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Ontology after Carnap$
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Stephan Blatti and Sandra Lapointe

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199661985

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199661985.001.0001

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Frameworks and Deflation in “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” and Recent Metametaphysics

Frameworks and Deflation in “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” and Recent Metametaphysics

(p.59) 3 Frameworks and Deflation in “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” and Recent Metametaphysics
Ontology after Carnap

Alan Sidelle

Oxford University Press

Recent work has favorably cited Carnap’s “Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology” (ESO) in connection with deflationary views about debates in the metaphysics of material objects. But attention to Carnap’s article reveals significant differences in approach, aim, and conclusions from these contemporary deflationists. This chapter investigate some of these differences, suggesting they arise more from differences in focus than fundamental approach. It then asks whether philosophers who may entirely disagree with Carnap about the debates he deflates in ESO (abstract entities, Realism vs. Idealism) can be seen as heirs to his approach and argument. Focus on his discussion of the Realism/Idealism debate allows us to distinguish his basic analysis of metaphysical disputes, from the question of whether the analysis, if correct, actually subverts the disputes. This chapter suggests ESO provides an approach and type of skeptical challenge more than an argument, which is consistently compelling for some disputes but not others.

Keywords:   Carnap, frameworks, deflationism, Empiricism, Semantics, and Ontology, metaontology

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