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Deflating Existential ConsequenceA Case for Nominalism$
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Jody Azzouni

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195159882

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195159888.001.0001

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Posits and Existence

Posits and Existence

(p.143) 7 Posits and Existence
Deflating Existential Consequence

Jody Azzouni (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

It is argued that Quinean rent (Quine’s five virtues) don’t suffice to ontologically commit us to the existence of posits. To this end, the “black box” objection is deployed against the “success argument” of Boyd and Putnam. Ontological commitment is restricted to items we take to be ontologically independent of us, and it is shown to apply to thick and thin posits. Along the way, a version of the Eleatic principle—that those items we are ontologically committed to are causally efficacious—is established.

Keywords:   The black box objection, causation, the Eleatic principle, ontological commitment, ontological independence, Quinean rent, Quine’s five virtues, the success argument, thick posit, thin posit

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