On what there is in particular

Date
2022-12-17
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Source Title
Analysis
Print ISSN
0003-2638
Electronic ISSN
1467-8284
Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Language
English
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Abstract

Quine says that ontology is about what there is, suggesting that to be ontologically committed to Fs is to be committed to accepting a sentence which existentially quantifies over Fs. Kit Fine argues that this gets the logical form of some ontological theses wrong. Fine is right that some ontological theses cannot be rendered simply as ‘There are Fs’. But the root of the problem has yet to be recognized, either by Fine or by his critics. Sometimes to adopt an ontological thesis is not merely to commit yourself to there being at least one F; it is to take a stand on which Fs there are. Once we recognize the ‘particularity’ of these ontological theses, we can adequately express them within the confines of a Quinean approach to ontology and ontological commitment.

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Published Version (Please cite this version)