Naturalness, Vagueness, and Sortals

Metaphysica 11 (1):79-91 (2010)
In the past few years, deflationary positions in the debate on the nature of composite material objects have become prominent. According to Ted Sider these include the thesis of quantifier variance, against which he has defended ontological realism. Recently, Sider has considered the possibility of rejecting his arguments against the vagueness of the unrestricted quantifiers in terms of translation functions. Against this strategy, he has presented an intuitive complaint and has argued that it can only be resisted if quantifier variance is accepted. But this is false. In this paper I argue, against Sider, that there is a coherent way to combine the rejection of quantifier variance with the vagueness of the unrestricted quantifiers. I sketch a model to show this, and then I consider, on the basis of it, several versions of the indeterminacy argument against the vagueness of the unrestricted quantifiers that Sider has formulated over the years.
Keywords Ontological deflationism  Quantifier variance  Ontological realism  Vagueness  Unrestricted quantifiers  Indeterminacy argument
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DOI 10.1007/s12133-010-0060-4
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David Lewis (1983). New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61 (December):343-377.

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