, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 419-448
Date: 11 Jan 2011

Logic and Ontological Pluralism

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Abstract

Ontological pluralism is the doctrine that there are different ways or modes of being. In contemporary guise, it is the doctrine that a logically perspicuous description of reality will use multiple quantifiers which cannot be thought of as ranging over a single domain. Although thought defeated for some time, recent defenses have shown a number of arguments against the view unsound. However, another worry looms: that despite looking like an attractive alternative, ontological pluralism is really no different than its counterpart, ontological monism. In this paper, after explaining the worry in detail, I argue that considerations dealing with the nature of the logic ontological pluralists ought to endorse, coupled with an attractive philosophical thesis about the relationship between logic and metaphysics, show this worry to be unfounded.

This paper grew out of an extended discussion with Jonathan Schaffer. So: Thanks, Jonathan! Thanks also to Robbie Williams and an anonymous referee for valuable suggestions and guidance.