Truthmaker commitments

Philosophical Studies 141 (1):7-19 (2008)
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Abstract

On the truthmaker view of ontological commitment [Heil (From an ontological point of view, 2003); Armstrong (Truth and truthmakers, 2004); Cameron (Philosophical Studies, 2008)], a theory is committed to the entities needed in the world for the theory to be made true. I argue that this view puts truthmaking to the wrong task. None of the leading accounts of truthmaking—via necessitation, supervenience, or grounding—can provide a viable measure of ontological commitment. But the grounding account does provide a needed constraint on what is fundamental. So I conclude that truthmaker commitments are not a rival to quantifier commitments, but a needed complement. The quantifier commitments are what a theory says exists, while the truthmaker commitments are what a theory says is fundamental.

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Jonathan Schaffer
Rutgers University - New Brunswick

Citations of this work

Identity.Harold Noonan & Benjamin L. Curtis - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
How to have a radically minimal ontology.Ross P. Cameron - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):249 - 264.
Monism.Jonathan Schaffer - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Minimal Truthmakers.Donnchadh O'Conaill & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2016 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):228-244.
Parts generate the whole but they are not identical to it.Ross P. Cameron - 2014 - In Aaron J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

A World of States of Affairs.D. M. Armstrong - 1997 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Material beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press.
From an ontological point of view.John Heil - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Truth and truthmakers.D. M. Armstrong - 2004 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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