Defending the Importance of Ordinary Existence Questions and Debates

Authored by: Jody Azzouni

The Routledge Handbook of Metametaphysics

Print publication date:  July  2020
Online publication date:  July  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138082250
eBook ISBN: 9781315112596
Adobe ISBN:


 Download Chapter



Ontology is a subject matter constituted by philosophical debate: Are there numbers? Are there objects that are empirically undetectable? Are there properties? Do tropes exist? Are events real? What about fictional beings such as Sherlock Holmes? These are debates that philosophers engage in and that seem to be just the sort of debates that scientists, and others, engage in as well: Are there molecules? Does Bigfoot exist? What about extraterrestrials? In this chapter, different metaphysical positions are evaluated on whether (and in what ways) they leave intact our ordinary practices of debating about metaphysical claims and disagreeing over such claims. Some positions – Carnapian and neoCarnapian positions, such as the one held by Amie Thomasson – explicitly rule out the kinds of metaphysical claims that occur in philosophy. Others philosophers, such as W.V. Quine and proponents of quantifier variantism, such as Eli Hirsch, characterize our (collective) logic resources in such a way that debates can only occur subject to the successful translation of the claims of opponents into the “languages” of one another. The translations possible, however, undercut important aspects of these debates, such as the fact that the disagreement is often over just the existence of an entity or kind of entities, and not over descriptions of them. Only one position, Jody Azzouni’s quantifier neutralism, leaves metaphysical debate – as we ordinarily do it – intact.

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.