Against Fantology Again

In Leo Zaibert (ed.), The Theory and Practice of Ontology. London: pp. 25-43 (2016)
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This essay expands on Barry Smith’s paper “Against Fantology” of 2005, which defends the view that analytic philosophy has throughout its history been marked by a tendency to conceive the syntax of first-order predicate logic as a key to ontology. I present fantology (or "F(a)ntology") in the light of a more general and in itself ontologically neutral operation that I call a default ontologization of a language. I then discuss Quine’s views, since he is the most outspoken fantologist in the second half of the twentieth century. As Smith points out, “fantology sometimes takes the form of a thesis according to which the language of standard predicate logic can serve the formulation of the truths of natural science in a uniquely illuminating way”. Hence Quine’s doctrine according to which the ontological commitments of a theory become evident only when the theory has been regimented in fantological clothing.
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