The ontology of words: Realism, nominalism, and eliminativism

Philosophy Compass 15 (7):e12691 (2020)
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What are words? What makes two token words tokens of the same word-type? Are words abstract entities, or are they (merely) collections of tokens? The ontology of words tries to provide answers to these, and related questions. This article provides an overview of some of the most prominent views proposed in the literature, with a particular focus on the debate between type-realist, nominalist, and eliminativist ontologies of words.

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James (J.T.M.) Miller
Durham University


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