Paradise Regained: Naive Semantics and Regulative Metaphysics Public Deposited

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Last Modified
  • March 19, 2019
Creator
  • Smithson, Robert
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Philosophy
Abstract
  • In this dissertation, I identify areas of language that are not threatened by empirical evidence or theoretical argument in ways that we typically expect when doing philosophy. Examples I consider include assertions about ordinary objects, laws of nature, dependence, causation, and existence. In each case, I argue that our mistaken epistemological assumptions are the result of mistaken semantic assumptions about our ordinary linguistic expressions. I appeal to these semantic conclusions to clarify and “regulate” a variety of metaphysical debates, such as the dispute between Humeans and non-Humeans about natural laws and the dispute between ontologists and deflationists over the substantivity of ontological debates.
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Rights statement
  • In Copyright
Advisor
  • Paul, Laurie
  • Roberts, John
  • Neta, Ram
  • Hofweber, Thomas
  • Lange, Marc
Degree
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2016
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