Quine on ontology. Chapter 7 of Word and Object

Kemp, G. and Lugg, A. (2020) Quine on ontology. Chapter 7 of Word and Object. In: Janssen-Lauret, F. (ed.) Quine on Ontology and Structure. Series: Mind association occasional series. Oxford Scholarship Online. ISBN 9780198864288 (doi: 10.1093/oso/9780198864288.003.0009)

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This chapter presents a section-by-section discussion of chapter 7 of W. V. Quine’s Word and Object, ‘Ontic Decision’. After outlining Quine’s earlier thinking about ontology, it considers his handling of the subject in the chapter––his most careful treatment of ontology in his ‘classical’ period––and comments on how he downplayed the importance of the issue in later works. Among the topics examined are his qualms about nominalism, his plumping for physical objects and sets, his insistence on the difference between concrete general terms and abstract singular terms, his argument that ‘attribute’ and ‘proposition’ are no more referential than ‘sake’ and ‘mile’, his handling of ideal objects such as infinitesimals and geometrical objects, his analysis of ‘ordered pair’, ‘natural number’, and other notions that require paraphrasing rather than elimination, his view of semantic ascent and how he views the philosophical project. Throughout the chapter attends to Quine’s emphasis on science, not common sense.

Item Type:Book Sections
Additional Information:9780191896446 (ebook).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kemp, Dr Gary
Authors: Kemp, G., and Lugg, A.
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Publisher:Oxford Scholarship Online
Published Online:01 November 2020
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