In Ontology Made Easy, Amie Thomasson's aim is to “develop an alternative way of looking at that particular corner of metaphysics which deals with existence questions” (11). She rejects the dominant neo-Quinean approach, which sees philosophy as akin to the natural sciences; she defends a neo-Carnapian view, which sees the key contribution of philosophy as conceptual analysis. Thomasson argues convincingly that the true legacy of Carnap has yet to be appreciated and that much of what bears the name of “deflationism” is not truly Carnapian. She seeks to rectify this by providing an extensive defense of the views she sees as the true legacy of Carnap: (first-order) simple realism and (metaontological) deflationism. Simple realism follows from the “easy approach” to ontology Thomasson endorses. The easy approach holds “that all well-formed existence questions may be answered by conceptual and/or empirical work, and [holds] that...
Dana Goswick; Ontology Made Easy
Book reviews. The Philosophical Review 1 January 2018; 127 (1): 145–149. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00318108-4230137
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