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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3V98006N

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Ontological Questions Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Existence Allism
Questions of Nature
Ontology
Ontological Questions
Metametaphysics
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Zhou, Lianghua
Supervisor and department
Koslicki, Kathrin (Philosophy)
Examining committee member and department
Corkum, Phil (Philosophy)
Dumsday, Travis (Philosophy and Religious Studies)
Linsky, Bernard (Philosophy)
Department
Department of Philosophy
Specialization

Date accepted
2015-07-09T11:01:23Z
Graduation date
2015-11
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
Ontology, literally, is the study of being (from the Greek, 'to on', which derives from the verb, 'einai', 'to be'). Meta-ontology is the discipline concerned with examining the subject-matter and method of ontology. This thesis focuses specifically on the meta-ontological question of what the subject-matter of ontology is. Within the Anglo-American analytic tradition, ontology is predominantly approached from the point of view defended by Quine and Carnap, as the study of existence. In contrast to this predominant view, it is argued in this thesis that ontologists can grant the trivial existence of all the things in question, while they substantively dispute over the nature of things. This argument in a nutshell is as follows: If we accept that there is an intelligible translation between the neutral particular quantifier, which quantifies over all things, and the classical existential quantifier, and if we hold that the kind of existence captured by the classical existential quantifier is the only kind of existence, then it is plausible to argue that all things trivially exist simpliciter. Consequently, there seems to be no substantive work for ontologists to do concerning questions of existence. Further, it is maintained that the fact that questions of existence seem trivial does not nevertheless result in a disappointing overall project of ontology. For, ontologists can substantively dispute over the nature of things, even though they hold that all things trivially exist simpliciter.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3V98006N
Rights
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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