Quantifier Variance, Intensionality, and Metaphysical Merit

  • David LiebesmanEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 373)


Attempting to deflate ontological debates, the proponent of Quantifier Variance (QV) claims that there are multiple quantifier meanings of equal metaphysical merit. According to Hirsch—the main proponent of QV—metaphysical merit should be understood intensionally: two languages have equal merit if they allow us to express the same possibilities. I examine the notion of metaphysical merit and its purported link to intensionality. That link, I argue, should not be supported by adopting an intensional theory of semantic content. Rather, I give a general strategy for supporting claims about metaphysical merit and examine whether that strategy can be used to link merit and intensionality. Though I don’t deliver a definitive verdict, the discussion provides a clearer framework for articulating and evaluating claims about metaphysical merit.


True Proposition Quantifier Variance Conjunctive Proposition Metaphysical Debate Sentential Content 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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