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Language and Mind Seminar: Takashi Yagisawa (California State University, Northridge)
November 21 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Title: Ontology of Some Philosophy
When philosophers discuss philosophical views, theories, or arguments, their discussion is often not metaphysically innocent. Given certain substantial but widely accepted assumptions concerning relativization of truth, the worlds framework, and understanding ontological issues in terms of domains of discourse (see Three Insights below), it can be argued that the extent of ontological involvement of some philosophical discussion is considerable. In particular, philosophical discussion concerning modal metaphysics frequently makes the discussants incur non-trivial ontological commitments.
(1) It is useful to relativize the notion of truth for many philosophical purposes; a sentence is true or false at a truth-relativizer.
(2) The framework of worlds, including both possible worlds and impossible worlds, gives us truth-relativizers for the purposes of explicating the truth conditions of many important kinds of sentences, in particular, counterfactual conditional sentences.
(3) Ontological matters should be understood as matters pertaining to the domain of discourse associated with quantification.
“You assert P. Suppose you are right and P is true. Then Q follows. But Q is false. So, P is false and you are not right”.
Three Insights + Supposition-Based Argument ⇨ a potentially endless sequence of ever-expanding ontological commitments.