Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language - download pdf or read online

By Friederike Moltmann

ISBN-10: 0199608741

ISBN-13: 9780199608744

Summary items were a principal subject in philosophy given that antiquity. Philosophers have defended quite a few perspectives approximately summary items via beautiful to metaphysical concerns, issues concerning arithmetic or technological know-how, and, no longer from time to time, intuitions approximately ordinary language. This e-book pursues the query of ways and no matter if common language enables connection with summary items in an absolutely systematic approach. via making complete use of up to date linguistic semantics, it provides a far better variety of linguistic generalizations than has formerly been considered in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological photograph is particularly varied from that usually taken without any consideration by means of philosophers and semanticists alike. connection with summary items akin to houses, numbers, propositions, and levels is significantly extra marginal than in general held. as a substitute, common language is quite beneficiant in permitting connection with particularized houses (tropes), using nonreferential expressions in obvious referential place, and using "nominalizing expressions," comparable to quantifiers like "something." connection with summary gadgets is completed in general merely by means of 'reifying terms', reminiscent of "the quantity eight."

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Example text

I will call it the intensional account of kind terms. On the intensional account, predicates with kind terms retain the same meaning they have when applying to instances of the kind. However, the kind term will play a different semantic role. It will not denote 26 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 an entity, but has as its sole function to direct the application of the predicate to particular instances. For example, episodic predicates will apply to kinds as in (56a) and characterizing predicates as in (56b), where ‘Int’ stands for the function that maps a kind onto the property that holds just of the instances of the kind at a given circumstance: (56) a.

Again, the same nouns with a demonstrative determiner and without a complement will yield terms referring to universals, that is, type demonstratives: (44) a. John never saw this shape. b. John never saw this color. These observations justify the following generalization. Trope-describing nouns come in two variants: a relational variant and a non-relational variant. The relational variant expresses a relation between particular tropes and their bearers, whereas the nonrelational variant expresses a property of kinds of tropes.

94a) has a reading on which John cannot distinguish apples from pears and vice versa. Here distinguish applies as a multigrade predicate (in its second position) to the modalized plurality given by apples and the modalized plurality given by pears. (94a) has a second reading on which distinguish applies to a single modalized plurality, that consisting of the various possible apples and pears. What John is said to be unable to distinguish on that reading is the individual members of that plurality.

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Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language by Friederike Moltmann


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