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Deflating Existential ConsequenceA Case for Nominalism$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159882

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195159888.001.0001

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Ontological Commitment and the Vernacular: Some Warnings

Ontological Commitment and the Vernacular: Some Warnings

Chapter:
(p.114) 5 Ontological Commitment and the Vernacular: Some Warnings
Source:
Deflating Existential Consequence
Author(s):

Jody Azzouni (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195159888.003.0006

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

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