Quantifier Variance, Vague Existence, and Metaphysical Vagueness

Journal of Philosophy 120 (4):173-219 (2023)
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Abstract

This paper asks: Is the quantifier variantist committed to metaphysical vagueness? My investigation of this question goes via a study of vague existence. I’ll argue that the quantifier variantist is committed to vague existence and that the vague existence posited by the variantist requires a puzzling sort of metaphysical vagueness. Specifically, I distinguish between (what I call) positive and negative metaphysical vagueness. Positive metaphysical vagueness is (roughly) the claim that there is vagueness in the world; negative metaphysical vagueness is (roughly) the claim that there is vagueness that is not in our language or thought. I’ll argue that the quantifier variantist’s commitment to vague existence comes with positive metaphysical vagueness -- even if it doesn't require negative metaphysical vagueness.

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Rohan Sud
Virginia Tech

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