The Metasemantics of Indefinite Extensibility – Vera Flocke (NYU)

March 5, 2018 @ 4:15 pm – 6:15 pm
CUNY Grad Center, rm 3309
365 5th Ave
New York, NY 10016

Indefinite extensibility is the thesis that any domain of quantification can always be expanded. But how is the possibility of expanding domains of quantification reflected in the semantics of quantified sentences? This paper discusses the relevant meta-semantic options within a framework that distinguishes between semantic values and assertoric contents. This choice of a framework is independently motivated, helps received accounts of indefinite extensibility to escape weighty objections and adds to the available metasemantic options. I then argue for a hitherto overlooked view according to which quantified sentences express stable semantic values but variable assertoric contents. Specifically, the semantic value of quantified sentences are sets of possible worlds that are structured by two equivalence relations, one of which models counterfactual necessity and the other one of which models objectivity. Assertoric contents however are ordinary possible worlds propositions. The advantage of this view is that it explains succinctly what’s at issue in the debate between generality-absolutists, who think that quantification over absolutely everything is possible, and generality-relativists. If the box expresses objectivity, this disagreement concerns the Barcan formula, which entails that domains do not grow as one moves to objectively-accessible worlds.

This meeting is open to all who are interested. Please feel free to pass this announcement on, or direct others to our website at

Logic and Metaphysics Workshop

Spring 2018 

Feb 26 Martin Pleitz, Muenster
Mar 5 Vera Flocke, NYU
Mar 12 Roy Sorensen, WUSTL
Mar 19 Alex Citkin, Private Researcher
Mar 26 Chris Scambler, NYU
Apr 9 Greg Restall, Melbourne
Apr 16 Daniel Nolan, Notre Dame
Apr 23 Mel Fitting, CUNY
Apr 30 Sungil Han, Seoul National
May 7 Andreas Ditter, NYU
May14 Rohit Parikh

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