

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