V—The Linguistic Approach to Ontology

Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 121 (2):127-152 (2021)
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Abstract

What are the prospects for a linguistic approach to ontology? Given that it seems that there are true subject-predicate sentences containing empty names, traditional linguistic approaches to ontology appear to be flawed. I argue that in order to determine what there is, we need to determine which sentences ascribe properties (and relations) to objects, and that there does not appear to be any formal criterion for this. This view is then committed to giving an account of what predicates do in sentences when they do not ascribe properties. I sketch an approach to the varieties of predication.

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Lee Walters
University of Southampton

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