Quine and Aquinas: On What There Is

Modern Schoolman 85 (3):207-223 (2008)
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Abstract

In this article Quine's program for reducing ontology to the semantic level is compared to Aquinas' metaphysical ontology. Some internal inconsistencies of Quine's quantificational account of existence are discussed. Aquinas' account of existence is explicated in response to Quine' mischaracterization of Scholastic ontology. The general nature of an amended logical account of existence incorporating Aquinas' ontological categories is indicated. Finally, recent attempts to harmonize Thomism and analytic philosophy are criticized for failing to note that the quantificational account of existence is motivated by analytic philosophy's rejection of metaphysical ontology. Nothing short of a logical account of existence within the broader framework of the philosophy of being can legitimate the efforts of analytical Thomists.

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Joseph P. Li Vecchi
University of Akron

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