Generics and the ways of normality

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
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DOI 10.1007/s10988-008-9049-7
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References found in this work BETA
Frank Veltman (1996). Defaults in Update Semantics. Journal of Philosophical Logic 25 (3):221 - 261.

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Citations of this work BETA
Rachel Katharine Sterken (2015). Leslie on Generics. Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2493-2512.

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