Indeterminate Identities, Supervaluationism, and Quantifiers

Analytic Philosophy 61 (3):218-235 (2020)
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Abstract

I am a friend of supervaluationism. A statement lacks a definite truth value if, and only if, it comes out true on some admissible ways of precisifying the semantics of the relevant vocabulary and false on others. In this paper, I focus on the special case of identity statements. I take it that such statements, too, may occasionally suffer a truth-value gap, including philosophically significant instances. Yet there is a potentially devastating objection that can be raised against the supervaluationist treatment of such cases—in fact two objections. Luckily, both can be resisted. But seeing how requires that we take a closer look at the ontological presuppositions of supervaluationism, allowing for more leeway than is usually supposed.

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Achille C. Varzi
Columbia University

Citations of this work

Ramsification and Semantic Indeterminacy.Hannes Leitgeb - 2022 - Review of Symbolic Logic 16 (3):900-950.
Plural metaphysical supervaluationism.Robert Michels, Cristian Mariani & Giuliano Torrengo - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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