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Faculty of Philosophy



Nearly 70 years ago Quine equated ontological questions with questions about what there is according to our best first-order theories. Recently, many philosophers have either questioned or reinterpreted what has become the standard Quinean picture, resulting in the relatively new field of Metaontology. This workshop is dedicated to exploring contemporary metaontological issues, broadly construed.

Workshop Program

  May 21st:

10:30 Naomi Thompson (Birmingham) - ‘Grounding, Metaontology, and Metametaontology'
11:45 Tim Button  (Cambridge) - ‘On Verbal Disputes: Rules For Use, Robot Cats, and Pencil Organisms'
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Tim Crane (Cambridge) - ‘The Central Question of Metaontology’
15:10 Coffee
15:40 Elizabeth Barnes (Leeds) - ‘Going Beyond the Fundamental: Feminism in Contemporary Metaphysics’


  May 22nd:

10:30 Olla Solomyak (NYU) - ‘Perspectives on the Question of Ontology: A Realist Metaontological Approach’
11:45 Huw Price, Matthew Simpson, and Kyle Mitchell (Cambridge) - ‘What There is For Expressivists’
13:00 Lunch
14:00 Amie Thomasson (Miami) - ‘Abandoning Hard Ontology’


Workshop Organizers:

Carlo Rossi (
Kyle Mitchell (

If you have any questions, please contact the workshop organisers.

To register, please send an email to Registration fee is £20, although a reduced fee of £10 will be charged to graduate students. If you wish to attend to the dinner on the 21st of May, please let us know by the 14th of May. The deadline for registration is on Tuesday the 13th of May.

We gratefully acknowledge the generous support of the Analysis Trust, the Aristotelian Society, the Mind Association, and the School of Art and Humanities, University of Cambridge.

Wednesday, 21 May, 2014 - 09:00 to Thursday, 22 May, 2014 - 18:00
Contact email: 
Event location: 
Winstanely Lecture Theatre, Trinity College, Cambridge