By Friederike Moltmann

ISBN-10: 0199608741

ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Summary items were a valuable subject in philosophy considering the fact that antiquity. Philosophers have defended a number of perspectives approximately summary gadgets through beautiful to metaphysical issues, issues relating to arithmetic or technological know-how, and, now not every so often, intuitions approximately typical language. This ebook pursues the query of the way and no matter if common language makes it possible for connection with summary items in a completely systematic method. via making complete use of up to date linguistic semantics, it provides a far higher 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 gadgets comparable to homes, numbers, propositions, and levels is significantly extra marginal than as a rule held. as a substitute, ordinary language is very beneficiant in permitting connection with particularized homes (tropes), using nonreferential expressions in obvious referential place, and using "nominalizing expressions," reminiscent of quantifiers like "something." connection with summary gadgets is completed normally purely by way of 'reifying terms', corresponding to "the quantity eight."

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Additional info for Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language

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I will call the latter the denominative complement.

John needs the possible instances of gold. c. The possible instances of gold exist. An explanation of this difference should be along the following lines. Definite NPs involving a single domain of entities, which in the presence of possible will be extended to a domain of merely possible entities. By contrast, kind terms involve plural reference to different individuals in different domains, belonging to different circumstances. Kind terms as plurally referring terms also allow for higher-level plural reference.

There is some evidence, though, that distributivity is, in a certain sense, obligatory even with plurals. It comes from predicates expressing size or configuration. Such predicates in principle could have both a collective and a distributive reading with definite plurals. However, with plurals, unlike with collective NPs, they enforce a distributive interpretation: (71) a. The children are big (no collective reading). b. The group of children is big (collective reading). (72) a. The pictures are large (no collective reading).

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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language by Friederike Moltmann

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