Quantifier Variance and Realism: Essays in Metaontology

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Oxford University Press, Nov 1, 2010 - Philosophy - 288 pages
Eli Hirsch has contributed steadily to metaphysics since his ground-breaking (and much cited) work on identity through time (culminating in the 1982 OUP book The Concept of Identity). Within the last 10 years, his work on realism and quantifier variance has been front-and-center in the minds of many metaphysicians. Metametaphysics, which looks at foundational questions about the very practice of metaphysics and the questions it raises, is now a popular area of discussion. There is a lot of anxiety about what ontology is, and Hirsch's diagnosis of how revisionary ontologists go wrong is one of the main views being discussed. This volume collects HIrsch's essays from the last decade (with the exception of one article from 1978) on ontology and metametaphysics which are very much tied to these debates. His essays develop a distinctive language-based argument against various anti-commonsensical views that have recently dominated ontology. All these views go astray, Hirsch says, by failing to interpret ordinary assertions about existence in a plausibly charitable way, so their philosophizing leads them to misuse language about ontology -- our ordinary concept of 'what exists' -- in favor of a position othat is quite different. Hirsch will supply a new introduction. The volume will interest philosophers of metaphysics currently engaged in these debates.
 

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Contents

1 A Sense of Unity
3
A Reply to Xu
27
3 Objectivity Without Objects
36
4 The Vagueness of Identity
45
5 Quantifier Variance and Realism
68
6 Against Revisionary Ontology
96
7 Comments on Theodore Siders Four Dimensionalism
124
8 Sosas Existential Relativism
132
9 PhysicalObject Ontology Verbal Disputes and Common Sense
144
Interpretive Charity and Quantifier Variance
178
11 Language Ontology and Structure
197
12 Ontology and Alternative Languages
220
Index
251
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About the author (2010)

Eli Hirsch is Professor of Philosophy, Brandeis University; he is the author of Dividing Reality.

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