These nine essays are largely concerned with the theory of meaning and references-semantics. At the same time adjacent portions of philosophy and logic are discussed. To the existence of what objects may a given scientific theory be said to be committed? And what considerations may suitably guide us in accepting or revising such ontological commitments? These are among the questions dealt with in this book, particular attention being devoted to the role of abstract entities in mathematics. There is speculation on the mechanism whereby objects of one sort or another come to be posited, a process in which the notion of identity plays an important part.
I. On what there is II. Two dogmas of empiricism III. The problem of meaning in linguistics IV. Identity, ostension, and hypostasis V. New foundations for mathematical logic VI. Logic and the reification of universals VII. Notes on the theory of reference VIII. Reference and modality IX. Meaning and existential inference Origins of the essays Bibliographical references Index