David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (6):629-648 (2008)
I contrast two approaches to the interpretation of generics such as ‘ravens are black:’ majority-based views, on which they are about what is the case most of the time, and inquiry-based views, on which they are about a feature we focus on in inquiry. I argue that majority-based views face far more systematic counterexamples than has previously been supposed. They cannot account for generics about kinds with multiple characteristic properties, such as ‘elephants live in Africa and Asia.’ I then go on to sketch an inquiry-based view.
|Keywords||Natural language Semantics Generics Probability Induction|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Richard Boyd (1991). Realism, Anti-Foundationalism and the Enthusiasm for Natural Kinds. Philosophical Studies 61 (1-2):127-48.
Frank Veltman (1996). Defaults in Update Semantics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (3):221 - 261.
Robert Boyd (1999). Kinds, Complexity, and Multiple Realization. Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):67-98.
Citations of this work BETA
Bernhard Nickel (2014). The Role of Kinds in the Semantics of Ceteris Paribus Laws. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1729-1744.
Matthias Unterhuber (2014). Do Ceteris Paribus Laws Exist? A Regularity-Based Best System Analysis. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1833-1847.
Sandeep Prasada, Sangeet Khemlani, Sarah-Jane Leslie & Sam Glucksberg (2013). Conceptual Distinctions Amongst Generics. Cognition 126 (3):405-422.
Alexander Reutlinger & Matthias Unterhuber (2014). Thinking About Non-Universal Laws. Erkenntnis 79 (10):1703-1713.
Rachel Katharine Sterken (2015). Leslie on Generics. Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2493-2512.
Similar books and articles
Bernhard Nickel (2010). Ceteris Paribus Laws: Generics and Natural Kinds. Philosophers' Imprint 10 (06).
Ariel Cohen (1999). Generics, Frequency Adverbs, and Probability. Linguistics and Philosophy 22 (3):221-253.
Ariel Cohen (2004). Existential Generics. Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (2):137-168.
Bernhard Nickel (2010). Generically Free Choice. Linguistics and Philosophy 33 (6):479-512.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads215 ( #5,452 of 1,725,162 )
Recent downloads (6 months)134 ( #2,983 of 1,725,162 )
How can I increase my downloads?