Naturalness, Vagueness, and Sortals
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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.
KeywordsOntological deflationism Quantifier variance Ontological realism Vagueness Unrestricted quantifiers Indeterminacy argument
I would very much like to thank all the members of the LOGOS group for their invaluable comments on previous versions of this paper. Special thanks are due to Fabrice Correia, Manuel García-Carpintero, Dan López de Sa, Sònia Roca, Pablo Rychter, Gabriel Uzquiano and Achille Varzi. The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement no. 238128, and also from the DGI, Spanish Government, research project HUM2006-08236 and Consolider-Ingenio project CSD2009-00056. Thanks also to Michael Maudsley for his linguistic revisions.
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