Review of: Ontology after Carnap, by Stephan Blatti and Sandra Lapointe (eds.)

Timothy Button, Apollo-University Of Cambridge Repository, Apollo-University Of Cambridge Repository
Blatti & Lapointe, the editors of Ontology after Carnap, tell us that 'careful and sustained work in metaontology is a relatively recent phenomenon. The single most significant episode in the brief history of metaontological inquiry was the mid-twentieth century debate between' Carnap and Quine (p.1). It will be sad if we forget works like Kant's Prolegomena or James's Pragmatism when we write metaontology's history. Still, the editors' remark is a clear point to the book's focus: metaontology
more » ... n the light of recent interest in Carnap's 'Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology' (Carnap 1950). Carnap 1950 is at the centre of things, as that is where Carnap formulates his internal/external dichotomy. If you haven't already encountered the dichotomy, then neither Ontology after Carnap, nor this review, is for you. Otherwise, read on (and consider obtaining the book). Four positive neo-Carnapian proposals are on offer here: Hofweber, Hirsch and Thomasson elaborate on positions which they have been developing for some time, and Kraut presents a new brand of expressivism. Sidelle's and Eklund's chapters stand out for their clear and systematic maps of the terrain. Biggs & Wilson, Evnine, and Koslicki raise specific criticisms of (neo-)Carnapianism. And Creath and Lavers offer more historical contributions. The editors' introduction includes a helpful chapter-by-chapter summary of the book (pp.6-11). So, instead of offering a similar summary, in this review I will try to tease out some of the book's themes, thereby giving some sense of contemporary neo-Carnapianism.
doi:10.17863/cam.7297 fatcat:63nxitr6ybaxxh6qtkhgfgj5ei