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  1. added 2019-01-02
    On the Dispensability of Grounding: Ground-Breaking Work on Metaphysical Explanation.James Norton - 2017 - Dissertation, The University of Sydney
    Primitive, unanalysable grounding relations are considered by many to be indispensable constituents of the metaphysician’s toolkit. Yet, as a primitive ontological posit, grounding must earn its keep by explaining features of the world not explained by other tools already at our disposal. Those who defend grounding contend that grounding is required to play two interconnected roles: accounting for widespread intuitions regarding what is ontologically prior to what, and forming the backbone of a theory of metaphysical explanation, in much the same (...)
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  2. added 2018-12-29
    Misak's Peirce and Pragmatism's Metaphysical Commitments.Andrew Howat - 2018 - Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 54 (3):378.
    In this comment on Misak’s Cambridge Pragmatism, I examine a case study—debate about the existence of free will—in order to explore residual tensions between Misak’s ‘truth-affirming,’ Peircean pragmatism, and mainstream analytic philosophy. I suggest that Misak’s Peirce makes a metaphysical commitment to the existence of rational self-control, and thereby to the existence of free will. I also suggest, however, that her ‘analytic pragmatism’ thus far offers few clues about how we should defend such a commitment from skeptical arguments emerging from (...)
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  3. added 2018-10-27
    Ontology.Barry Smith - 2003 - In The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 153-166.
    Ontology as a branch of philosophy is the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects, properties, events, processes and relations in every area of reality. ‘Ontology’ in this sense is often used by philosophers as a synonym of ‘metaphysics’ (a label meaning literally: ‘what comes after the Physics’), a term used by early students of Aristotle to refer to what Aristotle himself called ‘first philosophy’. But in recent years, in a development hardly noticed by philosophers, the (...)
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  4. added 2018-07-29
    Ontology.Barry Smith - 2003 - In Luciano Floridi (ed.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 155-166.
    Ontology as a branch of philosophy is the science of what is, of the kinds and structures of objects, properties, events, processes and relations in every area of reality. ‘Ontology’ in this sense is often used by philosophers as a synonym of ‘metaphysics’ (a label meaning literally: ‘what comes after the Physics’), a term used by early students of Aristotle to refer to what Aristotle himself called ‘first philosophy’. But in recent years, in a development hardly noticed by philosophers, the (...)
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  5. added 2018-07-06
    Quantifier Variance Dissolved.Suki Finn & Otávio Bueno - 2018 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 82:289-307.
    Quantifier variance faces a number of difficulties. In this paper we first formulate the view as holding that the meanings of the quantifiers may vary, and that languages using different quantifiers may be charitably translated into each other. We then object to the view on the basis of four claims: (i) quantifiers cannot vary their meaning extensionally by changing the domain of quantification; (ii) quantifiers cannot vary their meaning intensionally without collapsing into logical pluralism; (iii) quantifier variance is not an (...)
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  6. added 2018-06-04
    Ontological Commitment.Daniel Durante Pereira Alves - manuscript
    Disagreement over what exists is so fundamental that it tends to hinder or even to block dialogue among disputants. The various con- troversies between believers and atheists, or realists and nominalists, are only two kinds of examples. Interested in contributing to the intelligibility of the debate on ontology, in 1939 Willard van Orman Quine began a series of works which introduces the notion of ontological commitment and proposes an allegedly objective criterion to identify the exact conditions under which a theoretical (...)
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  7. added 2018-05-13
    Meta-Metaphysics.Tuomas Tahko - 2018 - Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Meta-metaphysics concerns the nature and methodology of metaphysics and metaphysical inquiry. The emergence of meta-metaphysics as a systematic area of study is relatively recent, going back to the late 1990s. But the issues pursued in meta-metaphysics are certainly not novel: an age old question about the nature of metaphysics is whether it is possible to obtain knowledge about metaphysical matters in the first place, and if it is, how this knowledge is obtained.
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  8. added 2018-05-01
    Willard Van Orman Quine's Philosophical Development in the 1930s and 1940s.Frederique Janssen-Lauret - 2018 - In Walter Carnielli, Frederique Janssen-Lauret & William Pickering (eds.), The Significance of the New Logic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    As analytic philosophy is becoming increasingly aware of and interested in its own history, the study of that field is broadening to include, not just its earliest beginnings, but also the mid-twentieth century. One of the towering figures of this epoch is W.V. Quine (1908-2000), champion of naturalism in philosophy of science, pioneer of mathematical logic, trying to unite an austerely physicalist theory of the world with the truths of mathematics, psychology, and linguistics. Quine's posthumous papers, notes, and drafts revealing (...)
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  9. added 2018-03-09
    Ontology Without Borders. [REVIEW]Daniel Z. Korman - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews.
    A review of Jody Azzouni's "Ontology without Borders". Azzouni defends "ontological projectivism", a variety of ontological nihilism according to which "ontological borders" are not "worldly". I raise some questions about the view and about his master argument for it.
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  10. added 2018-02-17
    Ontology (Science).Barry Smith - 2003 - In Carola Eschenbach & Michael Grüninger (eds.), Formal Ontology in Information Systems. Oxford: IOS Press. pp. 21-35.
    Increasingly, in data-intensive areas of the life sciences, experimental results are being described in algorithmically useful ways with the help of ontologies. Such ontologies are authored and maintained by scientists to support the retrieval, integration and analysis of their data. The proposition to be defended here is that ontologies of this type – the Gene Ontology (GO) being the most conspicuous example – are a part of science. Initial evidence for the truth of this proposition (which some will find self-evident) (...)
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  11. added 2017-09-20
    Natural Language and its Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Alvin Goldman & Brian Mclaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This paper gives a characterization of the ontology implicit in natural language and the entities it involves, situates natural language ontology within metaphysics, and responds to Chomskys' dismissal of externalist semantics.
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  12. added 2017-09-14
    Review of 'Ontology After Carnap' Edited by Stephan Blatti and Sandra Lapointe. [REVIEW]Darren Bradley - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):858-861.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com‘Carnap is not completely unknown to us’ comments Richard Creath in his contribution to this book. ‘We often know just enough to be baffled’. It will be no surprise to anyone when I say that this book will not unbaffle us. But it does give us a collection of rewarding papers that each wrestle with the legacy Carnap has (...)
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  13. added 2017-07-25
    Committing Ourselves to Nothing: An Anti-Orthodox View of Existential Quantifier Expressions.Stephen M. Nelson - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Minnesota
    There is a significant difference between the words `is' and `exists' that has either been overlooked or under-appreciated by many philosophers. This difference comes in sentences that express existential quantification using `is', `exists', or their cognates, such as, "There are cookies in the jar," or, "There exists a strange species of fish that nobody has studied yet." Phrases such as `there are' and `there exists' are existential quantifier expressions, since they're used to express existential quantification. The orthodox view of these (...)
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  14. added 2017-01-18
    The General Truthmaker View of Ontological Commitment.Bradley Rettler - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (5):1405-1425.
    In this paper, I articulate and argue for a new truthmaker view of ontological commitment, which I call the “General Truthmaker View”: when one affirms a sentence, one is ontologically committed to there being something that makes true the proposition expressed by the sentence. This view comes apart from Quinean orthodoxy in that we are not ontologically committed to the things over which we quantify, and it comes apart from extant truthmaker views of ontological commitment in that we are not (...)
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  15. added 2016-07-31
    Natural Language Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Oxford Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
    The aim of natural language ontology is to uncover the ontological categories and structures that are implicit in the use of natural language, that is, that a speaker accepts when using a language. This article aims to clarify what exactly the subject matter of natural language ontology is, what sorts of linguistic data it should take into account, how natural language ontology relates to other branches of metaphysics, in what ways natural language ontology is important, and what may be distinctive (...)
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  16. added 2015-08-31
    On the Ontology of Linguistic Frameworks Toward a Comprehensive Version of Empiricism.Majid Davoody Beni - 2015 - Philosophia Scientiae 19 (1):115-126.
    Can the abstract entities be designated? While the empiricists usually took the positive answer to this question as the first step toward Platonism, in his ``Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology’’ [Carnap 1950], Carnap tried to make a reconciliation between the language referring to abstract entities on the one hand, and empiricism on the other. In this paper, firstly, I show that the ingenuity of Carnap’s approach notwithstanding, it is prone to criticism from different aspects. But I also show how, even without (...)
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  17. added 2015-08-26
    Constructing Formal Semantics From an Ontological Perspective. The Case of Second-Order Logics.Thibaut Giraud - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2115-2145.
    In a first part, I defend that formal semantics can be used as a guide to ontological commitment. Thus, if one endorses an ontological view \(O\) and wants to interpret a formal language \(L\) , a thorough understanding of the relation between semantics and ontology will help us to construct a semantics for \(L\) in such a way that its ontological commitment will be in perfect accordance with \(O\) . Basically, that is what I call constructing formal semantics from an (...)
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  18. added 2015-08-21
    What is the Problem of Non-Existence?Tim Crane - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (3):417-434.
    It is widely held that there is a problem of talking about or otherwise representing things that not exist. But what exactly is this problem? This paper presents a formulation of the problem in terms of the conflict between the fact that there are truths about non-existent things and the fact that truths must be answerable to reality, how things are. Given this, the problem of singular negative existential statements is no longer the central or most difficult aspect of the (...)
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  19. added 2015-06-02
    Must Naturalism Lead to a Deflationary Meta-Ontology?Matthew Haug - 2014 - Metaphysica 15 (2):347-367.
    Huw Price has argued that naturalistic philosophy inevitably leads to a deflationary approach to ontological questions. In this paper, I rebut these arguments. A more substantive, less language-focused approach to metaphysics remains open to naturalists. However, rebutting one of Price’s main arguments requires rejecting Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment. So, even though Price’s argument is unsound, it reveals that naturalists cannot rest content with broadly Quinean, “mainstream metaphysics,” which, I suggest, naturalists also have independent reasons to reject.
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  20. added 2015-05-19
    The Natural Definition of Reality.Jonathan Ochs - 2013 - Aporia 23 (2):13-23.
    The problem with ontological commitment is that when we symbolize the statements that we make about what 'exists' or what is 'real', they do not always translate to exactly that which we intend to express. In this essay, I explore the relation between 'Reality' and how we describe reality. I evaluate the accounts of three prominent philosophers on the topic, address their shortcomings, and introduce my own account; which I call "The Natural Definition of Reality".
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  21. added 2015-02-07
    Ontology and Metaontology. A Contemporary Guide.Francesco Berto & Matteo Plebani - 2015 - Bloomsbury Academic.
    'Ontology and Metaontology: A Contemporary Guide' is a clear and accessible survey of ontology, focussing on the most recent trends in the discipline. -/- Divided into parts, the first half characterizes metaontology: the discourse on the methodology of ontological inquiry, covering the main concepts, tools, and methods of the discipline, exploring the notions of being and existence, ontological commitment, paraphrase strategies, fictionalist strategies, and other metaontological questions. The second half considers a series of case studies, introducing and familiarizing the reader (...)
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  22. added 2014-10-04
    How to Speak of Existence.Uriah Kriegel - 2015 - In S. Lapointe (ed.), Themes from Ontology, Mind, and Logic: Essays in Honor of Peter Simons. Brill. pp. 81-106.
    To a first approximation, ontology is concerned with what exists, metaontology with what it means to say that something exists. So understood, metaontology has been dominated by three views: (i) existence as a substantive first-order property that some things have and some do not, (ii) existence as a formal first-order property that everything has, and (iii) existence as a second-order property of existents’ distinctive properties. Each of these faces well-documented difficulties. In this chapter, I want to expound a fourth theoretical (...)
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  23. added 2014-09-04
    Devious Stipulations.John Horden - 2017 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 10.
    Recent attempts to answer ontological questions through conceptual analysis have been controversial. Still, it seems reasonable to assume that if the existence of certain things analytically follows from sentences we already accept, then there is no further ontological commitment involved in affirming the existence of those things. More generally, it is plausible that whenever a sentence analytically entails another, the conjunction of those sentences requires nothing more of the world for its truth than the former sentence alone. In his ‘Analyticity (...)
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  24. added 2014-08-04
    A Priority and Existence.Stephen Yablo - 2000 - In Paul Boghossian & Christopher Peacocke (eds.), New Essays on the a Priori. Oxford University Press. pp. 197.
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  25. added 2014-05-21
    Real Metaphysics and the Descriptive/Revisionary Distinction.Cynthia Macdonald - 2007 - In Cornelis De Waal (ed.), Susan Haack: A Lady of Distinctions: The Philosopher Responds to Critics. Prometheus Books.
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  26. added 2014-04-02
    Is There a Plural Object?Byeong-Uk Yi - forthcoming - In Donal Baxter & Aaron Cotnoir (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press.
    A plurality or plural object is a single object that is also many, and pluralitism is the thesis that there is such an object. This paper argues that pluralitism and closely related theses (e.g., the many-one identity thesis and the composition as identity thesis) violate logic. To do so, it formulates an approach to the logic and semantics of plural constructions that results in plural logic and relates treatments of plural constructions to accounts of natural number. And it gives a (...)
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  27. added 2014-04-02
    The Semantics of Existence.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):31-63.
    The notion of existence is a very puzzling one philosophically. Often philosophers have appealed to linguistic properties of sentences stating existence. However, the appeal to linguistic intuitions has generally not been systematic and without serious regard of relevant issues in linguistic semantics. This paper has two aims. On the one hand, it will look at statements of existence from a systematic linguistic point of view, in order to try to clarify what the actual semantics of such statements in fact is. (...)
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  28. added 2014-03-16
    Must Existence-Questions Have Answers?Stephen Yablo - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 507-525.
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  29. added 2014-03-16
    The Question of Ontology.Kit Fine - 2009 - In David John Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press. pp. 157--177.
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  30. added 2014-03-08
    Existence as a Real Property.Francesco Berto - 2012 - Synthèse Library, Springer.
    This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...)
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  31. added 2013-10-24
    Ontology: Minimalism and Truth-Conditions.Juan José Lara Peñaranda - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):683-696.
    In this paper, I develop a criticism to a method for metaontology, namely, the idea that a discourse’s or theory’s ontological commitments can be read off its sentences’ truth- conditions. Firstly, I will put forward this idea’s basis and, secondly, I will present the way Quine subscribed to it. However, I distinguish between two readings of Quine’s famous ontological criterion, and I center the focus on the one currently dubbed “ontological minimalism”, a kind of modern Ockhamism applied to the mentioned (...)
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  32. added 2013-06-08
    Unity and Plurality. Philosophy, Logic, and Semantics.Massimiliano Carrara, Alessandra Arapinis & Friederike Moltmann - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume brings together new work on the logic and ontology of plurality and a range of recent articles exploring novel applications to natural language semantics. The contributions in this volume in particular investigate and extend new perspectives presented by plural logic and non-standard mereology and explore their applications to a range of natural language phenomena. Contributions by P. Aquaviva, A. Arapinis, M. Carrara, P. McKay, F. Moltmann, O. Linnebo, A. Oliver and T. Smiley, T. Scaltsas, P. Simons, and B.-Y. (...)
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  33. added 2013-05-05
    Ontological Innocence.Katherine Hawley - 2014 - In A. J. Cotnoir & Donald L. M. Baxter (eds.), Composition as Identity. Oxford University Press. pp. 70-89.
    In this chapter, I examine Lewis's ideas about ontological innocence, ontological commitment and double-counting, in his discussion of composition as identity in Parts of Classes. I attempt to understand these primarily as epistemic or methodological claims: how far can we get down this route without adopting radical metaphysical theses about composition as identity?
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  34. added 2013-04-01
    Analyticity and Ontology.Louis deRosset - 2015 - Oxford Studies in Metaphysics 9.
    /Analyticity theorists/, as I will call them, endorse the /doctrine of analyticity in ontology/: if some truth P analytically entails the existence of certain things, then a theory that contains P but does not claim that those things exist is no more ontologically parsimonious than a theory that also claims that they exist. Suppose, for instance, that the existence of a table in a certain location is analytically entailed by the existence and features of certain particles in that location. The (...)
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  35. added 2012-07-04
    Logic, Ontological Neutrality, and the Law of Non-Contradiction.Achille C. Varzi - 2014 - In Elena Ficara (ed.), Contradictions. Logic, History, Actuality. De Gruyter. pp. 53–80.
    Abstract. As a general theory of reasoning—and as a general theory of what holds true under every possible circumstance—logic is supposed to be ontologically neutral. It ought to have nothing to do with questions concerning what there is, or whether there is anything at all. It is for this reason that traditional Aristotelian logic, with its tacit existential presuppositions, was eventually deemed inadequate as a canon of pure logic. And it is for this reason that modern quantification theory, too, with (...)
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  36. added 2012-05-30
    Variables, Generality and Existence.Henry Laycock - 2006 - In Paulo Valore (ed.), Topics on General and Formal Ontology. Polimetrica. pp. 27.
    So-called mass nouns, however precisely they are defined, are in any case a subset of non-count nouns. Count nouns are either singular or plural; to be non-count is hence to be neither singular nor plural. This is not, as such, a metaphysically significant contrast: 'pieces of furniture' is plural whereas 'furniture' itself is non-count. This contrast is simply between 'the many / few' and 'the much / little' - between counting and measuring. However not all non-count nouns are, like 'furniture', (...)
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  37. added 2009-11-24
    Getting Priority Straight.Louis deRosset - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (1):73-97.
    Consider the kinds of macroscopic concrete objects that common sense and the sciences allege to exist: tables, raindrops, tectonic plates, galaxies, and the rest. Are there any such things? Opinions differ. Ontological liberals say they do; ontological radicals say they don't. Liberalism seems favored by its plausible acquiescence to the dictates of common sense abetted by science; radicalism by its ontological parsimony. Priority theorists claim we can have the virtues of both views. They hold that tables, raindrops, etc., exist, but (...)
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