Can Semantics Guide Ontology?


Authors
Katherine Ritchie
City College of New York (CUNY)
Abstract
Since the linguistic turn, many have taken semantics to guide ontology. Here, I argue that semantics can, at best, serve as a partial guide to ontological commitment. If semantics were to be our guide, semantic data and semantic treatments would need to be taken seriously. Through an examination of plurals and their treatments, I argue that there can be multiple, equally semantically adequate, treatments of a natural language theory. Further, such treatments can attribute different ontological commitments to a theory. Given this, I argue that semantics can fail to deliver determinate ontological commitments and determinate answers to ontological questions, more generally
Keywords ontology  semantics  plurals
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Reprint years 2016
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2015.1045912
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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.

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Citations of this work BETA

The General Truthmaker View of Ontological Commitment.Bradley Rettler - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1405-1425.

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