David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy East and West 57 (4):420-456 (2007)
: This essay critiques Chad Hansen’s "mass noun hypothesis," arguing that though most Classical Chinese nouns do function as mass nouns, this fact does not support the claim that pre-Qin thinkers treat the extensions of common nouns as mereological wholes, nor does it explain why they adopt nominalist semantic theories. The essay shows that early texts explain the use of common nouns by appeal to similarity relations, not mereological relations. However, it further argues that some early texts do characterize the relation between individuals and collections as a mereological relation.
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