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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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Criteria for the Ontological Commitments of Discourse

Criteria for the Ontological Commitments of Discourse

Chapter:
(p.49) 3 Criteria for the Ontological Commitments of Discourse
Source:
Deflating Existential Consequence
Author(s):

Jody Azzouni (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195159888.003.0004

This chapter refutes the two possible arguments for Quine’s criterion for what a discourse is committed to: (1) the triviality thesis, that “there is” as used in ordinary language indicates ontological commitment, and this idiom is straightforwardly regimented by the objectual existential quantifier, (2) that the semantics of objectual quantification presupposes ontological commitment. Seven strategies for supporting the triviality thesis are reviewed, including paraphrase in ordinary language and the pretense program.

Keywords:   paraphrase: objectual quantification, ordinary language, pretense, Quine’s criterion for what a discourse is committed to, the triviality thesis

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