Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):611-627 (2021)

Poppy Mankowitz
University of Bristol
ABSTRACT There has been recent interest in the idea that, when metaphysicians disagree over the truth of ‘There are numbers’ or ‘Chairs exist’, their dispute is merely verbal. This idea has been taken to motivate quantifier variance, the view that the meanings of quantifier expressions vary across different ontological languages, and that each of these meanings is of equal metaphysical merit. I argue that quantifier variance cannot be upheld in light of natural language theorists’ analyses of quantifier expressions. The idea that metaphysicians are engaged in verbal disputes can be maintained only through alternative strategies that have nothing to do with quantifier expressions.
Keywords quantifier variance  verbal disputes  generalized quantifiers  natural language  semantics
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DOI 10.1080/00048402.2020.1780276
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Logic, Semantics, Metamathematics.Alfred Tarski - 1956 - Oxford, Clarendon Press.
Ethics Without Ontology.Hilary Putnam - 2004 - Harvard University Press.
Quantifiers in Language and Logic.Stanley Peters & Dag Westerståhl - 2006 - Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.

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