•  309
    Existence questions
    Philosophical Studies 141 (1). 2008.
    I argue that thinking of existence questions as deep questions to be resolved by a distinctively philosophical discipline of ontology is misguided. I begin by examining how to understand the truth-conditions of existence claims, by way of understanding the rules of use for ‘exists’ and for general noun terms. This yields a straightforward method for resolving existence questions by a combination of conceptual analysis and empirical enquiry. It also provides a blueprint for arguing against most c…Read more
  •  114
    Phenomenal Consciousness and the Phenomenal World
    The Monist 91 (2): 191-214. 2008.
    One-level accounts of consciousness have become increasingly popular (Dretske 1995, Tye 1995, Siewert 1998, Thomasson 2000 and 2005, Lurz 2006, McGinn, this volume). By a ‘onelevel’ account I mean an account according to which consciousness is fundamentally a matter of awareness of a world —and does not require awareness of our own minds, mental states, or the phenomenal character of these. As Fred Dretske puts it “Experiences and beliefs are conscious, not because you are conscious of them, but…Read more
  •  46
    Answerable and unanswerable questions
    In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology, Oxford University Press. 2009.
    While fights about ontology rage on in the ring, there’s long been a suspicion whispered in certain corners of the stadium that some of the fights aren’t real. Granted the disputants all think they are really disagreeing—it’s not the sincerity of the serious ontologists that’s in question, but rather their judgment that they are engaged in a real debate about genuine issues of substance.
  •  1
    Ontological Categories and How to Use Them
    Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 5. 1997.
  •  223
    Metaphysical Arguments against Ordinary Objects
    Philosophical Quarterly 56 (224). 2006.
    Several prominent attacks on the objects of 'folk ontology' argue that these would be omitted from a scientific ontology, or would be 'rivals' of scientific objects for their claims to be efficacious, occupy space, be composed of parts, or possess a range of other properties. I examine causal redundancy and overdetermination arguments, 'nothing over and above' appeals, and arguments based on problems with collocation and with property additivity. I argue that these share a common problem: applyi…Read more
  •  45
    This is an interesting and ambitious book, bringing Husserl’s account of constitution to bear on the enduring problem of how mind and world are related. The study does not aim to be a contribution to Husserl scholarship, but rather to bring aspects of Husserlian phenomenology into dialog with more recent analytic work in philosophy of mind to make philosophical progress
  •  392
    The controversy over the existence of ordinary objects
    Philosophy Compass 5 (7): 591-601. 2010.
    The basic philosophical controversy regarding ordinary objects is: Do tables and chairs, sticks and stones, exist? This paper aims to do two things: first, to explain why how this can be a controversy at all, and second, to explain why this controversy has arisen so late in the history of philosophy. Section 1 begins by discussing why the 'obvious' sensory evidence in favor of ordinary objects is not taken to be decisive. It goes on to review the standard arguments against the existence of ordin…Read more
  • Fiction and Metaphysics
    Philosophical Quarterly 52 (207): 282-284. 2002.
  •  44
    Roman Ingarden
    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2008.
    Roman Ingarden (1893 -- 1970) was a Polish phenomenologist, ontologist and aesthetician. A student of Edmund Husserl's from the Göttingen period, Ingarden was a realist phenomenologist who spent much of his career working against what he took to be Husserl's turn to transcendental idealism. As preparatory work for narrowing down possible solutions to the realism/idealism problem, Ingarden developed ontological studies unmatched in scope and detail, distinguishing different kinds of dependence an…Read more
  •  67
    Phenomenology and analytic philosophy were born out of the same historical problem---the growing crisis about how to characterize the proper methods and role of philosophy, given the increasing success and separation of the natural sciences. A common 18th and 19th century solution that reached its height with John Stuart Mill’s psychologism was to hold that the while natural science was concerned with “external, physical phenomena”, philosophy was concerned with “internal, mental phenomena”, and…Read more
  •  129
    Ontology Made Easy
    Oup Usa. 2014.
    Existence questions have been topics for heated debates in metaphysics, but this book argues that they can often be answered easily, by trivial inferences from uncontroversial premises. This 'easy' approach to ontology leads to realism about disputed entities, and to the view that metaphysical disputes about existence questions are misguided.
  •  209
    Non-Descriptivism About Modality. A Brief History And Revival
    The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 4 8. 2008.
    Despite the otherwise-dominant trends towards physicalism and naturalism in philosophy, it has become increasingly common for metaphysicians to accept the existence either of modal facts and properties, or of Lewisian possible worlds. This paper raises the historical question: why did these heavyweight realist views come into prominence? The answer is that they have arisen in response to the demand to find truthmakers for our modal statements. But this demand presupposes that modal statements ar…Read more
  •  191
    Debates about the Ontology of Art: What are We Doing Here?
    Philosophy Compass 1 (3): 245-255. 2006.
    Philosophy Compass, Volume 1. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006
  •  21
    Ingarden and the ontology of cultural objects
    In Arkadiusz Chrudzimski (ed.), Existence, Culture, and Persons: The Ontology of Roman Ingarden, . pp. 115-136. 2005.
    While Roman Ingarden is well known for his work in aesthetics and studies in ontology, one of his most important and lasting contributions has been largely overlooked: his approach to a general ontology of social and cultural objects. Ingarden himself discusses cultural objects other than works of art directly in the first section of “The Architectural Work”1, where he develops a particularly penetrating view of the ontology of buildings, flags, and churches. This text provides the core insight …Read more
  •  9
    The Ontology of Art
    In Peter Kivy (ed.), The Blackwell Guide to Aesthetics, Blackwell. pp. 78-92. 2004.
  •  25
    Fiction, existence et référence
    Methodos 10. 2010.
    L’article publié ici se propose d’emprunter une voie qui n’avait pas été empruntée dans les explorations précédentes de l’auteur. En effet, on verra qu’il s’agit ici de surmonter les difficultés auxquelles sont confrontées les théories réalistes de la fiction et en particulier la théorie artefactuelle dont Amie Thomasson est l’auteur. La question principale s’édicte en ces termes : s’il y a des personnages de fiction, comment se fait-il qu’il nous soit naturel de dire que tel ou tel personnage n…Read more
  •  79
    Fiction and intentionality
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (2): 277-298. 1996.
    A good phenomenological theory must be able to account equally well for our experiences of veridical perception and hallucination, for our thoughts about universities, colors, numbers, mythical figures and more. For all of these are characteristic mental acts, and a theory of intentionality should be a theory of conscious acts in general, not just of consciousness of a specific kind of thing or of a specific kind of consciousness. In so far as phenomenology purports to be a general study of inte…Read more
  •  134
    Quizzical Ontology and Easy Ontology
    Journal of Philosophy 111 (9-10): 502-528. 2014.
    This paper examines what’s at stake in which form of metaontological deflationism we adopt. Stephen Yablo has argued for a ‘quizzicalist’ approach, holding that many ontological questions are ‘moot’ in the sense that there is simply nothing to settle them. Defenders of the ‘easy approach’ to ontology, by contrast, think not that these questions are unsettled, but that they are very easily settled by trivial inferences from uncontroversial premises—so obviously and easily settled that there is no…Read more
  •  6
    Ontología fácil y sus consecuencias
    Disputatio. Philosophical Research Bulletin 4 (5): 247--279. 2015.
    [ES] Los trabajos recientes de Stephen Schiffer en el desarrollo de una explicación pleonástica de proposiciones producen resultados importantes que cambian el significado tanto de la ontología de primer orden como de la meta-ontología. El objetivo del presente trabajo es dejar en claro cuáles son estas consecuencias y por qué son tan importantes. Según mi punto de vista, la mayor amenaza para los partidarios de la metafísica proviene de un punto de vista que yo he llamado en otro trabajo el ace…Read more
  •  145
    Metaphysical Disputes and Metalinguistic Negotiation
    Analytic Philosophy 57 (4): 1-28. 2016.
  •  86
    Why we Should Still Take it Easy
    Mind 126 (503): 769-779. 2017.
    In an earlier paper in this journal I argued that deflationism is preferable to fictionalism as an alternative to both traditional realism and eliminativism. Gabriele Contessa questions this conclusion, denying that fictionalist arguments beg the question against easy ontological arguments, presenting a new argument against easy ontology, and suggesting a response to the challenge I raise for fictionalists. Below I respond to these points in turn. In so doing, I hope to clarify the broader theor…Read more
  •  227
    Fictionalism versus Deflationism
    Mind 122 (488): 1023-1051. 2013.
    Fictionalism has long presented an attractive alternative to both heavy-duty realist and simple eliminativist views about entities such as properties, propositions, numbers, and possible worlds. More recently, a different alternative to these traditional views has been gaining popularity: a form of deflationism that holds that trivial arguments may lead us from uncontroversial premisses to conclude that the relevant entities exist — but where commitment to the entities is a trivial consequence o…Read more
  •  340
    The easy approach to ontology
    Axiomathes 19 (1): 1-15. 2009.
    This paper defends the view that ontological questions (properly understood) are easy—too easy, in fact, to be subjects of substantive and distinctively philosophical debates. They are easy, roughly, in the sense that they may be resolved straightforwardly—generally by a combination of conceptual and empirical enquiries. After briefly outlining the view and some of its virtues, I turn to examine two central lines of objection. The first is that this ‘easy’ approach is itself committed to substan…Read more
  • Fiction and Metaphysics
    Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60 (2): 190-192. 1999.
  •  116
    Research Problems and Methods in Metaphysics
    In Robert Barnard & Neil Manson (eds.), The Continuum Companion to Metaphysics, Continuum International. 2012.
  •  37
    The main focus of this book lies in analyzing singular negative existential statements such as “Sherlock Holmes does not exist”. Chakrabarti’s goal is to preserve the idea that this is a subject-predicate statement involving a singular denial about a particular individual, without committing himself to an unwanted ontology of Meinongian, imaginary, or other nonexistent objects, and without resorting to any kind of free logic.
  •  246
    Ordinary Objects (edited book)
    Oxford University Press. 2007.
    Arguments that ordinary inanimate objects such as tables and chairs, sticks and stones, simply do not exist have become increasingly common and increasingly prominent. Some are based on demands for parsimony or for a non-arbitrary answer to the special composition question; others arise from prohibitions against causal redundancy, ontological vagueness, or co-location; and others still come from worries that a common sense ontology would be a rival to a scientific one. Until now, little has been…Read more