Words and Objects

In Andrea Bottani, Massimiliano Carrara & Daniele Giaretta (eds.), Individuals, Essence, and Identity. Themes of Analytic Metaphysics. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 49–75 (2002)
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Abstract

A lot of work in metaphysics relies on linguistic analysis and intuitions. Do we want to know what sort of things there are or could be? Then let’s see what sort of things there must be in order for what we truthfully say to be true. Do we want to see whether x is distinct from y? Then let’s see whether there is any statement that is true of x but not of y. And so on. In this paper I argue that this way of proceeding is full of traps and is bound to be pretty useless unless we already have a good idea of what sort of things there are, and of how we are going to count them.

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Achille C. Varzi
Columbia University

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