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By Friederike Moltmann

ISBN-10: 0199608741

ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Summary gadgets were a principal subject in philosophy because antiquity. Philosophers have defended a number of perspectives approximately summary gadgets through beautiful to metaphysical issues, concerns relating to arithmetic or technological know-how, and, no longer sometimes, intuitions approximately ordinary language. This e-book pursues the query of ways and no matter if ordinary language enables connection with summary gadgets in an absolutely systematic means. via making complete use of up to date linguistic semantics, it offers a miles better diversity of linguistic generalizations than has formerly been considered in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological photograph is especially varied from that regularly taken without any consideration by means of philosophers and semanticists alike. connection with summary items comparable to houses, numbers, propositions, and levels is significantly extra marginal than in most cases held. as a substitute, average language is very beneficiant in permitting connection with particularized houses (tropes), using nonreferential expressions in obvious referential place, and using "nominalizing expressions," similar to quantifiers like "something." connection with summary items is completed in most cases basically by means of 'reifying terms', akin to "the quantity eight."

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This is the case for “individual-level predicates,” for intensional predicates, as well as, to an extent, for instance-distribution predicates such as rare. Clearly, all the predicates possible with kind terms can be understood as predicates applying to modalized pluralities. However, predicates will have derived predicate meanings when applying to modalized pluralities that are not the same as when applying to ordinary pluralities. The derived predicate meanings applying to kinds generally involve quan- 38 A B S T R A C T O B J E C T S A N D T H E S E M A N T I C S O F N AT U R A L L A N G UA G E tification over possible instances, or even possible or actual subpluralities (because of the possibility collective predicates discussed earlier).

REFERENCE TO UNIVERSALS AND PLURAL REFERENCE TO PARTICULARS 33 why couldn’t a plurality be referred to by a suitable singular noun phrase, such as this plurality, that sum, or that entity? Most strikingly, the difference between collective NPs and plural NPs shows up in the way collective objects and pluralities are counted. ” Thus, there is one orchestra, but several orchestra members, and if the collection has a referent, there is just one collection, but several members of the collection. This fundamental difference between collective objects and pluralities, that is, “collections as one” and “collections as many,” has been the subject of important philosophical discussions going as far back as Plato.

John faced various things, hostility, incomprehension, and prejudice. John needs two things, new ideas and good co-workers. Thus, the same reification function mapping pluralities to entities applies here as in the case of plurals. This reification is part not only of the meaning of –thing, but also of the meaning of kind. Quantificational NPs like several kinds and several things thus have two semantic functions: that of quantification and that of reification of pluralities. To fulfill these two semantic roles, such quantificational NPs should not only be assigned a scope but also a nominalization domain.

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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language by Friederike Moltmann


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