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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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Carnap’s Legacy for the Contemporary Metaontological Debate

Carnap’s Legacy for the Contemporary Metaontological Debate

(p.165) 8 Carnap’s Legacy for the Contemporary Metaontological Debate
Ontology after Carnap

Matti Eklund

Oxford University Press

The main topic of the chapter is the relation between Carnap’s metaontological ideas and the metaontological ideas prominent in the contemporary discussion that tend to get associated with Carnap. It discusses both Carnap’s ideas in their own right and the extent to which they are still around, and the contemporary ideas and the extent to which they can be found in Carnap. The connections are rather tenuous. Carnap’s external-internal distinction bears only a loose resemblance to the supposedly Carnapian distinctions drawn in contemporary discussions, and the mature Carnap didn’t clearly subscribe to either of the “Carnapian” doctrines prominent in the contemporary discussion, the doctrine of quantifier variance and the idea that in ontological disputes, the sense that the disputants speak past each other. The chapter also makes substantive remarks on the ideas that ontological disputes are verbal, and that appeal to analyticity can help deflate ontological questions.

Keywords:   Rudolf Carnap, analyticity, verbal disputes, quantifier variance, ontology

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