Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Putting Metaphysics FirstEssays on Metaphysics and Epistemology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Michael Devitt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199280803

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199280803.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2021

On Determining What There Isn't *

On Determining What There Isn't *

(p.303) 15 On Determining What There Isn't*
Putting Metaphysics First

Michael Devitt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Stich points out that typical arguments for eliminativism about the mind presuppose a description theory of reference. His gloomy view of theories of reference leads him to a gloomy view of ontological issues in general. What has gone wrong? Stich thinks that the mistake came in looking to such theories to settle ontological issues. This chapter argues that Stich is right about that, but for the wrong reasons. We should not share his gloom about theories of reference, taken as proto-science. Still, an appropriately modest view of the accomplishments of this proto-science counts against using it to settle ontological issues. We should put metaphysics first. How then are we to settle ontological issues? Stich's answer is very much along the right lines. We do not have any principles adequate to help us with the difficult cases and it may be that some of these are indeterminate.

Keywords:   Stich, eliminativism, mind, description theories of reference, ontology, proto-science, ontological issues, indeterminacy

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .