Quantifier variance and the collapse argument

Philosophical Quarterly 65 (259):241-253 (2015)
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Abstract

Recently a number of works in meta-ontology have used a variant of J.H. Harris's collapse argument in the philosophy of logic as an argument against Eli Hirsch's quantifier variance. There have been several responses to the argument in the literature, but none of them have identified the central failing of the argument, viz., the argument has two readings: one on which it is sound but doesn't refute quantifier variance and another on which it is unsound. The central lesson I draw is that arguments against quantifier variance must pay strict attention to issues of translation and interpretation. The paper also has a substantial appendix in which I prove the equivalence of plural mereological nihilism and standard first-order atomistic mereology; results of this kind are often appealed to in the literature on quantifier variance but without many details on the nature or proof of the result.

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Jared Warren
Stanford University

Citations of this work

Collapse and the Varieties of Quantifier Variance.Matti Eklund - 2021 - In James Miller (ed.), The Language of Ontology.
Quantifier Variance and the Demand for a Semantics.Eli Hirsch & Jared Warren - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 98 (3):592-605.
Quantifier Variance and Indefinite Extensibility.Jared Warren - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):81-122.

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References found in this work

Mereology.Achille C. Varzi - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Material Beings.Peter Van Inwagen - 1990 - Philosophy 67 (259):126-127.
Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1993 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (3):701-708.
Ontological Anti-Realism.David Chalmers - 2009 - In David Chalmers, David Manley & Ryan Wasserman (eds.), Metametaphysics: New Essays on the Foundations of Ontology. Oxford University Press.

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