Ontological Commitment and the Vernacular: Some Warnings

Jody Azzouni

in Deflating Existential Consequence

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780195159882
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780199834990 | DOI:
 Ontological Commitment and the Vernacular: Some Warnings

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Argues that no ordinary language idiom, not “there is” or “there are,” not “exists,” as a matter of semantics, implies ontological commitment. Nevertheless, ordinary speakers understand what ontological commitment is and (to some extent) understand when they want to be so committed to something. Ordinary understanding of ontological commitment, despite the absence of explicit idioms communicating the idea, is expressed by context, stress, rhetorical enhancers, and other devices.

Keywords: ontological commitment; “exists,” ordinary language; rhetorical enhancers; “there are,” “there is,” vernacular

Chapter.  4417 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Mathematics and Logic

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