University of Hertfordshire

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It Takes More than Moore to Answer Existence-Questions

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  • Karl Egerton
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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Early online date18 Feb 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2019


Several recent discussions of metaphysics disavow existence-questions, claiming that they are metaphysically uninteresting because trivially settled in the affirmative by Moorean facts. This is often given as a reason to focus metaphysical debate instead on questions of grounding. I argue that the strategy employed to undermine existence-questions fails against its usual target: Quineanism. The Quinean can protest that the formulation given of their position is a straw man: properly understood, as a project of explication, Quinean metaphysics does not counsel us to choose between obvious ordinary-language claims and absurd revisionist claims, even if appeal to Moorean facts is permitted.


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