Ideas from 'On What There Is' by Willard Quine [1948], by Theme Structure

[found in 'From a Logical Point of View' by Quine,Willard [Harper and Row 1963,0-06-130566-9]].

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5. Theory of Logic / E. Structures of Logic / 4. Variables in Logic
We study bound variables not to know reality, but to know what reality language asserts
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 1. Naming / f. Names eliminated
Canonical notation needs quantification, variables and predicates, but not names
Quine extended Russell's defining away of definite descriptions, to also define away names
5. Theory of Logic / F. Referring in Logic / 2. Descriptions / c. Theory of definite descriptions
Names can be converted to descriptions, and Russell showed how to eliminate those
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 6. Logicism / d. Logicism critique
Logicists cheerfully accept reference to bound variables and all sorts of abstract entities
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 7. Formalism
Formalism says maths is built of meaningless notations; these build into rules which have meaning
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 10. Constructivism / b. Intuitionism
Intuitionism says classes are invented, and abstract entities are constructed from specified ingredients
6. Mathematics / C. Sources of Mathematics / 10. Constructivism / c. Conceptualism
Conceptualism holds that there are universals but they are mind-made
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 1. Nature of Existence
Quine's ontology is wrong; his question is scientific, and his answer is partly philosophical
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 2. Types of Existence
For Quine, there is only one way to exist
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 3. Being / g. Particular being
The idea of a thing and the idea of existence are two sides of the same coin
7. Existence / A. Nature of Existence / 8. Criterion for Existence
Quine rests existence on bound variables, because he thinks singular terms can be analysed away
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / a. Ontological commitment
What actually exists does not, of course, depend on language
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / b. Commitment of quantifiers
To be is to be the value of a variable, which amounts to being in the range of reference of a pronoun
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / d. Commitment of theories
Fictional quantification has no ontology, so we study ontology through scientific theories
An ontology is like a scientific theory; we accept the simplest scheme that fits disorderly experiences
7. Existence / D. Theories of Reality / 10. Ontological Commitment / e. Ontological commitment problems
If to be is to be the value of a variable, we must already know the values available
8. Modes of Existence / D. Universals / 1. Universals
Realism, conceptualism and nominalism in medieval universals reappear in maths as logicism, intuitionism and formalism
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 1. Nominalism / b. Nominalism about universals
There is no entity called 'redness', and that some things are red is ultimate and irreducible
8. Modes of Existence / E. Nominalism / 3. Predicate Nominalism
Quine has argued that predicates do not have any ontological commitment
9. Objects / A. Existence of Objects / 1. Physical Objects
Treating scattered sensations as single objects simplifies our understanding of experience
10. Modality / D. Knowledge of Modality / 3. A Posteriori Necessary
Quine's indispensability argument said arguments for abstracta were a posteriori
10. Modality / E. Possible worlds / 3. Transworld Objects / a. Transworld identity
Can an unactualized possible have self-identity, and be distinct from other possibles?
11. Knowledge Aims / C. Knowing Reality / 2. Phenomenalism
We can never translate our whole language of objects into phenomenalism
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 7. Meaning Holism / b. Lanugage holism
There is an attempt to give a verificationist account of meaning, without the error of reducing everything to sensations
19. Language / A. Nature of Meaning / 10. Denial of Meanings
I do not believe there is some abstract entity called a 'meaning' which we can 'have'
The word 'meaning' is only useful when talking about significance or about synonymy
19. Language / B. Assigning Meanings / 3. Predicates
Quine relates predicates to their objects, by being 'true of' them