On Feb 11, 2009, at 12:33 PM, Christopher Menzel wrote:
On Feb 11, 2009, at 1:39 AM, Pat Hayes wrote:
On Feb 10, 2009, at 5:55 PM, Christopher Menzel wrote:
On Feb 10, 2009, at 2:44 PM, Pat Hayes wrote:
Quine was a strict nominalist.
Not that it matters to your main point here, but it sort of depends
what you mean by a nominalist. If you mean someone who rejects the
existence of classic intensional universals like Wisdom and Redness,
then yes, Quine was a nominalist. If, however, you mean someone who
rejects the existence of all abstract entities across the board, then
Quine was no nominalist, as he argued that quantification over
mathematical objects (specifically, sets) is indispensable to
But he also argued against admitting 'possible but unreal' entities.
True, but that question in my mind is entirely orthogonal to the issue
I remember his withering question: how many possible men are
standing in an empty doorway?
Withering? It's a terrible argument (insofar as it's an argument at
all). The answer (for the defender of possibilia) is obviously ZERO.
Mere possibilia, by definition, are not in space and time (otherwise,
obviously, they'd be *actual*)
Not at all. They are in a possible
space and time, not the actual one. But they are in space and time (in contrast, say, to numbers and sets :-) And BTW, why "mere" ?
and hence cannot stand in any spatial
relations to a doorway.
Not an actual doorway, indeed. Point taken, I probably shouldn't have brought the example up.
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