David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
Ordinary English contains different forms of quantification over objects. In addition to the usual singular quantification, as in 'There is an apple on the table', there is plural quantification, as in 'There are some apples on the table'. Ever since Frege, formal logic has favored the two singular quantifiers ∀x and ∃x over their plural counterparts ∀xx and ∃xx (to be read as for any things xx and there are some things xx). But in recent decades it has been argued that we have good reason to admit among our primitive logical notions also the plural quantifiers ∀xx and ∃xx. More controversially, it has been argued that the resulting formal system with plural as well as singular quantification qualifies as ‘pure logic’; in particular, that it is universally applicable, ontologically innocent, and perfectly well understood. In addition to being interesting in its own right, this thesis will, if correct, make plural quantification available as an innocent but extremely powerful tool in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, and philosophical logic. For instance, George Boolos has used plural quantification to interpret monadic second-order logic and has argued on this basis that monadic second-order logic qualifies as “pure logic.” Plural quantification has also been used in attempts to defend logicist ideas, to account for set theory, and to eliminate ontological commitments to mathematical objects and complex objects.
|Keywords||plural logic plural quantification|
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David Nicolas (2008). Mass Nouns and Plural Logic. Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (2):211-244.
Simon Hewitt (2012). Modalising Plurals. Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (5):853-875.
Massimiliano Carrara & Enrico Martino (2016). The Mereological Foundation of Megethology. Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (2):227-235.
Keith Hossack (2014). Sets and Plural Comprehension. Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):517-539.
Jody Azzouni (forthcoming). The Challenge of Many Logics: A New Approach to Evaluating the Role of Ideology in Quinean Commitment. Synthese:1-21.
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