Ontology: minimalism and truth-conditions
- Juan José Lara Peñaranda
- … show all 1 hide
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
In this paper, I develop a criticism to a method for metaontology, namely, the idea that a discourse’s or theory’s ontological commitments can be read off its sentences’ truth-conditions. Firstly, I will put forward this idea’s basis and, secondly, I will present the way Quine subscribed to it (not actually for hermeneutical or historic interest, but as a way of exposing the idea). However, I distinguish between two readings of Quine’s famous ontological criterion, and I center the focus on (assuming without further discussion the other one to be mistaken) the one currently dubbed “ontological minimalism”, a kind of modern Ockhamism applied to the mentioned metaontological view. I show that this view has a certain application via Quinean thesis of reference inscrutability but that it is not possible to press that application any further and, in particular, not for the ambitious metaontological task some authors try to employ. The conclusion may sound promising: having shown the impossibility of a semantic ontological criterion, intentionalist or subjectivist ones should be explored.
- Armstrong, R. (2004). Truth and truth-makers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Azzouni, J. (2004). Deflating existential consequence. A case for nominalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Azzouni, J. (2009). Evading truth commitments: The problem reanalyzed. Logique et Analyse, 206, 139–176.
- Azzouni, J. (Forthcoming). Nominalistic content.
- Cameron, R. (2008). Truthmakers, realism and ontology. Philosophy, 83, 107–128.
- Cameron, R. (2010). How to have a radically minimal ontology. Philosophical Studies, 151, 249–264. CrossRef
- Carnap, R. (1956). Empiricism, semantics, and ontology. In Meaning and necessity. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Davidson, D. (1967). Truth and meaning, Synthese, 17: 304–23; reprinted in Inquiries into truth and interpretation, 2001. Oxford: Clarendon Press (2nd ed).
- Davidson, D. (1979). The inscrutability of reference. The Southwestern Journal of Philosophy, 10, 7–19. Quoted from Inquiries into truth and interpretation (pp. 227–242). Oxford: Clarendon Press.
- Davidson, D. (1990). The structure and content of truth. Journal of Philosophy, 87, 279–328. CrossRef
- Davidson, D. (1995). Could there be a science of rationallity? International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 3, 1–16. Quoted from Davidson, D. (2004), Problems of rationality. Oxford: Oxford Clarendon Press. pp. 117–134.
- Davidson, D. (1997). Indeterminism and antirealism. In C. B. Culp (ed.) Realism/antirealism and epistemology (pp. 109–122). Quoted from Davidson, D. (2001), pp. 69–84.
- Heil, J. (2003). From an ontological point of view. Oxford: Oxford University Press. CrossRef
- Quine, W. V. O. (1939). A logistical approach to the ontological problem. Journal of Unified Science 9, 84–89. Reprinted in The ways of paradox, 197–202.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1946). Nominalism. In Conference at the Harvard philosophical colloquium, on March 11, 1946. Quoted from Føllesdal, D., & Quine, D. B. (Eds.) (2008). Confessions of a confirmed extensionalist and other essays, pp. 7–23.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1948). On what there is. The Review of Metaphysics 2, 21–38. Reprinted with additions in From a logical point of view, pp. 1–19.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1951). Ontology and ideology. Philosophical Studies, 2, 11–15. CrossRef
- Quine, W. V. O. (1953). Notes on the theory of reference. In Quine W. V. O. (Ed.) From a logical point of view (pp. 130–138). Harvard, MA: MIT University Press.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1960). Word and object. Harvard, MA: The MIT Press.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1969a). Ontological relativity and other essays. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1969b) Existence and quantification. In Quine W. V. O. (Ed.) Ontological relativity and other essays. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1975). On empirically equivalent systems of the world. Erkenntnis, 9, 313–328.. Quoted from D. Føllesdal & D. B. Quine (Eds.) (2008), pp. 228–243.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1986a). Philosophy of logic (2nd ed.). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1986b). Reply to Paul A. Roth. In L. E. Hahn & P. A. Schilpp (Eds.), The philosophy of W. V. Quine. La Salle, IL: Open Court.
- Quine, W. V. O. (1990). Pursuit of truth. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
- Rayo, A. (2007). Ontological commitment. Philosophical Compass, 2, 428–444. CrossRef
- Tarski, A. (1933). The concept of truth in formalized languages. In J. Corcoran (ed.), Logic, semantics, mathematics (2nd ed., pp. 152–278). Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
- Thomasson, A. (2007). Deflating existence. In Ontological commitment conference, Sydney, November 30–December 1, 2007.
- Yablo, S. (1998). Does ontology rest on a mistake? Aristotelian Society Supplementary, 72(1), 263–283.
- Ontology: minimalism and truth-conditions
Volume 162, Issue 3 , pp 683-696
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Netherlands
- Additional Links
- Ontological minimalism
- Ontological criterion
- Reference inscrutability
- Author Affiliations
- 1. C/José Bernad Amorós, 27, 03205, Elche (Alicante), Spain