Easy Ontology without Deflationary Metaontology

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):236-243 (2019)
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This is a contribution to a symposium on Amie Thomasson’s Ontology Made Easy (2015). Thomasson defends two deflationary theses: that philosophical questions about the existence of numbers, tables, properties, and other disputed entities can all easily be answered, and that there is something wrong with prolonged debates about whether such objects exist. I argue that the first thesis (properly understood) does not by itself entail the second. Rather, the case for deflationary metaontology rests largely on a controversial doctrine about the possible meanings of ‘object’. I challenge Thomasson's argument for that doctrine, and I make a positive case for the availability of the contested, unrestricted use of ‘object’.

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Daniel Z. Korman
University of California at Santa Barbara


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