Philosophers' Imprint 7 (1):1-33 (2007)
One puzzling feature of talk about properties, propositions and natural numbers is that statements that are explicitly about them can be introduced apparently without change of truth conditions from statements that don't mention them at all. Thus it seems that the existence of numbers, properties and propositions can be established`from nothing'. This metaphysical puzzle is tied to a series of syntactic and semantic puzzles about the relationship between ordinary, metaphysically innocent statements and their metaphysically loaded counterparts, statements that explicitly mention numbers, properties and propositions, but nonetheless appear to be equivalent to the former. I argue that the standard solutions to the metaphysical puzzles make a mistaken assumption about the semantics of the loaded counterparts. Instead I propose a solution to the syntactic and semantic puzzles, and argue that this solution also gives us a new solution to the metaphysical puzzle. I argue that instead of containing more semantically singular terms that aim to refer to extra entities, the loaded counterparts are focus constructions. Their syntactic structure is in the service of presenting information with a focus, but not to refer to new entities. This will allow us to spell out Frege's metaphor of content carving.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Inscrutability and Ontological Commitment.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):21 - 42.
Number Words and Reference to Numbers.Katharina Felka - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (1):261-282.
Similar books and articles
A Second-Order Relevance Logic with Modality.James B. Freeman & Charles B. Daniels - 1979 - Studia Logica 38 (2):113 - 135.
Generics, Frequency Adverbs, and Probability.Ariel Cohen - 1999 - Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (3):221-253.
Some Laws of Nature Are Metaphysically Contingent.John Roberts - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (3):445-457.
Fictionalism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Mark Colyvan - 2011 - In E. J. Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads84 ( #60,355 of 2,153,589 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #90,536 of 2,153,589 )
How can I increase my downloads?