Chapter

Beyond the predicate

Theodore Sider

in Writing the Book of the World

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199697908
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191732096 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199697908.003.0006
Beyond the predicate

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The concept of structure differs in two main ways from Lewis’s notion of a natural property. First, it is ideological rather than ontic: structure is not a feature of entities. Second, it is more general: expressions of any grammatical category, and not just predicates, may be evaluated for structure. This is important because some metametaphysical questions turn on whether certain logical expressions other than predicates ‐ namely, quantifiers, and modal and tense operators ‐ carve at the joints. One might worry that we cannot make sense of similarity for nonpredicates; but structure is not primarily a matter of similarity. One might worry that it makes no sense to ask about structure for logical expressions; but this worry evaporates once we purge our minds of the remnants of logical conventionalism.

Keywords: predicate; logic; conventionalism; truth by convention; similarity; ideology; nominalism; Quine

Chapter.  10046 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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