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  1. Expressivism Without Mentalism in Meta-Ontology.Mirco Sambrotta & Pedro Antonio García Jorge - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):781-800.
    ABSTRACTCarnap famously argued that there are two kinds of questions and claims concerning the existence or reality of entities: internal and external ones. We focus on Carnapian external ontological claims of the form: ‘Xs really exist’, where ‘X’ stands for some traditional metaphysical category, such as ‘substance’, ‘fact’ or ‘structure’. While Carnap considered them as meaningless, we consider them as faultlessly meaningful. However, in line with an expressivist guise, we do not claim that they have the meaning they have in (...)
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  • Go Figure: A Path Through Fictionalism.Stephen Yablo - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):72–102.
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  • Hermeneutic Fictionalism.Jason Stanley - 2001 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 25 (1):36–71.
    Fictionalist approaches to ontology have been an accepted part of philosophical methodology for some time now. On a fictionalist view, engaging in discourse that involves apparent reference to a realm of problematic entities is best viewed as engaging in a pretense. Although in reality, the problematic entities do not exist, according to the pretense we engage in when using the discourse, they do exist. In the vocabulary of Burgess and Rosen (1997, p. 6), a nominalist construal of a given discourse (...)
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  • Carnap on Analyticity and Existence: A Clarification, Defense, and Development of Quine’s Reading of Carnap’s Views on Ontology.Gary Ebbs - 2019 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 7 (5):1-31.
    Does Carnap’s treatment of philosophical questions about existence, such as “Are there numbers?” and “Are there physical objects?”, depend on his analytic–synthetic distinction? If so, in what way? I answer these questions by clarifying, defending, and developing the reading of Carnap’s paper “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” that W. V. Quine proposes, with little justification or explanation, in his paper “On Carnap’s Views on Ontology”. The primary methodological value of studying Quine’s reading of “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” is that it prompts (...)
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  • Getting Off the Inwagen: A Critique of Quinean Metaontology.Karl Egerton - 2016 - Journal for the History of Analytical Philosophy 4 (6).
    Much contemporary ontological inquiry takes place within the so-called ‘Quinean tradition’ but, given that some aspects of Quine’s project have been widely abandoned even by those who consider themselves Quineans, it is unclear what this amounts to. Fortunately recent work in metaontology has produced two relevant results here: a clearer characterisation of the metaontology uniting the aforementioned Quineans, most notably undertaken by Peter van Inwagen, and a raft of criticisms of that metaontology. In this paper I critique van Inwagen’s Quinean (...)
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  • 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.
    On the now dominant Quinean view, metaphysics is about what there is. Metaphysics so conceived is concerned with such questions as whether properties exist, whether meanings exist, and whether numbers exist. I will argue for the revival of a more traditional Aristotelian view, on which metaphysics is about what grounds what. Metaphysics so revived does not bother asking whether properties, meanings, and numbers exist (of course they do!) The question is whether or not they are fundamental.
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  • Realism, Truthmakers, and Language: A Study in Meta-Ontology and the Relationship Between Language and Metaphysics.J. T. M. Miller - 2014 - Dissertation, Durham University
    Metaphysics has had a long history of debate over its viability, and substantivity. This thesis explores issues connected to the realism question within the domain of metaphysics, ultimately aiming to defend a realist, substantive metaphysics by responding to so-called deflationary approaches, which have become prominent, and well supported within the recent metametaphysical and metaontological literature. To this end, I begin by examining the changing nature of the realism question. I argue that characterising realism and anti-realism through theories of truth unduly (...)
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  • Defending Contingentism in Metaphysics.Kristie Miller - 2009 - Dialectica 63 (1):23-49.
    Metaphysics is supposed to tell us about the metaphysical nature of our world: under what conditions composition occurs; how objects persist through time; whether properties are universals or tropes. It is near orthodoxy that whichever of these sorts of metaphysical claims is true is necessarily true. This paper looks at the debate between that orthodox view and a recently emerging view that claims like these are contingent, by focusing on the metaphysical debate between monists and pluralists about concrete particulars. This (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment and Quantifiers.T. Parent - forthcoming - In Ricki Bliss & James Miller (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics. New York: Routledge.
    This is a slightly opinionated review of three main factions in metaontology: Quineans, Carnapians, and Meinongians. Emphasis is given to the last camp, as the metaontological aspect of Meinongianism has been underappreciated. The final section then offers some general remarks about the legitimacy of ontology, touching on ideas I have developed in other publications.
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  • The Myth of Seven.Stephen Yablo - 2005 - In Mark Eli Kalderon (ed.), Fictionalism in Metaphysics. Clarendon Press. pp. 88--115.
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  • Figurative Language in Explanation.Inga Nayding - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (35):2013.
    Yablo argued that some metaphors are representationally essential: they enable us to express contents that we would not be able to express without them. He defended a fictionalist view of mathematical language by making the case that it similarly serves as a representational aid. Against this, Colyvan argued that metaphorical/figurative language can never play an essential role in explanation and that mathematical language often does, hence concluding that Yablo’s fictionalism is untenable. I show that Colyvan’s thesis about explanation is highly (...)
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  • Names of Attitudes and Norms for Attitudes.Inga Nayding - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (40):1-24.
    Fictionalists claim that instead of believing certain controversial propositions they accept them nonseriously, as useful make-believe. In this way they present themselves as having an austere ontology despite the apparent ontological commitments of their discourse. Some philosophers object that this plays on a distinction without a difference: the fictionalist’s would-be nonserious acceptance is the most we can do for the relevant content acceptance-wise, hence such acceptance is no different from what we ordinarily call ‘belief’ and should be so called. They (...)
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  • Does Ontology Matter?Andrew Graham - 2014 - Disputatio 6 (38):67-91.
    In this paper, I argue that various disputes in ontology have important ramifications and so are worth taking seriously. I employ a criterion according to which whether a dispute matters depends on how integrated it is with the rest of our theoretical projects. Disputes that arise from previous tensions in our theorizing and have additional implications for other issues matter, while insular disputes do not. I apply this criterion in arguing that certain ontological disputes matter; specifically, the disputes over concrete (...)
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  • 'Explanatory Indispensability Arguments in Metaethics and Philosophy of Mathematics'.Debbie Roberts - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
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  • Relativity and the Moving Spotlight.Bradford Skow - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy 106 (12):666-678.
    A standard objection to the moving spotlight theory of time is that it is incompatible with special relativity. I show how to formulate the moving spotlight theory so that it is perfectly compatible with special relativity. There is no need to re-interpret the physics or add to it a notion of absolute simultaneity.
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  • God and Abstract Objects: The Coherence of Theism: Aseity.William Lane Craig - 2017 - Springer.
    This book is an exploration and defense of the coherence of classical theism’s doctrine of divine aseity in the face of the challenge posed by Platonism with respect to abstract objects. A synoptic work in analytic philosophy of religion, the book engages discussions in philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of language, metaphysics, and metaontology. It addresses absolute creationism, non-Platonic realism, fictionalism, neutralism, and alternative logics and semantics, among other topics. The book offers a helpful taxonomy of the wide range of options (...)
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  • Fictionalism and Mathematical Explanations.Pamela Ann Jose Boongaling - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (3).
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  • Metaphor, Fictionalism, Make-Believe: Response to Elisabeth Camp.Kendall L. Walton - manuscript
    Prop oriented make-believe is make-believe utilized for the purpose of understanding what I call “props,” actual objects or states of affairs that make propositions “fictional,” true in the make-believe world. I, David Hills, and others have claimed that prop oriented make-believe lies at the heart of the functioning of many metaphors, and one variety of fictionalism in metaphysics invokes prop oriented make-believe to explain away apparent references to entities some find questionable or problematic (fictional characters, propositions, moral properties, numbers). Elisabeth (...)
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  • The Possibility of Naturalized Metaphysics.Rasmus Jaksland - 2016 - Dissertation, University of Copenhagen
    This project investigates naturalized metaphysics as a recent trend in analytic metaphysics originating in the naturalist attitude of James Ladyman and Don Ross in their seminal work Everything must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized (2007). The primary focus, however, will be the more recent article “Neo-Positivist Metaphysics” (2012) by Alyssa Ney that originates in this tradition. The project will conclude that naturalized metaphysics is an unsuccessful attempt at an answer to the question ’how is metaphysics possible’. More precisely, the project will establish (...)
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  • Fictionalism.Fiora Salis - 2015 - Online Companion to Problems in Analytic Philosophy.
    In this entry I will offer a survey of the contemporary debate on fic- tionalism, which is a distinctive anti-realist view about certain regions of discourse that are valued for their usefulness rather than their truth.
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  • Abstract Expressionism and the Communication Problem.David Liggins - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (3):599-620.
    Some philosophers have recently suggested that the reason mathematics is useful in science is that it expands our expressive capacities. Of these philosophers, only Stephen Yablo has put forward a detailed account of how mathematics brings this advantage. In this article, I set out Yablo’s view and argue that it is implausible. Then, I introduce a simpler account and show it is a serious rival to Yablo’s. 1 Introduction2 Yablo’s Expressionism3 Psychological Objections to Yablo’s Expressionism4 Introducing Belief Expressionism5 Objections and (...)
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  • The Return of Moral Fictionalism.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):149–188.
    Fictionalism has recently returned as a standard response to ontologically problematic domains. This article assesses moral fictionalism. It argues (i) that a correct understanding of the dialectical situation in contemporary metaethics shows that fictionalism is only an interesting new alternative if it can provide a new account of normative content: what is it that I am thinking or saying when I think or say that I ought to do something; and (ii) that fictionalism, qua fictionalism, does not provide us with (...)
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  • What is a Second Order Theory Committed To?Charles Sayward - 1983 - Erkenntnis 20 (1):79 - 91.
    The paper argues that no second order theory is ontologically commited to anything beyond what its individual variables range over.
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  • Ontology and the Word 'Exist': Uneasy Relations.Jody Azzouni - 2010 - Philosophia Mathematica 18 (1):74-101.
    An extensive exploration of the special properties of ‘exist’ is here undertaken. Two of several results are: Denying that `exist’ has associated with it a set of necessary and sufficient conditions has seemed to a number of philosophers to imply metaphysical nihilism . This is because it has seemed that without such conditions the target domain of `existence’ is arbitrarily open. I show this is wrong. Second, my analysis sheds light on the puzzling question of what we are asking when (...)
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  • On 'Average'.Christopher Kennedy & Jason Stanley - 2009 - Mind 118 (471):583 - 646.
    This article investigates the semantics of sentences that express numerical averages, focusing initially on cases such as 'The average American has 2.3 children'. Such sentences have been used both by linguists and philosophers to argue for a disjuncture between semantics and ontology. For example, Noam Chomsky and Norbert Hornstein have used them to provide evidence against the hypothesis that natural language semantics includes a reference relation holding between words and objects in the world, whereas metaphysicians such as Joseph Melia and (...)
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  • Working From Within: The Nature and Development of Quine's Naturalism.Sander Verhaegh - 2018 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    During the past few decades, a radical shift has occurred in how philosophers conceive of the relation between science and philosophy. A great number of analytic philosophers have adopted what is commonly called a ‘naturalistic’ approach, arguing that their inquiries ought to be in some sense continuous with science. Where early analytic philosophers often relied on a sharp distinction between science and philosophy—the former an empirical discipline concerned with fact, the latter an a priori discipline concerned with meaning—philosophers today largely (...)
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  • Putnam, Context, and Ontology.Steven Gross - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (4):507 - 553.
    When a debate seems intractable, with little agreement as to how one might proceed towards a resolution, it is understandable that philosophers should consider whether something might be amiss with the debate itself. Famously in the last century, philosophers of various stripes explored in various ways the possibility that at least certain philosophical debates are in some manner deficient in sense. Such moves are no longer so much in vogue. For one thing, the particular ways they have been made have (...)
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  • Blurring Boundaries: Carnap, Quine, and the Internal–External Distinction.Sander Verhaegh - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):873-890.
    Quine is routinely perceived as saving metaphysics from Carnapian positivism. Where Carnap rejects metaphysical existence claims as meaningless, Quine is taken to restore their intelligibility by dismantling the former’s internal–external distinction. The problem with this picture, however, is that it does not sit well with the fact that Quine, on many occasions, has argued that metaphysical existence claims ought to be dismissed. Setting aside the hypothesis that Quine’s metaphysical position is incoherent, one has to conclude that his views on metaphysics (...)
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  • Metametametaphysics and Dialetheism.Suki Finn - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Logic 14 (1):128-146.
    This paper reflects on metametaphysics and as such develops a metametameta-physical view: that quietist metametaphysics requires dialetheism, and in turn a paraconsistent logic. I demonstrate this using Carnap’s metametaphysical position in his 'Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology' as an example, with regard to how it exhibits self-reference and results in inconsistency. I show how applying Carnap’s position to itself produces a dilemma, both horns of which lead to a contradiction. Such inconsistency commonly arises from meta-theories with global scope, as the 'meta' (...)
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  • O problema ontológico da consciência na mecânica quântica.Raoni Wohnrath Arroyo - 2015 - Dissertation, Universidade Estadual de Maringá
    Quantum mechanics is an area of Physics that deals with subatomic phenomena. It can be extracted from a vision of the physical world which contradicts many aspects of our everyday perception, prompting many philosophical debates and admitting different interpretations. Among the wide range of problems within the interpretation of quantum theory, there is the measurement problem. Some philosophical aspects of the problems concerning the notion of “measurement” in quantum mechanics are analyzed in order to identify how the problem arises in (...)
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  • Ontology and Objectivity.Thomas Hofweber - 1999 - Dissertation, Stanford University
    Ontology is the study of what there is, what kinds of things make up reality. Ontology seems to be a very difficult, rather speculative discipline. However, it is trivial to conclude that there are properties, propositions and numbers, starting from only necessarily true or analytic premises. This gives rise to a puzzle about how hard ontological questions are, and relates to a puzzle about how important they are. And it produces the ontologyobjectivity dilemma: either (certain) ontological questions can be trivially (...)
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  • Fictionalism and the Folk.Adam Toon - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):280-295.
    Mental fictionalism is the view that, even if mental states do not exist, it is useful to talk as if they do. Mental states are useful fictions. Recent philosophy of mind has seen a growing interest in mental fictionalism. To date, much of the discussion has concerned the general features of the approach. In this paper, I develop a specific form of mental fictionalism by drawing on Kendall Walton’s work on make-believe. According to the approach I propose, talk of mental (...)
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  • Questions About 'Internal and External Questions About God'.Natalja Deng - 2012 - Religious Studies 48 (2):257-268.
    This article is an evaluation of Le Poidevin’s use of Carnap ’s stance on ontology within the philosophy of religion. Le Poidevin claims that 1) theists need to take God to be a putative entity within space-time in order for their claim that God exists to be meaningful, and that 2) instrumentalism about theology is viable. I argue that although Le Poidevin’s response to Carnap ’s argument is no less problematic than that argument itself, his position is in fact thoroughly (...)
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  • Ontological Trivialism?Seyed N. Mousavian - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):38-68.
    How hard is it to answer an ontological question? Ontological trivialism,, inspired by Carnap’s internal-external distinction among “questions of existence”, replies “very easy.” According to, almost every ontologically disputed entitytriviallyexists. has been defended by many, including Schiffer and Schaffer. In this paper, I will take issue with. After introducing the view in the context of Carnap-Quine dispute and presenting two arguments for it, I will discuss Hofweber’s argument against and explain why it fails. Next, I will introduce a modified version (...)
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  • Quinean Ontological Commitment Derailed.Roxanne Marie Kurtz - 2013 - Analiza I Egzystencja 24:87-114.
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  • Inscrutability and Ontological Commitment.Berit Brogaard - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):21 - 42.
    There are two doctrines for which Quine is particularly well known: the doctrine of ontological commitment and the inscrutability thesis—the thesis that reference and quantification are inscrutable. At first glance, the two doctrines are squarely at odds. If there is no fact of the matter as to what our expressions refer to, then it would appear that no determinate commitments can be read off of our best theories. We argue here that the appearance of a clash between the two doctrines (...)
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  • The Adoption Problem and Anti-Exceptionalism About Logic.Suki Finn - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Logic 16 (7):231.
    Anti-exceptionalism about logic takes logic to be, as the name suggests, unexceptional. Rather, in naturalist fashion, the anti-exceptionalist takes logic to be continuous with science, and considers logical theories to be adoptable and revisable accordingly. On the other hand, the Adoption Problem aims to show that there is something special about logic that sets it apart from scientific theories, such that it cannot be adopted in the way the anti-exceptionalist proposes. In this paper I assess the damage the Adoption Problem (...)
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  • The Ontological Commitments of Inconsistent Theories.Mark Colyvan - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 141 (1):115 - 123.
    In this paper I present an argument for belief in inconsistent objects. The argument relies on a particular, plausible version of scientific realism, and the fact that often our best scientific theories are inconsistent. It is not clear what to make of this argument. Is it a reductio of the version of scientific realism under consideration? If it is, what are the alternatives? Should we just accept the conclusion? I will argue (rather tentatively and suitably qualified) for a positive answer (...)
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  • Knowledge of Abstract Objects in Physics and Mathematics.Michael Shaffer - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):397-409.
    In this paper a parallel is drawn between the problem of epistemic access to abstract objects in mathematics and the problem of epistemic access to idealized systems in the physical sciences. On this basis it is argued that some recent and more traditional approaches to solving these problems are problematic.
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  • In Carnap’s Defense: A Survey on the Concept of a Linguistic Framework in Carnap’s Philosophy.Parzhad Torfehnezhad - 2016 - Abstracta 9 (1):03-30.
    The main task in this paper is to detail and investigate Carnap’s conception of a “linguistic framework”. On this basis, we will see whether Carnap’s dichotomies, such as the analytic-synthetic distinction, are to be construed as absolute/fundamental dichotomies or merely as relative dichotomies. I argue for a novel interpretation of Carnap’s conception of a LF and, on that basis, will show that, according to Carnap, all the dichotomies to be discussed are relative dichotomies; they depend on conventional decisions concerning the (...)
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  • The Semantics and Ontology of The Average American.Collins John - 2017 - Journal of Semantics 34 (3):373-405.
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  • Fictionalism and the Problem of Universals in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Strahinja Đorđević - 2018 - Filozofija I Društvo 29 (3):415-428.
    Many long-standing problems pertaining to contemporary philosophy of mathematics can be traced back to different approaches in determining the nature of mathematical entities which have been dominated by the debate between realists and nominalists. Through this discussion conceptualism is represented as a middle solution. However, it seems that until the 20th century there was no third position that would not necessitate any reliance on one of the two points of view. Fictionalism, on the other hand, observes mathematical entities in a (...)
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  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
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  • Ontology, Quantification, and Fundamentality.Jason Theodore Turner - unknown
    The structuralist conception of metaphysics holds that it aims to uncover the ultimate structure of reality and explain how the world's richness and variety are accounted for by that ultimate structure. On this conception, metaphysicians produce fundamental theories, the primitive, undefined expressions of which are supposed to 'carve reality at its joints', as it were. On this conception, ontological questions are understood as questions about what there is, where the existential quantifier 'there is' has a fundamental, joint-carving interpretation. Structuralist orthodoxy (...)
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  • Carnap's External Questions and Semantic Externalism.Andrei Moldovan - 2014 - Prolegomena 13 (2):253–268.
    What is it for an utterance of an expression to lack meaning? In this paper I address the issue along the lines of Carnap’s seminal article “Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology”. Carnap provides there an answer to the above question, which he then uses to argue that certain claims of metaphysics are meaningless. In the first section of the paper I present Carnap’s argument for the meaninglessness of certain metaphysical claims. In the second section I argue that, although the argument is (...)
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  • Clifford Algebraic Computational Fluid Dynamics: A New Class of Experiments.William Kallfelz - unknown
    Though some influentially critical objections have been raised during the ‘classical’ pre-computational simulation philosophy of science tradition, suggesting a more nuanced methodological category for experiments, it safe to say such critical objections have greatly proliferated in philosophical studies dedicated to the role played by computational simulations in science. For instance, Eric Winsberg suggests that computer simulations are methodologically unique in the development of a theory’s models suggesting new epistemic notions of application. This is also echoed in Jeffrey Ramsey’s notions of (...)
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  • The Dispensability of Metaphor.James Grant - 2010 - British Journal of Aesthetics 50 (3):255-272.
    Many philosophers claim that metaphor is indispensable for various purposes. What I shall call the ‘Indispensability Thesis’ is the view that we use at least some metaphors to think, to express, to communicate, or to discover what cannot be thought, expressed, communicated, or discovered without metaphor. I argue in this paper that support for the Indispensability Thesis is based on several confusions. I criticize arguments presented by Stephen Yablo, Berys Gaut, Richard Boyd, and Elisabeth Camp for the Indispensability Thesis, and (...)
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  • Quantifying Over the Reals.Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1994 - Synthese 101 (1):53 - 64.
    Peter Geach proposed a substitutional construal of quantification over thirty years ago. It is not standardly substitutional since it is not tied to those substitution instances currently available to us; rather, it is pegged to possible substitution instances. We argue that (i) quantification over the real numbers can be construed substitutionally following Geach's idea; (ii) a price to be paid, if it is that, is intuitionism; (iii) quantification, thus conceived, does not in itself relieve us of ontological commitment to real (...)
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  • Degrees of Being.Kris McDaniel - 2013 - Philosophers' Imprint 13.
    Let us agree that everything that there is exists, and that to be, to be real, and to exist are one and the same. Does everything that there is exist to the same degree? Or do some things exist more than others? Are there gradations of being? I argue that some entities exist more than others. Moreover, many of the notions in play in contemporary metaphysical discourse, such as fundamentality, perfect naturalness, and grounding ought to be cashed out in terms (...)
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  • Borderline Hermaphrodites: Higher-Order Vagueness by Example.R. Sorensen - 2010 - Mind 119 (474):393-408.
    The Pyrrhonian sceptic Favorinus of Arelata personified indeterminacy, cultivating his (or her) borderline status to undermine dogmatism. Inspired by the techniques of Favorinus, I show, by example, that ‘vague’ has borderline cases. These concrete steps lead to a more abstract argument that ‘vague’ has borderline borderline cases and borderline borderline borderline cases. My specimens are intended supplement earlier non-constructive proofs of the vagueness of ‘vague’.
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