Read e-book online Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language PDF

By Friederike Moltmann

ISBN-10: 0199608741

ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Summary gadgets were a imperative subject in philosophy because antiquity. Philosophers have defended quite a few perspectives approximately summary items by means of beautiful to metaphysical issues, issues concerning arithmetic or technological know-how, and, now not on occasion, intuitions approximately common language. This publication pursues the query of the way and even if average language makes it possible for connection with summary gadgets in a completely systematic manner. through making complete use of latest linguistic semantics, it provides a miles larger diversity of linguistic generalizations than has formerly been considered in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological photo is especially diverse from that mostly taken with no consideration by way of philosophers and semanticists alike. connection with summary items reminiscent of homes, numbers, propositions, and levels is significantly extra marginal than normally held. as a substitute, normal language is quite beneficiant in permitting connection with particularized houses (tropes), using nonreferential expressions in obvious referential place, and using "nominalizing expressions," reminiscent of quantifiers like "something." connection with summary gadgets is accomplished mostly basically by way of 'reifying terms', equivalent to "the quantity eight."

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The distinction between collective objects and pluralities that are “non-objects” is just as problematic as the distinction between objects and non-objects as a distinction among kinds. It raises the same substitution problem as we have seen with kinds: 14 Recall that at least some instance-distribution predicates were possible with kinds that are objects, whereas the Plurality Constraint prevents predicates subject to the Plurality Constraint applying to collective objects. On my view, this is because of the particular meaning of instance-distribution predicates and does not challenge the parallel between plurals and kind terms.

On the first approach, the children stands for a collective entity, a group, or plurality of children; on the second approach, it refers to every relevant child at once. The view that kind terms refer to kinds as single objects corresponds to the reference-to-a-plurality approach to definite plurals, and in fact the two approaches to kind terms and to plurals give rise to parallel problems. Those problems are avoided by a plural-reference account of plurals and what I will call the modalized plural-reference account of kind terms.

If kind terms are plural terms, the applicability of plural predicates is unsurprising. Of course, such predicates take into account only pluralities of actual individuals, not pluralities of all the instances of a kind. There are two fundamentally different approaches to the semantics of plurals, in particular definite plural NPs: first, what I will call the reference-to-a-plurality approach and second, what I will call the plural-reference approach. The first approach takes plurals to refer to single entities, pluralities, of some sort; the second approach takes plurals to refer to several individuals at once.

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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language by Friederike Moltmann


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