Philosophical Studies:1-13 (forthcoming)

Authors
Jared Warren
Stanford University
Abstract
Quantifier variance holds that different languages can have unrestricted quantifier expressions that differ in meaning, where an expression is a “quantifier” just in case it plays the right inferential role. Several critics argued that J.H. Harris’s “collapse” argument refutes variance by showing that identity of inferential role is incompatible with meaning variance. This standard, syntactic collapse argument has generated several responses. More recently, Cian Dorr proved semantic collapse theorems to generate a semantic collapse argument against variance. The argument is significantly different from standard collapse, so it requires a new response. Here I clarify and analyze the semantic collapse argument, and explain how variantists can and should respond to it. The paper also includes an appendix showing the difficulties of positing identity variance without quantifier variance. The argument in the appendix has yet to appear in print, but is familiar to specialists.
Keywords quantifier variance  metaontology  identity variance  metasemantics
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-021-01685-2
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