Properties and kinds of tropes: New linguistic facts and old philosophical insights

Mind 113 (449):1-41 (2004)
Terms such as 'wisdom' or 'happiness' are commonly held to refer to abstract objects that are properties. On the basis of a greater range of linguistic data and with the support of some ancient and medieval philosophical views, I argue that such terms do not stand for objects, but rather for kinds of tropes, entities that do not have the status of objects, but only play a role as semantic values of terms and as arguments of predicates. Such ‘non-objects’ crucially differ from objects in that they are not potential bearers of properties.
Keywords trope   count noun   mass noun   count noun
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DOI 10.1093/mind/113.449.1
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