Book

Deflating Existential Consequence

Jody Azzouni

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195159882
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199834990 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195159888.001.0001

Series: The Philosophical Essays of Donald Davidson (5 Volumes)

Deflating Existential Consequence

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

What in our theoretical pronouncements commits us to objects? The Quinean standard for ontological commitment involves (nearly enough) commitments when we utter “there is” or “there are” statements without hope of eliminating these by paraphrase. Coupled with the indispensability of the truth of applied mathematical doctrine, the result is that the ontologically hard-nosed scientist is a Platonist—haplessly commited to abstracta. In this book Azzouni offers a way around the Quinean straitjacket: ontological commitment turns on how theories are (nearly enough) nailed to the world. The specifics of how theories are applied indicates which among the posits of a theory are mere mathematical garb and which are genuine connections to items out there. In the first part of the book Azzouni undercuts the arguments, both actual and possible, in support of Quine’s criterion. An alternative criterion for what exists—ontological independence—is offered, one in sturdy accord with ordinary folk views on the matter. In the second part of the book, a beginning is made of bringing this alternative to bear upon scientific theories with a rich mathematical component. Along the way, old philosophical issues about absolute space and time versus relative space and time, the status of mathematical posits, such as spatial and temporal points, and so on, are illuminated.

Keywords: application of mathematics; criterion for what exists; existence; indispensability; ontological commitment; ontological independence; physics; Platonism; Quine; truth

Book.  250 pages. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »


Table of Contents

Introduction in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Criteria for the Ontological Commitments of Discourse in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Criteria for What Exists in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Ontological Commitment and the Vernacular: Some Warnings in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Posits and the Epistemic Burdens They Bear in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Posits and Existence in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Applying Mathematics: Two Models in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Applied Mathematics and Ontology in Deflating Existential Consequence

Chapter

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

See all items in Oxford Index »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.