The Ontological Commitments of Logical Theories

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This paper is partly inspired by a well-known debate between Ruth Barcan Marcus, Terence Parsons and W. V. 0. Quine in the sixties> concerning the extent to which Quantified Modal Logic is committed to Essentialism; the issue nevertheless goes back to the origins of "analytic philosophy'', to the reflections of Frege, Russell, and the earlier Wittgenstein on the nature of logic. By elaborating on a suggestion by Quine, we purport to show that there is a relevant and interesting way to look at the ontological commitments of logical systems such that they are stronger than they are usually taken to be.
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Archival date: 2016-05-01
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