In recent literature on plurals the claim has often been made that the move from singular to plural expressions can be iterated, generating what are occasionally called higher-level plurals or superplurals, often correlated with superplural predicates. I argue that the idea that the singular-to-plural move can be iterated is questionable. I then show that the examples and arguments intended to establish that some expressions of natural language are in some sense higher-level plurals fail. Next, I argue that (...) these and some other expressions should instead be classified as plurals whose reference is articulated, an idea explained and elaborated in the paper. I also show that the related categories of plural and superplural predicates collapse to that of ordinary predicates. In the process we also see that the law of substitutivity salva veritate should be elaborated for cases involving expressions more complex than singular ones. (shrink)
This paper defends 'plural reference', the view that definite plurals refer to several individuals at once, and it explores how the view can account for a range of phenomena that have been discussed in the linguistic literature.
We provide examples of plurals related to ambiguity and anaphora that pose problems or are counterexamples for current approaches to plurals. We then propose a dynamic semantics based on an extension of dynamic predicate logic (DPL+) to handle these examples. On our theory, different readings of sentences or discourses containing plurals don’t arise from a postulated ambiguity of plural terms or predicates applying to plural DPs, but follow rather from different types of dynamic transitions that manipulate inputs (...) and outputs from formulas or discourse constituents. Many aspects of meaning can affect the type dynamic transitions: the lexical semantics of predicates to the left and right of a transition, and number features of DPs and discourse constraints like parallelism. (shrink)
Contemporary accounts of logic and language cannot give proper treatments of plural constructions of natural languages. They assume that plural constructions are redundant devices used to abbreviate singular constructions. This paper and its sequel, “The logic and meaning of plurals, II”, aim to develop an account of logic and language that acknowledges limitations of singular constructions and recognizes plural constructions as their peers. To do so, the papers present natural accounts of the logic and meaning of plural constructions that (...) result from the view that plural constructions are, by and large, devices for talking about many things (as such). The account of logic presented in the papers surpasses contemporary Fregean accounts in its scope. This extension of the scope of logic results from extending the range of languages that logic can directly relate to. Underlying the view of language that makes room for this is a perspective on reality that locates in the world what plural constructions can relate to. The papers suggest that reflections on plural constructions point to a broader framework for understanding logic, language, and reality that can replace the contemporary Fregean framework as this has replaced its Aristotelian ancestor. (shrink)
In this sequel to “The logic and meaning of plurals. Part I”, I continue to present an account of logic and language that acknowledges limitations of singular constructions of natural languages and recognizes plural constructions as their peers. To this end, I present a non-reductive account of plural constructions that results from the conception of plurals as devices for talking about the many. In this paper, I give an informal semantics of plurals, formulate a formal characterization of (...) truth for the regimented languages that results from augmenting elementary languages with refinements of basic plural constructions of natural languages, and account for the logic of plural constructions by characterizing the logic of those regimented languages. (shrink)
Atomism denies that complexes exist. Common-sense metaphysics may posit masses, composite individuals and sets, but atomism says there are only simples. In a singularist logic, it is difficult to make a plausible case for atomism. But we should accept plural logic, and then atomism can paraphrase away apparent reference to complexes. The paraphrases require unfamiliar plural universals, but these are of independent interest; for example, we can identify numbers and sets with plural universals. The atomist paraphrases would fail if (...) class='Hi'>plurals presuppose complexes: but an Appendix shows that reference to complexes is not required in the semantics of plurals. (shrink)
Bare plurals ( dogs ) behave in ways that quantified plurals ( some dogs ) do not. For instance, while the sentence John owns dogs implies that John owns more than one dog, its negation John does not own dogs does not mean “John does not own more than one dog”, but rather “John does not own a dog”. A second puzzling behavior is known as the dependent plural reading; when in the scope of another plural, the ‘more (...) than one’ meaning of the plural is not distributed over, but the existential force of the plural is. For example, My friends attend good schools requires that each of my friends attend one good school, not more, while at the same time being inappropriate if all my friends attend the same school. This paper shows that both these phenomena, and others, arise from the same cause. Namely, the plural noun itself does not assert ‘more than one’, but rather the plural denotes a predicate that is number neutral (unspecified for cardinality). The ‘more than one’ meaning arises as an scalar implicature, relying on the scalar relationship between the bare plural and its singular alternative, and calculated in a sub-sentential domain; namely, before existential closure of the event variable. Finally, implications of this analysis will be discussed for the analysis of the quantified noun phrases that interact with bare plurals, such as indefinite numeral DPs ( three boys ), and singular universals ( every boy ). (shrink)
It has been argued that an objectual semantics for plurals falls victim to Russell’s paradox, and that a nominalistic semantics should therefore be preferred (Boolos 1984); similar considerations have sometimes been extended to other types of abstract reference, in particular to property talk. We suggest that this line of argument is mistaken: deeply entrenched features of ordinary language guarantee that property and plural talk do give rise to paradoxes. In the case of properties, the grammar of English is untyped, (...) which makes it straightforward to generate a paradox. In the case of plurals, it is badly typed, which means that paradoxes can be generated, but in complicated ways. In both cases, the problem is not to avoid paradoxes but to model them. We conclude that an objectual semantics is entirely in order, but that it must be developed within a trivalent semantics suited to a paradoxical object language. (shrink)
Abstract: Friends of plural logic—like Oliver & Smiley (2001), Rayo (2002), Yi (2005), and McKay (2006)—have argued that a semantics of plurals based on mereological sums would be too weak, and they have adduced several examples in favor of their claim. However, they have not considered various possible counter-arguments. So how convincing are their own arguments? We show that several of them are easily answered, while some others are more problematic. Overall, the case against mereological singularism—the idea that mereological (...) sums can serve as the semantic values of plurals—turns out to be much less strong than what it is usually presented to be. (shrink)
Mass and plural expressions show some interesting similarities, suggesting they should be analyzed in a similar way. For example, both exhibit cumulative reference, as noted by Quine (1960: 91); that is, they license inferences like those in (1): (1) a. A is water and B is water; therefore A and B together are water. b. A are apples and B are apples; therefore A and B together are apples. Singular count nouns do not license the same kind of inference; (2) (...) is invalid: (2) A is an apple and B is an apple; therefore A and B together are an apple. (shrink)
We present a plural logic that is as expressively strong as it can be without sacrificing axiomatisability, axiomatise it, and use it to chart the expressive limits set by axiomatisability. To the standard apparatus of quantification using singular variables our object-language adds plural variables, a predicate expressing inclusion (is/are/is one of/are among), and a plural definite description operator. Axiomatisability demands that plural variables only occur free, but they have a surprisingly important role. Plural description is not eliminable in favour of (...) quantification; on the contrary, quantification is definable in terms of it. Predicates and functors (function signs) can take plural as well as singular terms as arguments, and both many-valued and single-valued functions are expressible. The system accommodates collective as well as distributive predicates, and the condition for a predicate to be distributive is definable within it; similarly for functors. An essential part of the project is to demonstrate the soundness and completeness of the calculus with respect to a semantics that does without set-theoretic domains and in which the use of set-theoretic extensions of predicates and functors is replaced by the sui generis relations and functions for which the extensions were at best artificial surrogates. Our metalanguage is designed to solve the difficulties involved in talking plurally about individuals and about the semantic values of plural items. (shrink)
Bertrand Russell introduced several novel ideas in his 1903 Principles of Mathematics that he later gave up and never went back to in his subsequent work. Two of these are the related notions of denoting concepts and classes as many. In this paper we reconstruct each of these notions in the framework of conceptual realism and connect them through a logic of names that encompasses both proper and common names, and among the latter, complex as well as simple common names. (...) Names, proper or common, and simple or complex, occur as parts of quantifier phrases, which in conceptual realism stand for referential concepts, i.e., cognitive capacities that inform our speech and mental acts with a referential nature and account for the intentionality, or directedness, of those acts. In Russell’s theory, quantifier phrases express denoting concepts (which do not include proper names). In conceptual realism, names, as well as predicates, can be nominalized and allowed to occur as "singular terms", i.e., as arguments of predicates. Occurring as a singular term, a name denotes, if it denotes at all, a class as many, where, as in Russell’s theory, a class as many of one object is identical with that one object, and a class as many of more than one object is a plurality, i.e., a plural object that we call a group. Also, as in Russell’s theory, there is no empty class as many. When nominalized, proper names function as "singular terms" just the way they do in so-called free logic. Leśniewski’s ontology, which is also called a logic of names can be completely interpreted within this conceptualist framework, and the well-known oddities of Leśniewski’s system are shown not to be odd at all when his system is so interpreted. Finally, we show how the pluralities, or groups, of the logic of classes as many can be used as the semantic basis of plural reference and predication. We explain in this way Russell’s "fundamental doctrine upon which all rests", i.e., "the doctrine that the subject of a proposition may be plural, and that such plural subjects are what is meant by classes [as many] which have more than one term" (Russell 1938, p. 517). (shrink)
In 1903, in The Principles of Mathematics (PoM), Russell endorsed an account of classes whereupon a class fundamentally is to be considered many things, and not one, and used this thesis to explicate his first version of a theory of types, adding that it formed the logical justification for the grammatical distinction between singular and plural. The view, however, was short-lived; rejected before PoM even appeared in print. However, aside from mentions of a few misgivings, there is little evidence about (...) why he abandoned this view. In this paper, I speculate as to what those reasons were, and evaluate them in light of recent work and interest in plural logic. (shrink)
Collective entities and collective relations play an important role in natural language. In order to capture the full meaning of sentences like The Beatles sing Yesterday, a knowledge representation language should be able to express and reason about plural entities — like the Beatles — and their relationships — like sing — with any possible reading (cumulative, distributive or collective).In this paper a way of including collections and collective relations within a concept language, chosen as the formalism for representing the (...) semantics of sentences, is presented. A twofold extension of theA–C concept language is investigated: (1) special relations introduce collective entities either out of their components or out of other collective entities, (2) plural quantifiers on collective relations specify their possible reading. The formal syntax and semantics of the concept language is given, together with a sound and complete algorithm to compute satisfiability and subsumption of concepts, and to compute recognition of individuals. (shrink)
The notion of existence is a very puzzling one philosophically. Often philosophers have appealed to linguistic properties of sentences stating existence. However, the appeal to linguistic intuitions has generally not been systematic and without serious regard of relevant issues in linguistic semantics. This paper has two aims. On the one hand, it will look at statements of existence from a systematic linguistic point of view, in order to try to clarify what the actual semantics of such statements in fact is. (...) On the other hand, it will explore what sort of ontology such statements reflect. The first aim is one of linguistic semantics; the second aim is one of descriptive metaphysics. Philosophically, existence statements appear to reflect the distinction between endurance and perdurance as well as particular notions of abstract states and of kinds. Linguistically, statements of existence involve a particular way of drawing the distinction between eventive and stative verbs and between individual-level and stage-level predicates as well as a particular approach to the semantics of bare plurals and mass nouns. (shrink)
This book present a unified semantic theory of expressions involving the notions of "part" and "whole " in which principles of the individuation of part structures play a central role. The book presents a range of new empirical generalizations with data from English and a variety of other languages involving plurals, mass nouns, adnominal and adverbial modifiers such as 'whole', 'together', and 'alone', nominal and adverbial quanitfiers ranging over parts, and expressions of completion such as 'completely' and 'partly'. She (...) develops a new theory of part structures which differs from traditional mereological theories in that the notion of an integrated whole plays a central role and in that the part structure of an entity is allowed to vary across different situations, perspectives, and dimensions. (shrink)
I have two main objectives. The first is to get a better understanding of what is at issue between friends and foes of higher-order quantification, and of what it would mean to extend a Boolos-style treatment of second-order quantification to third- and higherorder quantification. The second objective is to argue that in the presence of absolutely general quantification, proper semantic theorizing is essentially unstable: it is impossible to provide a suitably general semantics for a given language in a language of (...) the same logical type. I claim that this leads to a trilemma: one must choose between giving up absolutely general quantification, settling for the view that adequate semantic theorizing about certain languages is essentially beyond our reach, and countenancing an open-ended hierarchy of languages of ever ascending logical type. I conclude by suggesting that the hierarchy may be the least unattractive of the options on the table. (shrink)
The compositional semantics of sentences like Only mammals give live birth and The flag flies only if the Google Scholar Queen is home is tough problem. Evidence is presented to show that only here is modifying an underlying..
While writing this thesis, there were many things I wanted to get right. I wanted to get the data right. I wanted to get my analysis of the data right. I certainly wanted to get all my citations right, which can get pretty tricky when one is trying to ﬁnish a chapter at 2am. But if an error did creep in somewhere in the body of the thesis, that is not a disaster. Sooner or later, I will get a chance (...) to correct it in a future publication. However, this part of the thesis, which sits right at the beginning but was among the last to be written, is diﬀerent. I only have one opportunity to express, in print, how thankful I am to the people whose assistance was so important to me over the past years. Which is unfortunate, since if I were to truly elaborate all I am thankful for, these acknowledgements would be the lengthiest chapter of the thesis. But I hope this brief version will suﬃce in its stead. (shrink)
In the semantic debate about plurals, pluralism is the view that a plural term denotes some things in the domain of quantification and a plural predicate denotes a plural property, i.e a property that can be instantiated by many things jointly. According to a particular version of this view, untyped pluralism, there is no type distinction between objects and properties. In this article, I argue against untyped pluralism by showing that it is subject to a variant of a Russell-style (...) argument put forth by Timothy Williamson and that it clashes with a plural version of Cantor’s theorem. I conclude that pluralists should postulate a type distinction between objects and properties. (shrink)
(1) Arnie, Bob and Carlos are shipmates.1 This is something true of the three of them together. We cannot say Arnie is a shipmate except perhaps as elliptical for something that connects Arnie to others. (Arnie is a..
where ‘aa’ is a plural term, and ‘F’ a plural predicate. Following George Boolos (1984) and others, many philosophers and logicians also think that plural expressions should be analysed as not introducing any new ontological commitments to some sort of ‘plural entities’, but rather as involving a new form of reference to objects to which we are already committed (for an overview and further details, see Linnebo 2004). For instance, the plural term ‘aa’ refers to Alice, Bob and Charlie simultaneously, (...) and the plural predicate ‘F’ is true of some things just in case these things cooperate. A natural question that arises is whether the step from the singular to the plural can be iterated. Are there terms that stand to ordinary plural terms the way ordinary plural terms stand to singular terms? Let’s call such terms superplural. A superplural term would thus, loosely speaking, refer to several ‘pluralities’ at once, much as an ordinary plural term refers to several objects at once.1 Further, let’s call a predicate superplural if it can be predicated of superplural terms. It is reasonably straightforward to devise a formal logic of superplural terms, superplural predicates, and even superplural quantifiers (see Rayo 2006). But does this formal logic reflect any features of natural languages? In particular, does ordinary English contain superplural terms and predicates? The purpose of this article is to address these questions. We examine some earlier arguments for the existence of superplural expressions in English and find them to be either.. (shrink)
This paper argues for an ontological distinction between two kinds of universals, 'kinds of tropes' such as 'wisdom' and properties such as 'the property of being wise'. It argues that the distinction is parallel to that between two kinds of collections, pluralities such as 'the students' and collective objects such as 'the class'. The paper argues for the priortity of distributive readings with pluralities on the basis of predicates of extent or shape, such 'large' or 'long'.
David Lewis's book 'On the Plurality of Worlds' mounts an extended defense of the thesis of modal realism, that the world we inhabit the entire cosmos of which we are a part is but one of a vast plurality of worlds, or cosmoi, all causally and spatiotemporally isolated from one another. The purpose of this article is to provide an accessible summary of the main positions and arguments in Lewis's book.
It is argued that the English bare plural (an NP with plural head that lacks a determiner), in spite of its apparently diverse possibilities of interpretation, is optimally represented in the grammar as a unified phenomenon. The chief distinction to be dealt with is that between the generic use of the bare plural (as in Dogs bark) and its existential or indefinite plural use (as in He threw oranges at Alice). The difference between these uses is not to be accounted (...) for by an ambiguity in the NP itself, but rather by explicating how the context of the sentence acts on the bare plural to give rise to this distinction. A brief analysis is sketched in which bare plurals are treated in all instances as proper names of kinds of things. A subsidiary argument is that the null determiner is not to be regarded as the plural of the indefinite article a. (shrink)
Within much contemporary social ontology there is a particular methodology at work. This methodology takes as a starting point two or more asocial or atomic individuals. These individuals are taken to be perfectly functional agents, though outside of all social relations. Following this, combinations of these individuals are considered, to deduce what constitutes a social group. Here I will argue that theories which rely on this methodology are always circular, so long as they purport to describe the formation of all (...) social groups, as they must always presuppose a pre-existing collectivity. Such methodology also produces various distortions in our theories, such as voluntarism. I focus on the workings of Plural Subject Theory as laid out by Margaret Gilbert in On Social Facts (1989). I show that the formation of a plural subject always requires communication, and that communication always requires a pre-existing collectivity. i examine the elements within Plural Subject Theory which protect gilbert from these accusations of circularity, and argue against them. I finalise by suggesting that what Plural Subject Theory, and social ontology in general, requires as a theoretical starting point is not atomic individuals and their combinations, but rather combinations of already socialised or embedded individuals. (shrink)
In this paper I aim to defend a first‐order non‐discriminating property view concerning existence. The version of this view that I prefer is based on negative (or a specific neutral) free logic that treats the existence predicate as first‐order logical predicate. I will provide reasons why such a view is more plausible than a second‐order discriminating property view concerning existence and I will also discuss four challenges for the proposed view and provide solutions to them.
Margaret Gilbert's plural subject theory defines social collectives in terms of common knowledge of expressed willingness to participate in some joint action. The author critically examines Gilbert's application of this theory to linguistic phenomena involving "we," arguing that recent work in linguistics provides the tools to develop a superior account. The author indicates that, apart from its own relevance, one should care about this critique because Gilbert's claims about the first person plural pronoun play a role in the argument in (...) favor of her recent theory of political obligation. Key Words: collective agent • Gilbert • plural subject • semantics • we. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
In “Mathematics is megethology,” Lewis reconstructs set theory using mereology and plural quantification (MPQ). In his recontruction he assumes from the beginning that there is an infinite plurality of atoms, whose size is equivalent to that of the set theoretical universe. Since this assumption is far beyond the basic axioms of mereology, it might seem that MPQ do not play any role in order to guarantee the existence of a large infinity of objects. However, we intend to demonstrate that mereology (...) and plural quantification are, in some ways, particularly relevant to a certain conception of the infinite. More precisely, though the principles of mereology and plural quantification do not guarantee the existence of an infinite number of objects, nevertheless, once the existence of any infinite object is admitted, they are able to assure the existence of an uncountable infinity of objects. So, if—as Lewis maintains—MPQ were parts of logic, the implausible consequence would follow that, given a countable infinity of individuals, logic would be able to guarantee an uncountable infinity of objects. (shrink)
Modal sentences of the form "every F might be G" and "some F must be G" have a threefold ambiguity. in addition to the familiar readings "de dicto" and "de re", there is a third reading on which they are examples of the "plural de re": they attribute a modal property to the F's plurally in a way that cannot in general be reduced to an attribution of modal properties to the individual F's. The plural "de re" readings of modal (...) sentences cannot be captured within standard quantified modal logic. I consider various strategies for extending standard quantified modal logic so as to provide analyses of the readings in question. I argue that the ambiguity in question is associated with the scope of the general term 'F'; and that plural quantifiers can be introduced for purposes of representing the scope of a general term. Moreover, plural quantifiers provide the only fully adequate solution that keeps within the framework of quantified modal logic. (shrink)
A dilemma put forward by Schein (1993, Plurals and events. Cambridge: MIT Press) and Rayo (2002, Nous, 36, 436-464) suggests that, in order to characterize the semantics of plurals, we should not use predicate logic, but plural logic, a formal language whose terms may refer to several things at once. We show that a similar dilemma applies to mass nouns. If we use predicate logic and sets when characterizing their semantics, we arrive at a Russellian paradox. And if (...) we use predicate logic and mereological sums, the semantics turns out to be too weak. We then develop an account where mass nouns are treated as non-singular terms. This semantics is faithful to the intuition that, if there are eight pieces of silverware on a table, the speaker refers to eight things at once when he says: The silverware that is on the table comes from Italy. We show that this account provides a satisfactory semantics for a wide range of sentences. (shrink)
This paper pursues some of the consequences of the idea that there are (at least) two sources for distributive/cumulative interpretations in English. One source is lexical pluralization: All predicative stems are born as plurals, as Manfred Krifka and Fred Landman have argued. Lexical pluralization should be available in any language and should not depend on the particular make-up of its DPs. I suggest that the other source of cumulative/distributive interpretations in English is directly provided by plural DPs. DPs with (...) plural agreement features can ‘release’ those features to pluralize adjacent verbal projections. If there is a lexical source for distributive/cumulative interpretations, there should be instances of such interpretations with singular DPs. But there should also be cases of distributive/cumulative interpretations that require the presence of DPs with plural agreement morphology. (shrink)
Syntacticians have proposed three-dimensional syntactic structures to account for the peculiarities of coordination. This paper proposes a way of interpreting such structures and gives an account of sentences of the sort 'John bought and Mary sold a total of ten cars' based on a notion of 'implicit' coordination.
The state of affairs of some things falling under a predicate is supposedly a single entity that collects these things as its constituents. But whether we think of a state of affairs as a fact, a proposition or a possibility, problems will arise if we adopt a plural logic. For plural logic says that any plurality include themselves, so whenever there are some things, the state of affairs of their plural self-inclusion should be a single thing that collects them all. (...) This leads to paradoxes analogous to those that afflict naïve set theory. Here I suggest that they are the very same paradoxes, because sets can be reduced to states of affairs. However, to obtain a consistent theoretical reduction we must restrict the usual axiom scheme of Comprehension for plural logic to ‘stratified’ formulas, to avoid viciously circular definitions. I prove that with this modification to the background plural logic, the theory of states of affairs is consistent; moreover, it yields the axioms of the familiar set theory NFU. (shrink)
German noun plurals not ending in -s are not as irregular as Clahsen suggests. Feminine nouns get the -n plural, unless they umlaut and are subject to a constraint that requires a reduced final syllable in the plural. Another regular class is masculine nouns ending in schwa, which are weakly inflected. It is suggested that more differentiated psycholinguistic experiments can identify these regularities.
Necessitism is the view that necessarily everything is necessarily something; contingentism is the negation of necessitism. The dispute between them is reminiscent of, but clearer than, the more familiar one between possibilism and actualism. A mapping often used to ‘translate’ actualist discourse into possibilist discourse is adapted to map every sentence of a first-order modal language to a sentence the contingentist (but not the necessitist) may regard as equivalent to it but which is neutral in the dispute. This mapping enables (...) the necessitist to extract a ‘cash value’ from what the contingentist says. Similarly, a mapping often used to ‘translate’ possibilist discourse into actualist discourse is adapted to map every sentence of the language to a sentence the necessitist (but not the contingentist) may regard as equivalent to it but which is neutral in the dispute. This mapping enables the contingentist to extract a ‘cash value’ from what the necessitist says. Neither mapping is a translation in the usual sense, since necessitists and contingentists use the same language with the same meanings. The former mapping is extended to a second-order modal language under a plural interpretation of the second-order variables. It is proved that the latter mapping cannot be. Thus although the necessitist can extract a ‘cash value’ from what the contingentist says in the second-order language, the contingentist cannot extract a ‘cash value’ from some of what the necessitist says, even when it raises significant questions. This poses contingentism a serious challenge. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that we need to take irreducibly plural logic more seriously in metaphysical debates due to the fact that the verdict of many metaphysical debates hangs on it. I give two examples. The main example I focus on is the debate recently revived by Jonathan Schaffer over the fundamental cardinality of the world. I show how the three main arguments provided by Schaffer are unsound in virtue of an employment of plural logic. The second example I (...) give is a more general issue about the possibility of emergent properties of mereological wholes. Employing plural logic there is a new way to understand such cases. The upshot is that plural logic greatly matters to metaphysics and hence can no longer be ignored the way it has in this area. (shrink)
Genuine agents are able to engage in activity because they find it worth pursuing—because they care about it. In this respect, they differ from what might be called “mere intentional systems”: systems like chess-playing computers that exhibit merely goal-directed behavior mediated by instrumental rationality, without caring. A parallel distinction can be made in the domain of social activity: plural agents must be distinguished from plural intentional systems in that plural agents have cares and engage in activity because of those cares. (...) In this paper, I sketch an account of what it is for an individual to care about things in terms of her exhibiting a certain pattern of emotions. After extending this account to make sense of an individual's caring about other agents, I then show how a certain sort of emotional connectedness among a group of people can make intelligible the group's having cares and thereby constitute that group as a plural agent. Alternative accounts of social action, by ignoring the difference between mere intentional systems and genuine agents, and so by leaving out these emotional entanglements from their accounts of social action, thereby fail to capture a whole range of social phenomena involving plural agents. (shrink)
John Burgess in a 2004 paper combined plural logic and a new version of the idea of limitation of size to give an elegant motivation of the axioms of ZFC set theory. His proposal is meant to improve on earlier work by Paul Bernays in two ways. I argue that both attempted improvements fail. I am grateful to Philip Welch, two anonymous referees, and especially Ignacio Jané for written comments on earlier versions of this paper, which have led to substantial (...) improvements. Thanks also to the participants in a discussion group at the University of Bristol, where an earlier version was presented. (shrink)
When viewed as the most comprehensive theory of collections, set theory leaves no room for classes. But the vocabulary of classes, it is argued, provides us with compact and, sometimes, irreplaceable formulations of largecardinal hypotheses that are prominent in much very important and very interesting work in set theory. Fortunately, George Boolos has persuasively argued that plural quantification over the universe of all sets need not commit us to classes. This paper suggests that we retain the vocabulary of classes, but (...) explain that what appears to be singular reference to classes is, in fact, covert plural reference to sets. (shrink)
A new axiomatization of set theory, to be called Bernays-Boolos set theory, is introduced. Its background logic is the plural logic of Boolos, and its only positive set-theoretic existence axiom is a reflection principle of Bernays. It is a very simple system of axioms sufficient to obtain the usual axioms of ZFC, plus some large cardinals, and to reduce every question of plural logic to a question of set theory.
Plural and conflicting values are often held to be conceptually problematic, threatening the very possibility of ethics, or at least rational ethics. Rejecting this view, Stocker first demonstrates why it is so important to understand the issues raised by plural and conflicting values, focusing on Aristotle's treatment of them. He then shows that plurality and conflict are commonplace and generally unproblematic features of our everyday choice and action, and that they do allow for a sound and rational ethics.
In this paper, I distinguish three claims, which I label individual intentional autonomy, individual intentional autarky, and intentional individualism. The autonomy claim is that under normal circumstances, each individual's behavior has to be interpreted as his or her own action. The autarky claim is that the intentional interpretation of an individual's behavior has to bottom out in that individual's own volitions, or pro-attitudes. The individualism claim is weaker, arguing that any interpretation of an individual's behavior has to be given in (...) terms of individual intentional states. I argue that individual intentional autonomy implies neither individual intentional autarky, nor intentional individualism, with which it is usually lumped together. I further argue that this insight is the key to an adequate view of an important class of actions, i.e., plural actions. Key Words: joint action shared intentions methodological individualism intentional interpretation collective agents influence autonomy. (shrink)
My concern in this paper is how to reconcile a central tension in Hannah Arendt’s thinking, one that – if left unresolved – may make us reluctant to endorse her political theory. Arendt was profoundly and painfully aware of the horrors of political evil; in fact, she is almost unparalleled in 20 th century thought in her concern for the consequences of mass political violence, the victims of political atrocities, and the most vulnerable in political society – the stateless, the (...) pariahs, the outcasts. At least, this is the case in her discussions of concrete, historical political situations. Yet in her philosophical writings, she continues to argue that the political realm ultimately redeems human existence, and furthermore, that politics should remain distinct and autonomous from moral evaluation. Political action must be evaluated according to “greatness,” not goodness or any other explicitly moral or even ethical standard. She goes so far as to suggest that politics and morality may be deeply hostile to one another, and can only be reconciled in situations of extreme emergency. This can leave many feeling both perplexed and deeply uncomfortable with the theory of human action that Arendt proposes. Drawing on her notions of political conscience, judgment and - in particular - her account of forgiveness, in this paper I argue that Arendt offers an ethics of plurality, in which what is good is developed from what is most politically important: amor mundi, or love of our shared political world. (shrink)
David Lewis adopts a counterpart theory of individuals to account for how it is that Humphrey has the modal property of ‘could have won the election.’ Once counterpart theory is taken on board, however, I think that the motivation for having a plurality of worlds is untenable. I will claim that counterpart theory with respect to individuals invites counterpart theory with respect to properties1, which in turn invites an analysis of modality that involves only one possible world, viz., the actual (...) world. (shrink)
Plural predication is a pervasive part of ordinary language. We can say that some people are fifty in number, are surrounding a building, come from many countries, and are classmates. These predicates can be true of some people without being true of any one of them; they are non-distributive predications. However, the apparatus of modern logic does not allow a place for them. Thomas McKay here explores the enrichment of logic with non-distributive plural predication and quantification. His book will be (...) of great interest to philosophers of language, linguists, metaphysicians, and logicians. (shrink)
In this paper the claim that Zeno's paradoxes have been solved is contested. Although "no one has ever touched Zeno without refuting him" (Whitehead), it will be our aim to show that, whatever it was that was refuted, it was certainly not Zeno. The paper is organised in two parts. In the first part we will demonstrate that upon direct analysis of the Greek sources, an underlying structure common to both the Paradoxes of Plurality and the Paradoxes of Motion can (...) be exposed. This structure bears on a correct - Zenonian - interpretation of the concept of “division through and through”. The key feature, generally overlooked but essential to a correct understanding of all his arguments, is that they do not presuppose time. Division takes place simultaneously. This holds true for both PP and PM. In the second part a mathematical representation will be set up that catches this common structure, hence the essence of all Zeno's arguments, however without refuting them. Its central tenet is an aequivalence proof for Zeno's procedure and Cantor's Continuum Hypothesis. Some number theoretic and geometric implications will be shortly discussed. Furthermore, it will be shown how the “Received View” on the motion-arguments can easely be derived by the introduction of time as a (non-Zenonian) premiss, thus causing their collapse into arguments which can be approached and refuted by Aristotle's limit-like concept of the “potentially infinite”, which remained — though in different disguises - at the core of the refutational strategies that have been in use up to the present. Finally, an interesting link to Newtonian mechanics via Cremona geometry can be established. (shrink)
According to a familiar criticism, liberal pluralism is undermined by the special value which liberals give to autonomy. This special value is then undermined by the very exercise of autonomy in practical judgement, since rational agents ought to give priority to values they have judged to be worthy, not to autonomy. This criticism presupposes an over-theoretical view of practical judgement which overlooks our need to integrate our diverse practical judgements into our lives. I explain this integration through a conception of (...) autonomy as the ability of a plurality to act in common. Drawing on Rawls' account of overlapping consensus, I argue that this view fits not only cases of collective activity, but also cases of individuals making life-structuring commitments. Understanding the essential connection between autonomy and plurality reveals what is mistaken about the familiar criticism of liberalism. (shrink)
The view that plural reference is reference to a set is examined in light of George Boolos's treatment of second-order quantification as plural quantification in English. I argue that monadic second-order logic does not, in Boolos's treatment, reflect the behavior of plural quantifiers under negation and claim that any sentence that properly translates a second-order formula, in accordance with his treatment, has a first-order formulation. Support for this turns on the use of certain partitive constructions to assign values to variables (...) in a way that makes Boolos's reading of second-order variables available for a first-order language and, with it, the possibility of interpreting quantification in an unrestricted domain.A first-order theory, T(D), is developed on the basis of Boolos's treatment of simple plural definite descriptions extended to Richard Sharvy's general theory of definite plural and mass descriptions. I introduce a primitive predicate, o, for the relation of the referent of a singular description to that of its plural. If o is simply added to T(D), is definable in T(D), and the result is inconsistent. If o is added to a theory with axioms for the fragment of T(D) I call D-mereology, the result is a natural basis for the development of a pluralized Zermelo set theory. This theory, however, is inconsistent in an unrestricted domain, unless it is recast as a second-order theory of sets interpreted in Boolos's way. (shrink)
The issue of knowing what it means for a group to have collective beliefs is being discussed more and more in contemporary philosophy of the social sciences and philosophy of mind. Margaret Gilberts reconsideration of Durkheims viewpoint in the framework of the plural subjects account is one of the most famous. This has implications in the history and the sociology of scienceas well asin the history and sociology of philosophyalthough Gilbert only outlined them in the former fields and said nothing (...) about the latter. Symmetrically but independently, a historian of science, Mara Beller, has recently challenged Kuhns conception of the role of consensus in sciences in a brilliant analysis by carefully studying the history of Copenhagen School of Quantum Mechanics. Not only does she show the role of disagreement and controversies (doubting whether there was any collective belief characteristic in this group of physicists), but she even shakes up the very idea of individual beliefs. Each scientist (Heisenberg, Bohr, etc.) could be seen as divided into several selves. This paper contends that these two conceptions open important new horizons in several domains, especially if they are linked together. The paper assesses this claim in the light of empirical examples like the Vienna Circle, Copenhagen School, and, eventually, Cartesian philosophy. Key Words: plural subject polyphony collective briefs Cartesian argumentation. (shrink)
PG ( Plural Grundgesetze ) is a predicative monadic second-order system which exploits the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which a formulation of the infamous Basic Law V. It is shown that second-order Peano arithmetic can be derived in PG. I also investigate the philosophical issue of predicativism connected to PG. In particular, as predicativism about concepts seems rather un-Fregean, I analyse whether there is a way to make predicativism compatible with Frege’s logicism.
Russell had two theories of definite descriptions: one for singular descriptions, another for plural descriptions. We chart its development, in which ‘On Denoting’ plays a part but not the part one might expect, before explaining why it eventually fails. We go on to consider many-valued functions, since they too bring in plural terms—terms such as ‘4’ or the descriptive ‘the inhabitants of London’ which, like plain plural descriptions, stand for more than one thing. Logicians need to take plural reference seriously (...) if only because mathematicians take many-valued functions seriously. We assess the objection (by Russell, Frege and others) that many-valued functions are illegitimate because the corresponding terms are ambiguous. We also assess the various methods proposed for getting rid of them. Finding the objection ill-founded and the methods ineffective, we introduce a logical framework that admits plural reference, and use it to answer some earlier questions and to raise some more. (shrink)
The paper argues that two distinct and independent notions of plurality are involved in natural language anaphora and quantification: plural reference (the usual non-atomic individuals) and plural discourse reference, i.e., reference to a quantificational dependency between sets of objects (e.g., atomic/non-atomic individuals) that is established and subsequently elaborated upon in discourse. Following van den Berg (PhD dissertation, University of Amsterdam, 1996), plural discourse reference is modeled as plural information states (i.e., as sets of variable assignments) in a new dynamic system (...) couched in classical type logic that extends Compositional DRT (Muskens, Linguistics and Philosophy, 19, 143–186, 1996). Given the underlying type logic, compositionality at sub-clausal level follows automatically and standard techniques from Montague semantics become available. The idea that plural info states are semantically necessary (in addition to non-atomic individuals) is motivated by relative-clause donkey sentences with multiple instances of singular donkey anaphora that have mixed (weak and strong) readings. At the same time, allowing for non-atomic individuals in addition to plural info states enables us to capture the intuitive parallels between singular and plural (donkey) anaphora, while deriving the incompatibility between singular (donkey) anaphora and collective predicates. The system also accounts for empirically unrelated phenomena, e.g., the uniqueness effects associated with singular (donkey) anaphora discussed in Kadmon (Linguistics and Philosophy, 13, 273–324, 1990) and Heim (Linguistics and Philosophy, 13, 131–177, 1990) among others. (shrink)
In the Social Contract Rousseau gives what could be called a philosophical rule of recognition for law in Modernity: a law is law if and only if 'the whole people rules over the whole people'. Thus, he defines self-legislation as, at bottom, collective intentional action. I will first map out the speech act structure [LEX] underlying self-legislation on this account. In particular, I argue for a first person plural counterpart of the reflexive structure inherent to intentions generally: the notion of (...) a collective self. Then I take issue with Bratman's analysis of shared intentional activity in terms of mutuality, submitting that it misses out on the specifically political presupposition involved in 'doing something together'. I will show why 'mutuality' requires representation of the unity of a polity, and how this representation can take form without either external authority or mutual responsiveness. (shrink)
Within now prolific debates surrounding the compatibility of feminism and multiculturalism in liberal societies, the need arises for a normative conception of women’s self-determination that does not violate the self-understandings or values of women of different backgrounds and forms of life. With reference to the recent British debate about forced marriage, this article proposes an innovative approach to this problem in terms of the idea of ‘plural autonomy’. While the capacity for autonomy is plural, in the sense of varying across (...) cultures, autonomy in any world-view involves a capacity to ‘endorse’ one’s decisions in certain crucial spheres of life. Non-endorsement, coercion or force occurs if one risks being alienated from the (cultural) goods and relationships that structure one’s capacity to act in the world. This approach counsels more caution than prominent liberal approaches with respect to negotiating the contested boundary between freedom and force in a diverse society. (shrink)
A number of authors in favor of a unitary account of singular descriptions have alleged that the unitary account can be extrapolated to account for plural definite descriptions. In this paper I take a closer look at this suggestion. I argue that while the unitary account is clearly onto something right, it is in the end empirically inadequate. At the end of the paper I offer a new partitive account of plural definite descriptions that avoids the problems with both the (...) unitary account and standard Russellian analyses. (shrink)
Naturalism implies unity of method--an application of the methods of science to the methodology of science itself and to value theory. Epistemological naturalists have tried to find a privileged discipline to be the methodological model of philosophy of science and epistemology. However, since science itself is not unitary, the use of one science as a model amounts to a reduction and distorts the philosophy of science just as badly as traditional philosophy of science distorted science, despite the fact that the (...) central theme of naturalized philosophy of science is that methodology should be true to science as practiced. I argue that naturalized philosophy of science must apply a plurality of methods to epistemological issues. (shrink)
Nothing is more simple or more complicated than the event. In recent years, the attack on any attempts to provide a foundation for philosophy has focused on the "logic of the event." In The Plural Event , Andrew Benjamin reconsiders and reworks philosophy in terms of events and how they are judged. Benjamin offers a sustained philosophical reworking of ontology, providing important readings of key canonical texts in the history of philosophy. In order to avoid the charge of positivism, he (...) provides a cogent interpretation of the process of thinking through while allowing the process to reveal itself in the interpretation of central philosophical texts. The effective presence of ontology, defined as "anoriginal difference," will be familiar to readers of his earlier writings. The Plural Event represents Andrew Benjamin's most thorough and original contribution to contemporary philosophy. (shrink)
: Since the late 1970s, American appraisals of Chinese medical ethics and Chinese responses to American bioethics range from frank criticism to warm appreciation, from refutation to acceptance. Yet in the United States as well as in China, American bioethics and Chinese medical ethics have been seen, respectively, as individualistic and communitarian. In this widely-accepted general comparison, the great variation in the two medical moralities, especially the diversity of Chinese experiences, has been unfortunately minimized, if not totally ignored. Neither American (...) bioethics nor Chinese medical ethics is a field with only one dominant way of thinking. Medical moralities in America and China--traditional and modern--have always been plural and diverse. For example, American and Chinese cultures and medical moralities both exhibit individualistic and communitarian traditions. For this reason, bioethics in general and cross-cultural bioethics in particular must be fundamentally interpretive. Interpretive cross-cultural bioethics appreciates the plurality of medical morality within any culture. It can serve as a vital means of social and cultural criticism through engaged interpretations. (shrink)
May's theorem famously shows that, in social decisions between two options, simple majority rule uniquely satisfies four appealing conditions. Although this result is often cited in support of majority rule, it has never been extended beyond decisions based on pairwise comparisons of options. We generalize May's theorem to many-option decisions where voters each cast one vote. Surprisingly, plurality rule uniquely satisfies May's conditions. This suggests a conditional defense of plurality rule: If a society's balloting procedure collects only a single vote (...) from each voter, then plurality rule is the uniquely compelling electoral procedure. To illustrate the conditional nature of this claim, we also identify a richer informational environment in which approval voting, not plurality rule, is supported by a May-style argument. (shrink)
In this paper we propose a unified semantics for singular and plural superlative expressions that makes use of the ‘**’ (“double star”) distributivity operator (an operator whose role is to pluralize 2-place predicates). The analysis aims to solve two problems: (a) the distributivity problem (the fact that a superlative expression doesn’t distribute over the atomic parts of the plural individual it is predicated of); and (b) the cut-off problem (the fact that a plural superlative expression cannot simultaneously be predicated of (...) two distinct yet overlapping plural individuals). We argue that any solution to these problems that posits two distinct superlative morphemes, one corresponding to a superlative operator for singular individuals and one corresponding to a superlative operator for plural individuals, is challenged by the lack of cross-linguistic morphological evidence. We provide a unified analysis, and account for the differences between plural and singular superlative expressions by appealing to pragmatic principles. (shrink)
The main claim of this book is that the very same distinction between semantic singularity and plurality that is fundamental to the semantics of nouns in the nominal domain is operative and fundamental in the verbal domain as well, applying ...
The Strongest Meaning Hypothesis of Dalrymple et al (1994,1998), which was originally proposed as a principle for the interpretation of reciprocals, is extended in this paper into a general principle of plural predication. This principle applies to complex predicates that are composed of lexical predicates that hold of atomic entities, and determines the pluralities in the extension of the predicate. The meaning of such a complex predicate is claimed to be the truth-conditionally strongest meaning that does not contradict lexical properties (...) of the simple predicates it contains. Weak interpretations of reciprocals (as in the books are stacked on top of each other), plural predicate conjunction (e.g. the books are old and new) and ’atomic’ distributivity in general are derived by a unified mechanism, which ’weakens’ the basic universal meanings of strong reciprocals, boolean conjunction and quantification over atomic entities. (shrink)
A semantics with plural entitles and plural times accounts for cumulative relations between plural arguments and temporal expressions. The semantics equips nominal, verbal and sentential meanings with temporal context variables and treats temporal modifiers as temporal generalized quantifiers; cumulative conjunction, however, takes place at types lower than generalized quantifiers. The mediation of temporal context variables allows cumulative relations to percolate between an argument in a main clause and one in a temporal clause, in apparent violation of locality restrictions. Plural times (...) form a semilattice structure imposed on the set of intervals; no interaction is observed between this and the internal temporal structure of intervals. (shrink)
The goal of this dissertation is twofold. First, we aim to identify the source of distributivity in natural language. Our hypothesis is that throughout the grammar, distributivity can be tracked down to a single operator. Two converging lines of reasoning help us identify this operator. One line emerges as a result of generalizing and unifying previously disparate treatments of distributivity in the domain of nominal quantiﬁers. The other line comes from analyzing the meaning of durative adverbials, with special attention to (...) their interaction with cumulative readings. Second, we aim to provide a uniﬁed formal semantic framework for the treatment of interactions between verbs and their arguments, most importantly aspect, plurality, and quantiﬁcation, and to shed light on the way in which thematic arguments are associated with the verb in the lexicon and in the compositional process. Although existing frameworks deal with parts of this picture, no such uniﬁed framework exists to date. The theoretical results presented in this proposal include a novel argument in favor of a quantiﬁcational analysis of durative adverbials (Dowty, 1979; Moltmann, 1991); a novel account of cumulativity and distributivity that covers both the two-quantiﬁer and three-quantiﬁer case in the nominal domain, including readings prominently discussed by Schein (1993); a reason for severing not only the external, but also the internal argument from the semantics of the verb, in response to Kratzer (1996); and the ﬁrst event-based semantics for Tree-adjoining grammar (TAG, Joshi et al., 1975). (shrink)
Too many parts of the world testify to the difficulties religions have in tolerating each other. It is often concluded that the only way tolerance and plurality can be protected is to keep religion out of the public sphere. Ian Markham challenges this secularist argument. In the first half of the book, he advances a careful critique of European culture which exposes the problem of plurality. His analysis of the Christendom Group is contrasted with the outlook found in the USA, (...) where a religiously informed culture may be seen to be tolerant. In the second half of the book, the author argues that plurality is better safeguarded by a theistic, rather than a secularist, foundation. He submits that too often secularists use relativist arguments, while theists want to appeal to the complexity of God's world. He concludes that in our post-modern world the religious affirmation of diversity offers genuine political possibilities for cultural enrichment. (shrink)
Comparing action-at-a-distance electrodynamics in the tradition of Coulomb and Ampère with electromagnetic field theory of Faraday and Maxwell provides an example for a relation between theories, that are on a par in many respects. They have a broadly overlapping domain of applicability, and both were widely successful in explanation and prediction. The relation can be understood as an inhomogeneous reduction without a clear distinction between reducing and reduced theory. It is argued in general, when a clear hierarchy between competing theories (...) cannot be determined, the plurality of standpoints should be preserved and the bridge laws carefully developed. (shrink)
Abstract It is sometimes thought that in a society in which a plurality of moral traditions and points of view are represented, the cognitive content of moral education must be thin, being confined to a recognition of a few shared values. It is argued here, to the contrary, that citizenship in a plural democracy demands a cognitively substantial form of moral education. The argument for a shared, and cognitively demanding, form of moral education to some extent parallels the argument in (...) a plural society for political liberalism??where the strongest argument may be a pragmatic one. Both democratic participation and the pragmatic demands of toleration demand a level of moral understanding which can only be achieved through a cognitively rich moral education. (shrink)
Roman Jakobson, who had left Russia in 1920 and in 1941 took refuge in the USA from the Nazis, was one of the main figures in post war linguistics and structuralism. Two aspects of his work are examined in this article. Firstly, Jakobson purifies his linguistic theory of pragmatic references. Secondly, he develops his own diplomatic mission of mediating between East and West. In this article, I argue that these two aspects did not develop independently from one another. Instead I (...) claim that his theory is designed to slip through the Iron Curtain, while at the same time providing the means to analyse ways of acting politically by using language. This argument is unfolded in two steps, each consisting of two parts. First, I compare the theory of pronominal expressions as developed by Emil Benveniste to Jakobson’s theory of shifters. While Benveniste focuses on the relation of language and its subject using language, Jakobson introduces a model of communication to allow maximal formalisation of language. According to this even the category of person can be freed from its reference to a subject which would be understood as having a place in space and time. Then, Jakobson’s theory of shifters is studied in relation to his analyses of poetry. For this, two examples are chosen: Jakobson’s text on two poems by Russian poet Alexandr Blok, and his text on a poem by Bertold Brecht. In both texts, the theory of shifters—and the alleged purification from pragmatic aspects of language use ensuing from this theory—is challenged by the simple fact that they focus on the pronoun of the first person plural. According to Jakobson, the category of number does not belong to the shifters. Rather, number quantifies participants of the related event. The pronoun ‘we’ is at the same time a shifter and a non-shifter, as it refers to the speech event and the related event. Thus the pronoun ‘we’ opens up the possibility to include or exclude the participants of a communicative situation, and thereby enables the speaker to act socially or even politically by using language. The article concludes by coming back to the historical situation in which Jakobson developed his analyses of poetry. Analysing poetry seems to have been a passe-partout for him, a seemingly harmless subject that allowed him to get a foot in the door of remote and secluded lecture halls. (shrink)
It has been claimed in the literature that collective intentionality and group attitudes presuppose some “sense of ‘us’” among the participants (other labels sometimes used are “sense of community,” “communal awareness,” “shared point of view,” or “we-perspective”). While this seems plausible enough on an intuitive level, little attention has been paid so far to the question of what the nature and role of this mysterious “sense of ‘us’” might be. This paper states (and argues for) the following five claims: (1) (...) it is neither the case that the sense in question has the community (or “us”) in its content or as its object nor does the attitude in question presuppose a preexistent community (or “us”) as its subject. (2) The “sense of ‘us’” is plural pre-reflective self-awareness. (3) Plural pre-reflective self-awareness plays the same role in the constitution of a common mind that singular pre-reflective self-awareness plays in the individual mind. (4) The most important conceptions of plural subjects, collective persons, or group agents in the current literature fail to recognize the nature and role of plural self-awareness, and therefore fall short in important respects. (5) In spite of the striking similarities between the plural and the singular mind, there are important differences to consider. The authority of the singular first person point of view has no equivalent in the plural case. (shrink)
This article seeks to sketch the contours of a good society, distinguished by its gender justice and the plural recognition of egalitarian difference. I begin by reconstructing Nancy Fraser’s arguments highlighting the link between distributive justice and relations of recognition, in particular as it applies to gender justice. In a second step, I show that the debate on the politics of recognition has confirmed what empirical analyses already indicated, namely that Fraser’s status model takes too reductive a stance towards the (...) identity-constituting effects of relations of recognition. The simple demand that identities be recognized, however, glosses over the paradox of recognition, which arises out of the ambiguity between the demand for equal respect and the demand for the recognition of difference. This paradox cannot be resolved unless one takes into consideration the compensatory effect of value pluralism, that is, the inherent pluralism of recognition, well captured in the notion of ‘egalitarian difference’. (shrink)
In a widely publicized lecture in 2008, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, expressed his concern that the conception of law and democratic citizenship prevailing in England may lead to ghettoization. The problem, in his view, is that the bulk of the convictions and commitments that define a given citizen’s identity are seen as a matter of individual choice and relegated to the private realm. In diagnosing this problem, Williams tacitly distances himself from a privatizing view of democratic politics. In (...) response to the problem, he calls for consideration of the possibility of supplementary jurisdictions, whereby certain legal functions would be delegated to the religious courts of a community. The article is broadly supportive of Williams’ concern to avoid privatization and his emphasis on the importance of openness to learning from other legal codes. However, it finds no convincing case for legally recognizing plural jurisdictions. It concludes that this aim is better served by Seyla Benhabib’s proposal for vibrant, ongoing exchanges between different legal codes, and between such codes and political and cultural beliefs, traditions and practices. (shrink)
The study of social values has its origins in the study of both cross cultural and within cultural differences in latent or manifest definitions of the right social order to achieve the good life. To this extent, the social scientific literature is replete with references to them. Yet, researchers either use the term values Social values are often used interchangeably with that of attitudes or treated as a post-hoc explanatory concept. When values are the focal research point, such endeavours predominantly (...) depart from universal and reductionist understandings of their functions, meanings and structures. Through tracing the roots of key theoretical and empirical investigations in values, originating in the work of Charles Morris, Gordon Allport, Florence Kluckhohn and Fred Strodtbeck, Milton Rokeach and Shalom Schwartz, we reveal the common as well as the different tenets underpinning their work. It will be shown that these accounts have lost sight of the importance of plurality and context. We claim that a renewed program of research in values is needed, which should be characterised by methodological pluralism in order to investigate a) value plurality, b) value specificity and c) values as properties and as processes. (shrink)
Gareth Evans'' proposal, as amended by Steven Neale –that a definite pronoun with a quantifiedantecedent that does not bind it has the sense ofa definite description – has been challenged inthe singular case by appeal to counter-examplesinvolving failure of the uniqueness condition forthe legitimacy of a singular description. Thischallenge is here extended to the plural.Counter-examples are provided by cases in which aplural description `the Fs'' does not denote,despite the propriety of the use of `they'' or`them'' it is to replace, because (...) of failure ofcumulativeness. A noncumulative predicate isnot distributive, and conditions for thelegitimacy of `the Fs'' designed to accommodatenondistributive `Fs'' are given in the context ofa two sorted theory with generalized quantifiers.Failure of cumulativeness is not to be confusedwith failure of maximality as Neale and othersdefine it. If not all Fs are Gs, `The Fs are Gs''is false; but it does not follow that `the Fs'' isillegitimate; and if `Fs'' is distributive. it isso only if there are no Fs. These differencesgranted, I give a partial defense of theEvans–Neale proposal from deficiencies in analternative based on the views of P. T.Geach. (shrink)
This paper responds to an argument of Hilary Putnam to the effect that the plurality of modern sciences shows us that any natural kind has a plurality of essences. In the past, he has argued that no system of representations, mental or linguistic, could have an intrinsic relationship to the world. Though he has granted that the Thomistic notion of form and its application to the identity of concepts may avoid these earlier objections, he has maintained that the advance of (...) the sciences has shown us that there are too many substantial forms in any particular kind of thing to provide the unity of conceptual identity required by the Thomist’s account. Given the resemblance of Putnam’s position to the “pluralists” against whom Aquinas argued in the Summa Theologiae a consideration of Aquinas arguments is undertaken. Following this, the paper examines a particular case of recent scientific practice, in order to suggest whose position, Putnam’s or the Thomist’s, more adequately captures the practice of the natural sciences of today, and their bearing upon the metaphysical question of the nature of essence in natural kinds. The paper concludes that the Thomist position on the unity of form or essence, with qualifications made about distinct conceptual approaches to some object of investigation, and the use of analogy in sorting through these distinct approaches, is better capable of accounting for the actual goals and practices of scientific understanding as we see it practiced today than is Putnam’s transcendental nominalism and neopragmatism. (shrink)
PurposeAlthough the term “responsibility” plays a central role in bioethics and public health, its meaning and implications are often unclear. This paper defends the importance of a more systematic conception of responsibility to improve moral philosophical as well as descriptive analysis.MethodsWe start with a formal analysis of the relational conception of responsibility and its meta-ethical presuppositions. In a brief historical overview, we compare global-collective, professional, personal, and social responsibility. The value of our analytical matrix is illustrated by sorting out the (...) plurality of responsibility models in three cases (organ transplantation, advance directives, and genetic testing).ResultsResponsibility is a relational term involving at least seven relata. The analysis of the relata allows distinguishing between individual versus collective agency, retrospective versus prospective direction, and liability versus power relations. Various bioethical ambiguities result from insufficient, implicit, or inappropriate ascriptions of responsibility.ConclusionsA systematic conception of responsibility is an important tool for bioethical reflection. It allows an in-depth understanding and critique of moral claims on a meta-ethical level without presuming one particular normative approach. Considering the concept of responsibility can also help to complement the current bioethical focus on individual autonomy by including the perspectives of other actors, such as family members or social groups. (shrink)
This dissertation is based on the compositional model theoretic approach to natural language semantics that was initiated by Montague (1970) and developed by subsequent work. In this general approach, coordination and negation are treated following Keenan & Faltz (1978, 1985) using boolean algebras. As in Barwise & Cooper (1981) noun phrases uniformly denote objects in the boolean domain of generalized quanti®ers. These foundational assumptions, although elegant and minimalistic, are challenged by various phenomena of coordination, plurality and scope. The dissertation solves (...) these problems by developing a ¯exible process of meaning composition, as ®rst proposed by Partee & Rooth (1983). Flexible interpretation involves semantic operations without any phonological counterpart, which participate in the interpretation process and change meanings of overt expressions. The dissertation introduces a novel ¯exible system where a small number of operations describe the behaviour of complex phenomena such as `non-boolean' and, the scope of inde®nites and the semantics of collectivity with quanti®cational NPs. The proposed theory is based on a distinction between two features of meanings in natural language. (shrink)
PG (Plural Grundgesetze) is a consistent second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It employs the notion of plural quantification and a few Fregean devices, among which the infamous Basic Law V. George Boolos’ plural semantics is replaced with Enrico Martino’s Acts of Choice Semantics (ACS), which is developed from the notion of arbitrary reference in mathematical reasoning. Also, substitutional quantification is exploited to interpret quantification into predicate position. ACS provides a form of logicism which is radically (...) alternative to Frege’s and which is grounded on the existence of individuals rather than on the existence of concepts. (shrink)
John Burgess (Burgess, 2004) combines plural logic and a new version of the idea of limitation of size to give an elegant motivation of the axioms of ZFC set theory. His proposal is meant to improve on earlier work by Paul Bernays in two ways. I argue that both attempted improvements fail.
Recent discussions of religious, cultural, and/or moral diversity raise questions relevant to the descriptive and normative aims of students of religious ethics. In conversation with several illustrative works, the author takes up (1) issues of terminology, (2) explanations or classifications of types and origins of plurality and pluralism, (3) the relations between pluralism as a normative theory and the aims of a liberal state, and (4) the import of an emphasis on plurality or pluralism for the comparative study of religious (...) ethics. (shrink)
This paper focuses on the theory of plurality of realities introduced by Leon Chwistek. A critical analysis of this theory and an extensional interpretation of Chwistek’s axiomatic descriptions of four realities lead to an epistemological interpretation of this theory. The word “plurality” in the title is a result of different waysof understanding the same original set of sense-data. This interpretation is contrasted with Kazimierz Pasenkiewicz’s ontological version of this theory. In the final parts of the paper the most important consequences (...) of this theory are discussed. First, the ethical relativism postulated by Chwistek is criticized. Second, an attempt to illustrate the plurality of realities with an example of different styles of painting is discussed. Third, a critical rationalism in the form of a kind of practical attitude toward social reality, which results from the theory of plurality of realities, is outlined. (shrink)
Planear una "estética plural de la naturaleza" es darle a la obviedad del enunciado que se trata de explorar algo parecido a un impulso haciéndolo avanzar por el camino de la complejidad. Esto en primer lugar. Después, hay que pararse a pensar que la articulación de estos términos, arte y naturaleza, no sólo implica enlazar la actividad relativa al primero con una imagen o arsenal de imágenes en las que esta segunda se representaría; también es vincularla a un concepto que (...) la significa. ¿Cuál? Lógicamente, la imitación, la mímesis. Aunque dadas las variaciones que ha sufrido dicho concepto a lo largo de la historia, parece necesario valorar la necesidad de comprender su objeto, la naturaleza, en lo que llamaría su dinamismo temporal. En otras palabras, habría que intentar una "historia de la naturaleza", cuya oportunidad aconsejaría mantenerla en paralelo con la "historia del arte". Y si este paralelismo -desde luego estético- del arte y la naturaleza implica en sus respectivas trayectorias temporales aquella parte de la reflexión estética que explora cada momento histórico con una atención especial en el "arte como mímesis", entonces el objetivo de dicha reflexión será también la naturaleza, que toca ir a buscar allí donde se encuentra efectivamente: en el pensamiento de la época. Tendríamos así los términos Arte, Naturaleza, Mímesis. Y de este último, la Mímesis, ya sabemos que no es la representación fiel de entidades o configuraciones naturales. ¿Qué es entonces? La proyección en una obra de Arte de unos contenidos mentales que tienen por objeto la Naturaleza. Quedan vinculados así los tres términos barajados en este libro. (shrink)
The German facts are consistent with the hypothesis that the default is the most frequent allomorph. Plural -s is the least frequent allomorph and does not act as a default. There is another way to measure the frequency of perfects in which no single -n allomorph is as frequent as -t. Lexical versus computational components do not correlate with regularity.