The Journal of Philosophy

Volume 119, Issue 6, June 2022

Byron Simmons
Pages 324-346

Should an Ontological Pluralist Be a Quantificational Pluralist?

Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different fundamental ways of being. Recent defenders of this view—such as Kris McDaniel and Jason Turner—have taken these ways of being to be best captured by semantically primitive quantifier expressions ranging over different domains. They have thus endorsed, what I shall call, quantificational pluralism. I argue that this focus on quantification is a mistake. For, on this view, a quantificational structure—or a quantifier for short—will be whatever part or aspect of reality’s structure that a quantifier expression carves out and reflects. But if quantificational pluralism is true, then a quantifier should be more natural than its corresponding domain; and since it does not appear to be the case that a quantifier is more natural than its corresponding domain, quantificational pluralism does not appear to be true. Thus, I claim, an ontological pluralist should not be a quantificational pluralist.