Philosophical Inquiries 6 (1):95-122 (2018)

Authors
Matthew Haug
College of William and Mary
Abstract
In this paper I return to the mid-20th-century debate between Quine and Carnap on the status of metaphysics questions with an eye toward advancing contemporary debates about whether naturalists can coherently undertake substantive metaphysical inquiry. Following Huw Price, I take the debate between Quine and Carnap to hinge, in part, on whether human inquiry is functionally unified. However, unlike Price, I suggest that this question is not best understood as a question about the function(s) of descriptive discourse. This goes along with rejecting a “linguistic conception” of the starting point of metaphysical inquiry, which, although shared by Quine and Carnap, Price gives us no good reason to think is mandatory for naturalists. I sketch two reasons naturalists have to reject a particular manifestation of this linguistic conception in Quine’s work—his criterion of ontological commitment. Finally, I show how these reasons can help us identify the grains of truth in some recent critiques of “mainstream metaphysics of mind.”
Keywords Quine, W.V.O.  Price, Huw  meta-metaphysics  naturalism
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References found in this work BETA

Philosophy Without Intuitions.Herman Cappelen - 2012 - Oxford University Press UK.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
On What There Is.W. V. O. Quine - 2011 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 221-233.

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