Must Naturalism Lead to a Deflationary Meta-Ontology?

Matthew Haug 1
  • 1 Department of Philosophy, The College of William & Mary, P.O. Box 8795, Williamsburg, VA 23187-8795, USA
Matthew Haug

Abstract

Huw Price has argued that naturalistic philosophy inevitably leads to a deflationary approach to ontological questions. In this paper, I rebut these arguments. A more substantive, less language-focused approach to metaphysics remains open to naturalists. However, rebutting one of Price’s main arguments requires rejecting Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment. So, even though Price’s argument is unsound, it reveals that naturalists cannot rest content with broadly Quinean, “mainstream metaphysics,” which, I suggest, naturalists also have independent reasons to reject.

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