The Role of Existential Quantification in Scientific Realism

Philosophy 92 (361):351-367 (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Scientific realism holds that the terms in our scientific theories refer and that we should believe in their existence. This presupposes a certain understanding of quantification, namely that it is ontologically committing, which I challenge in this paper. I argue that the ontological loading of the quantifiers is smuggled in through restricting the domains of quantification, without which it is clear to see that quantifiers are ontologically neutral. Once we remove domain restrictions, domains of quantification can include non-existent things, as they do in scientific theorizing. Scientific realism would therefore require redefining without presupposing a view of ontologically committing quantification.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
FINTRO-20
Revision history
Archival date: 2017-11-11
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2017-11-11

Total downloads
9 ( #472,021 of 28,416 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #21,313 of 28,416 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.