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Ontology and Metaontology

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Introduction: What Is Ontology? What Is Metaontology? Part I: Quinean Metaontology 1. On Denoting 2. 1948: On What There Is 3. The Standard View Part II: Alternative Metaontologies 4. Ontological Pluralism and Neo-Fregeanism 5. Carnap's View of Ontology and Neo-Carnapians 6. Fictionalism 7. Meinongianism 8. The Grounding Approach Part III: Ontology 9. Abstract Objects I: Numbers & Co. 10. Abstract Objects II: Linguistic Types, Propositions, and Values 11. Possible Worlds 12. Material Objects 13. Fictional Objects 14. Beyond Particulars: Properties and Events Bibliography Index

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An up-to-date introduction to contemporary ontology.

About the Author

Francesco Berto is Structural Chair of Metaphysics at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands and Research Leader at the Northern Institute of Philosophy, University of Aberdeen, UK Matteo Plebani is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Basilicata, Italy


This recent guidebook by Francesco Berto and Matteo Plebani succeeds remarkably in bringing the reader up to speed on the state of debates on [the] issues in contemporary analytic philosophy. The authors easily strike the appropriate balance between clarity and simplicity of presentation on the one hand and depth and breadth of content on the other. Moreover, the way that topics are elaborated by considering the motivations for positions, the objections put to them, and the prospects for responses to those objections is particularly satisfying. Consequently, any students or scholars wishing to acquaint themselves with this growing area of interest cannot afford to neglect this book. * Philosophical Quarterly * The book should be commended for the sheer volume of positions, arguments, and distinctions discussed. ... The prose is clear which is invaluable for undergraduate students stumbling upon metaphysics and metaontology for the first time. ... If this book were available when I took my graduate course in metaontology years back, I would have definitely picked it up. -- Max Suffis, Rice University, USA * Teaching Philosophy * I highly recommend this book to first and second year graduate students interested in working in metaontology and ontology as a starting point for figuring the particular topics in which they're interested. I will recommend it to friends working outside of metaphysics who are interested in knowing what's going on in metaphysics. And I will add this book to the "Further Resources" section of my syllabus for courses on these topics . . . It is a helpful introduction and guide to the topics it covers, which is exactly what it's intended to be. -- Bradley Rettler, Baylor University * NDPR * Berto and Plebani provide their readers with a highly fashionable, very well written, and good introduction and guide into the world of contemporary debates on ontology and metaontology...When Bloomsbury announced this book as `a clear and accessible survey of ontology, focusing on the most recent trends in the discipline ... making it suitable for both undergraduates and postgraduates looking to better understand and apply the exciting developments and debates takingplace in ontology today,' they were absolutely right in doing so. -- Jan Arreman, Independent Scholar * Philosophy in Review * At last! A book on ontology and metaontology written by philosophers who understand and appreciate the Quinean metaontology. This excellent book will be one of the central texts used in my next graduate seminar on metaontology. -- Peter van Inwagen, John Cardinal O'Hara Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame, USA This is the book you really wish to read if you want to learn not only how to make the complete list of what there is, but also what it means to make such a list. -- Alberto Voltolini, Professor of Philosophy of Language and Mind, University of Turin, Italy This is a terrific book. It offers a comprehensive account of the current metaontological debate about the nature of ontology, including useful summaries of the various alternatives to the old Quinean paradigm. But it also covers in depth the way this debate plays out in some of the most important corners of philosophy by considering the ongoing discussion about (among other things) the nature and existence of mathematical and other abstract objects, possible worlds, the constitution of material objects, and properties. I couldn't recommend this book more highly. -- Frederick Kroon, Professor of Philosophy, University of Auckland, New Zealand Ontology is the theory of being; metaontology is the theory of ontology. Contemporary philosophy has been largely dominated by a metaontology developed by W.V. Quine in the 1940s. But in recent years this Quinean orthodoxy has been challenged from a number of different perspectives. This book provides a lively and accessible introduction and guide to these new developments in metaontology: highly recommended. -- Tim Crane, Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, UK

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