Chapter

Criteria for the Ontological Commitments of Discourse

Jody Azzouni

in Deflating Existential Consequence

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195159882
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199834990 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195159888.003.0004
 Criteria for the Ontological Commitments of Discourse

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This chapter refutes the two possible arguments for Quine’s criterion for what a discourse is committed to: (1) the triviality thesis, that “there is” as used in ordinary language indicates ontological commitment, and this idiom is straightforwardly regimented by the objectual existential quantifier, (2) that the semantics of objectual quantification presupposes ontological commitment. Seven strategies for supporting the triviality thesis are reviewed, including paraphrase in ordinary language and the pretense program.

Keywords: paraphrase: objectual quantification; ordinary language; pretense; Quine’s criterion for what a discourse is committed to; the triviality thesis

Chapter.  16406 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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