Lexical Flexibility, Natural Language, and Ontology

Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):1-44 (2016)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
The Realist that investigates questions of ontology by appeal to the quantificational structure of language assumes that the semantics for the privileged language of ontology is externalist. I argue that such a language cannot be (some variant of) a natural language, as some Realists propose. The flexibility exhibited by natural language expressions noted by Chomsky and others cannot obviously be characterized by the rigid models available to the externalist. If natural languages are hostile to externalist treatments, then the meanings of natural language expressions serve as poor guides for ontological investigation, insofar as their meanings will fail to determine the referents of their constituents. This undermines the Realist’s use of natural languages to settle disputes in metaphysics.
ISBN(s)
1333-1108
PhilPapers/Archive ID
VOGLFN
Revision history
Archival date: 2016-08-22
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Philosophical Investigations.Wittgenstein, Ludwig

View all 85 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2016-08-22

Total views
74 ( #28,985 of 41,652 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
11 ( #34,419 of 41,652 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.