Philosophical Studies 170 (2):199-214 (2013)
Terms such as ‘exist’, ‘actual’, etc., (hereafter, “ontic terms”) are recognized as having uses that are not ontologically committing, in addition to the usual commissive uses. (Consider, e.g., the Platonic and the neutral readings of ‘There is an even prime’.) In this paper, I identify five different noncommissive uses for ontic terms, and (by a kind of via negativa) attempt to define the commissive use, focusing on ‘actual’ as my example. The problem, however, is that the resulting definiens for the commissive ‘actual’ is itself equivocal between a commissive and a noncommissive reading. I thus consider other proposals for defining the commissive use, including two proposals from David Lewis. However, each proposal is found to be equivocal in the same way—and eventually I argue that it is impossible to define an ontic term unequivocally. Even so, this is not meant to overshadow that we can understand an ontic term as univocally commissive, in certain conversational contexts. I close by illustrating the import of these observations for the Hirsch–Sider debate in metaontology
|Keywords||Quine on ontology Existence Metaontology Theodore Sider Eli Hirsch David Lewis Jody Azzouni Regimentation Being qua being|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
On What Grounds What.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In David Manley, David J. Chalmers & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 347-383.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Modal Tense and the Absolutely Unrestricted Quantifier.Seahwa Kim - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (1):73-76.
How to Express Ontological Commitment in the Vernacular.Jamin Asay - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (3):293-310.
Ontology, Commitment, and Quine's Criterion.Yvonne Raley - 2007 - Philosophia Mathematica 15 (3):271-290.
Added to index2009-08-23
Total downloads376 ( #6,936 of 2,163,853 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #51,198 of 2,163,853 )
How can I increase my downloads?