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Reference and Generality

Ithaca: Cornell University Press (1962)

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  1. Personal Identity and the Hybrid View: A Middle Way.Harold W. Noonan - 2021 - Metaphysica 22 (2):263-283.
    Two of the main contenders in the debate about personal persistence over time are the neo-Lockean psychological continuity view and animalism as defended by Olson and Snowdon. Both are wrong. The position I shall argue for, which I call, following Olson, the hybrid view, takes psychological continuity as a sufficient but, pace the neo-Lockeans, not necessary condition for personal persistence. It sides with the animalist in allowing that mere biological continuity is also sufficient. So I am, in a sense, a (...)
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  • Witnesses.Matthew Mandelkern - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy.
    The meaning of definite descriptions (like ‘the King of France’, ‘the girl’, etc.) has been a central topic in philosophy and linguistics for the past century. Indefinites (‘Something is on the floor’, ‘A child sat down’, etc.) have been relatively neglected in philosophy, under the Russellian assumption that they can be unproblematically treated as existential quantifiers. However, an important tradition, drawing from Stoic logic, has pointed to patterns which suggest that indefinites cannot be treated simply as existential quantifiers. The standard (...)
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  • Token Physicalism and Functional Individuation.James DiFrisco - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):309-329.
    Token physicalism is often viewed as a modest and unproblematic physicalist commitment, as contrasted with type physicalism. This paper argues that the prevalence of functional individuation in biology creates serious problems for token physicalism, because the latter requires that biological entities can be individuated physically and without reference to biological functioning. After characterizing the main philosophical roles for token physicalism, I describe the distinctive uses of functional individuation in models of biological processes. I then introduce some requirements on token identity (...)
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  • Names, Identity, and Predication.Eros Corazza - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2631-2647.
    It is commonly accepted, after Frege, that identity statements like “Tully is Cicero” differ from statements like “Tully is Tully”. For the former, unlike the latter, are informative. One way to deal with the information problem is to postulate that the terms ‘Tully’ and ‘Cicero’ come equipped with different informative values. Another approach is to claim that statements like these are of the subject/predicate form. As such, they should be analyzed along the way we treat “Tully walks”. Since proper names (...)
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  • Causal Theories of Reference for Proper Names.Nicolae Sfetcu - manuscript
    Presentation and comparison of the main causal theories of reference for proper names, and a proposal of a new approach based on the analogy of the causal chain of reference with the block chain from blockchain technology and Paul Ricœur's narrative theory. After a brief Introduction in which the types of sentences from the concept of possible worlds are reviewed, and an overview of the theory in the Causal Theory of Reference, I present the causal theory of the reference proposed (...)
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  • Particles, Objects, and Physics.Justin Pniower - unknown
    This thesis analyses the ontological nature of quantum particles. In it I argue that quantum particles, despite their indistinguishability, are objects in much the same way as classical particles. This similarity provides an important point of continuity between classical and quantum physics. I consider two notions of indistinguishability, that of indiscernibility and permutation symmetry. I argue that neither sort of indistinguishability undermines the identity of quantum particles. I further argue that, when we understand in distinguishability in terms of permutation symmetry, (...)
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  • The Argument From Convention Revisited.Francesco Pupa - 2018 - Synthese 195 (5):2175-2204.
    The argument from convention contends that the regular use of definite descriptions as referential devices strongly implies that a referential semantic convention underlies such usage. On the presumption that definite descriptions also participate in a quantificational semantic convention, the argument from convention has served as an argument for the thesis that the English definite article is ambiguous. Here, I revisit this relatively new argument. First, I address two recurring criticisms of the argument from convention: its alleged tendency to overgenerate and (...)
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  • Judgement in Leibniz’s Conception of the Mind: Predication, Affirmation, and Denial.Christian Barth - 2020 - Topoi (3).
    The aim of the paper is to illuminate some core aspects of Leibniz’s conception of judgement and its place in his conception of the mind. In particular, the paper argues for three claims: First, the act of judgement is at the centre of Leibniz’s conception of the mind in that minds strive at actualising innate knowledge concerning derivative truths, where the actualising involves an act of judgement. Second, Leibniz does not hold a judgement account of predication, but a two-component account (...)
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  • Pronouns.Daniel Büring - 2011 - In Claudia Maienborn & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. Berlin: Mouton De Gruyter. pp. 971-996.
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  • Spacetime and Mereology.Andrew Virel Wake - 2011 - Erkenntnis 74 (1):17-35.
    Unrestricted Composition (UC) is, roughly, the claim that given any objects at all, there is something which those objects compose. (UC) conflicts in an obvious way with common sense. It has as a consequence, for instance, that there is something which has as parts my nose and the moon. One of the more influential arguments for (UC) is Theodore Sider’s version of the Argument from Vagueness. (A version of the Argument from Vagueness was first presented by David Lewis (1986), pp. (...)
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  • Puzzles About Descriptive Names.Edward Kanterian - 2009 - Linguistics and Philosophy 32 (4):409-428.
    This article explores Gareth Evans’s idea that there are such things as descriptive names, i.e. referring expressions introduced by a definite description which have, unlike ordinary names, a descriptive content. Several ignored semantic and modal aspects of this idea are spelled out, including a hitherto little explored notion of rigidity, super-rigidity. The claim that descriptive names are (rigidified) descriptions, or abbreviations thereof, is rejected. It is then shown that Evans’s theory leads to certain puzzles concerning the referential status of descriptive (...)
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  • A Multi-Dimensional Treatment of Quantification in Extraordinary English.Paul Dekker - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):101-127.
    In this paper I revive two important formal approaches to the interpretation of natural language, that of Montague and that of Karttunen and Peters. Armed with insights from dynamic semantics (Heim, Krifka) the two turn out to stand up against age-old criticisms in an orthodox fashion. The plan is mainly methodological, as I only want to illustrate the technical feasibility of the revived proposals. Even so, there are illuminating and welcome empirical consequences on the subject of scope islands (as discussed (...)
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  • Operators Solve the Many Categories Problem with Universals.Peter Forrest - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (5):747-762.
    ABSTRACTBy the Many Categories problem, I mean the prima facie violation of Ockham’s Razor by realists about universals: there is, it might seem, just too much variety. Thus, David Armstrong posits both properties and relations. He also theorises about determinates of determinables. Another influential realist, E. J. Lowe distinguishes non-substantial from substantial universals. Yet again, both Armstrong and Lowe include in their ontology abstract particulars in addition to universals. My aim in this paper is to offer a unification of these (...)
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  • On Bishop Sentences.Paul Elbourne - 2010 - Natural Language Semantics 18 (1):65-78.
    This article offers a critical examination of Kroll’s (Natural Language Semantics 16: 359–372, 2008) arguments against Elbourne’s (Situations and individuals, 2005) treatment of bishop sentences.
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  • Paycheck Pronouns, Bach-Peters Sentences, and Variable-Free Semantics.Pauline Jacobson - 2000 - Natural Language Semantics 8 (2):77-155.
    This paper argues for the hypothesis of direct compositionality (as in, e.g., Montague 1974), according to which the combinatory syntactic rules specify a set of well-formed expressions while the semantic combinatory rules work in tandem to directly supply a model-theoretic interpretation to each expression as it is "built" in the syntax. (This thus obviates the need for any level like LF and, concomitantly, for any rules mapping surface structures to such a level.) I focus here on one related group of (...)
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  • Anything and Everything.Patrick Dieveney - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):119 - 140.
    Some novel solutions to problems in mathematics and philosophy involve employing schemas rather than quantified expressions to formulate certain propositions. Crucial to these solutions is an insistence that schematic generality is distinct from quantificational generality. Although many concede that schemas and quantified expressions function differently, the dominant view appears to be that the generality expressed by the former is ultimately reducible to the latter. In this paper, I argue against this view, which I call the 'Reductionist view'. But instead of (...)
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  • Mereological Vagueness and Existential Vagueness.Maureen Donnelly - 2009 - Synthese 168 (1):53 - 79.
    It is often assumed that indeterminacy in mereological relations—in particular, indeterminacy in which collections of objects have fusions—leads immediately to indeterminacy in what objects there are in the world. This assumption is generally taken as a reason for rejecting mereological vagueness. The purpose of this paper is to examine the link between mereological vagueness and existential vagueness. I hope to show that the connection between the two forms of vagueness is not nearly so clear-cut as has been supposed.
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  • Quantum Sortal Predicates.Décio Krause & Steven French - 2007 - Synthese 154 (3):417 - 430.
    Sortal predicates have been associated with a counting process, which acts as a criterion of identity for the individuals they correctly apply to. We discuss in what sense certain types of predicates suggested by quantum physics deserve the title of ‘sortal’ as well, although they do not characterize either a process of counting or a criterion of identity for the entities that fall under them. We call such predicates ‘quantum-sortal predicates’ and, instead of a process of counting, to them is (...)
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  • Identidad y discriminación en el contenido no conceptual.Justina Díaz Legaspe - 2009 - Critica 41 (123):65-93.
    En The Varieties of Reference, Evans sostiene que el contenido perceptual posee una naturaleza no conceptual. Precisamente, los vínculos informacionales entre sujeto y objeto habilitan el pensamiento singular, al permitir la localización del objeto en un entorno egocéntrico. Anclados en algunos casos en estos vínculos, los pensamientos singulares contienen Ideas adecuadas del objeto, dependientes de una determinada clasificación del mismo. Nada en el contenido perceptual equivale a este recorte conceptual del objeto en el pensamiento. Sostendré entonces la necesidad de introducir (...)
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  • The Extended Self.Eric T. Olson - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (4):481-495.
    The extended-mind thesis says that mental states can extend beyond one’s skin. Clark and Chalmers infer from this that the subjects of such states also extend beyond their skin: the extended-self thesis. The paper asks what exactly the extended-self thesis says, whether it really does follow from the extended-mind thesis, and what it would mean if it were true. It concludes that the extended-self thesis is unattractive, and does not follow from the extended mind unless thinking beings are literally bundles (...)
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  • There is No 'Is' of Constitution.Bryan Pickel - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (2):193 - 211.
    I defend the view that ordinary objects like statues are identical to the pieces of matter from which they are made. I argue that ordinary speakers assert sentences such as ‘this statue is a molded piece of clay’. This suggests that speakers believe propositions which entail that ordinary objects such as statues are the pieces matter from which they are made, and therefore pluralism contradicts ordinary beliefs. The dominant response to this argument purports to find an ambiguity in the word (...)
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  • The Logic and Mathematics of Occasion Sentences.Pieter A. M. Seuren, Venanizo Capretta & Herman Geuvers - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (5):531-595.
    The prime purpose of this paper is, first, to restore to discourse-bound occasion sentences their rightful central place in semantics and secondly, taking these as the basic propositional elements in the logical analysis of language, to contribute to the development of an adequate logic of occasion sentences and a mathematical foundation for such a logic, thus preparing the ground for more adequate semantic, logical and mathematical foundations of the study of natural language. Some of the insights elaborated in this paper (...)
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  • Geach’s Categorial Grammar.Lloyd Humberstone - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 28 (3):281 - 317.
    Geach’s rich paper ‘A Program for Syntax’ introduced many ideas into the arena of categorial grammar, not all of which have been given the attention they warrant in the thirty years since its first publication. Rather surprisingly, one of our findings (Section 3 below) is that the paper not only does not contain a statement of what has widely come to be known as “Geach’s Rule”, but in fact presents considerations which are inimical to the adoption of the rule in (...)
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  • Engineering Differences Between Natural, Social, and Artificial Kinds.Eric T. Kerr - 2013 - In Maarten Franssen, Peter Kroes, Pieter Vermaas & Thomas A. C. Reydon (eds.), Artefact Kinds: Ontology and the Human-made World. Synthese Library.
    My starting point is that discussions in philosophy about the ontology of technical artifacts ought to be informed by classificatory practices in engineering. Hence, the heuristic value of the natural-artificial distinction in engineering counts against arguments which favour abandoning the distinction in metaphysics. In this chapter, I present the philosophical equipment needed to analyse classificatory practices and then present a case study of engineering practice using these theoretical tools. More in particular, I make use of the Collectivist Account of Technical (...)
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  • E-Type Interpretation Without E-Type Pronoun: How Peirce’s Graphs Capture the Uniqueness Implication of Donkey Pronouns in Discourse Anaphora.Chuansheng He - 2015 - Synthese 192 (4):1-20.
    In this essay, we propose that Peirce’s Existential Graphs can derive the desired uniqueness implication (or in a weaker claim, the definite description readings) of donkey pronouns in conjunctive discourse (A man walks in the park. He whistles), without postulating a separate category of E-type pronouns.
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  • Introduction: Vagueness and Ontology.Geert Keil - 2013 - Metaphysica 14 (2):149-164.
    The article introduces a special issue of the journal Metaphysica on vagueness and ontology. The conventional view has it that all vagueness is semantic or representational. Russell, Dummett, Evans and Lewis, inter alia, have argued that the notion of “ontic” or “metaphysical” vagueness is not even intelligible. In recent years, a growing minority of philosophers have tried to make sense of the notion and have spelled it out in various ways. The article gives an overview and relates the idea of (...)
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  • What Can You Say, Words It Is, Nothing Else Going.Pierre Legrand - 2013 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 26 (4):805-832.
    This essay examines the capacity of language (‘word’) to convey what there is (‘world’). It draws on philosophical thought, which it seeks to apply to law while making specific reference to comparative legal studies, that is, to the investigation of law that is foreign to its interpreter.
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  • BH-CIFOL: Case-Intensional First Order Logic.Nuel Belnap & Thomas Müller - 2013 - Journal of Philosophical Logic (2-3):1-32.
    This paper follows Part I of our essay on case-intensional first-order logic (CIFOL; Belnap and Müller (2013)). We introduce a framework of branching histories to take account of indeterminism. Our system BH-CIFOL adds structure to the cases, which in Part I formed just a set: a case in BH-CIFOL is a moment/history pair, specifying both an element of a partial ordering of moments and one of the total courses of events (extending all the way into the future) that that moment (...)
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  • Opacity, Coreference, and Pronouns.Barbara Hall Partee - 1970 - Synthese 21 (3-4):359 - 385.
    The problem discussed here is to find a basis for a uniform treatment of the relation between pronouns and their antecedents, taking into account both linguists' and philosophers' approaches. The two main candidates would appear to be the linguists' notion of coreference and the philosophers' notion of pronouns as variables. The notion of coreference can be extended to many but not all cases where the antecedent is non-referential. The pronouns-as-variables approach appears to come closer to full generality, but there are (...)
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  • Constitution and Similarity.Kathrin Koslicki - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 117 (3):327-363.
    Whenever an object constitutes, makes up or composes another object, the objects in question share a striking number of properties. This paper is addressed to the question of what might account for the intimate relation and striking similarity between constitutionally related objects. According to my account, the similarities between constitutionally related objects are captured at least in part by means of a principle akin to that of strong supervenience. My paper addresses two main issues. First, I propose independently plausible principles (...)
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  • Re-Reading Anscombe on ‘I’.Robert J. Stainton - 2019 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 49 (1):70-93.
    According to a ‘Straight’ reading of Elizabeth Anscombe’s ‘The First Person’, she holds a radically non-referring view of ‘I’. Specifically, ‘I’ is analogous to the expletive ‘it’ in ‘It’s raining’. I argue that this is not her conclusion. Her substantive view, rather is that if what you mean by ‘reference’ is a certain rich and recherché notion tracing to Frege, then ‘I’ is not a referring term. Her methodological point is that one shouldn’t be ‘bewitched by language’ into thinking that (...)
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  • Aristotle on Predication.Phil Corkum - 2015 - European Journal of Philosophy 23 (3):793-813.
    A predicate logic typically has a heterogeneous semantic theory. Subjects and predicates have distinct semantic roles: subjects refer; predicates characterize. A sentence expresses a truth if the object to which the subject refers is correctly characterized by the predicate. Traditional term logic, by contrast, has a homogeneous theory: both subjects and predicates refer; and a sentence is true if the subject and predicate name one and the same thing. In this paper, I will examine evidence for ascribing to Aristotle the (...)
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  • Husserl's Logical Grammar.Ansten Klev - 2018 - History and Philosophy of Logic 39 (3):232-269.
    Lecture notes from Husserl's logic lectures published during the last 20 years offer a much better insight into his doctrine of the forms of meaning than does the fourth Logical Investigation or any other work published during Husserl's lifetime. This paper provides a detailed reconstruction, based on all the sources now available, of Husserl's system of logical grammar. After having explained the notion of meaning that Husserl assumes in his later logic lectures as well as the notion of form of (...)
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  • Conditionals: A Theory of Meaning, Pragmatics, and Inference.Philip Johnson-Laird & Ruth M. J. Byrne - 2002 - Psychological Review 109 (4):646-678.
    The authors outline a theory of conditionals of the form If A then C and If A then possibly C. The 2 sorts of conditional have separate core meanings that refer to sets of possibilities. Knowledge, pragmatics, and semantics can modulate these meanings. Modulation can add information about temporal and other relations between antecedent and consequent. It can also prevent the construction of possibilities to yield 10 distinct sets of possibilities to which conditionals can refer. The mental representation of a (...)
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  • The Importance of Being Erroneous.Nils Kürbis - 2021 - Australasian Philosophical Review 2 (3):155-166.
    This is a commentary on MM McCabe's "First Chop your logos... Socrates and the sophists on language, logic, and development". In her paper MM analyses Plato's Euthydemos, in which Plato tackles the problem of falsity in a way that takes into account the speaker and complements the Sophist's discussion of what is said. The dialogue looks as if it is merely a demonstration of the silly consequences of eristic combat. And so it is. But a main point of MM's paper (...)
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  • Paraphrasing Away Properties with Pluriverse Counterfactuals.Jack Himelright - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10883-10902.
    In this paper, I argue that for the purposes of ordinary reasoning, sentences about properties of concrete objects can be replaced with sentences concerning how things in our universe would be related to inscriptions were there a pluriverse. Speaking loosely, pluriverses are composites of universes that collectively realize every way a universe could possibly be. As such, pluriverses exhaust all possible meanings that inscriptions could take. Moreover, because universes necessarily do not influence one another, our universe would not be any (...)
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  • Composition as Identity.Meg Wallace - 2009 - Dissertation, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
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  • The Average American has 2.3 Children.Jeff Pelletier - unknown
    Average-NPs, such as the one in the title of this paper, have been claimed to be ‘linguistically identical’ to any other definite-NPs but at the same time to be ‘semantically inconsistent’ with these other definite-NPs. To some this is an ironclad proof of the irrelevance of semantics to linguistics. We argue that both of the initial claims are wrong: average-NPs are not ‘linguistically identical’ to other definite-NPs but instead show a number of interesting divergences, and we provide a plausible semantic (...)
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  • Formalizations Après la Lettre: Studies in Medieval Logic and Semantics.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2006 - Dissertation, Leiden University
    This thesis is on the history and philosophy of logic and semantics. Logic can be described as the ‘science of reasoning’, as it deals primarily with correct patterns of reasoning. However, logic as a discipline has undergone dramatic changes in the last two centuries: while for ancient and medieval philosophers it belonged essentially to the realm of language studies, it has currently become a sub-branch of mathematics. This thesis attempts to establish a dialogue between the modern and the medieval traditions (...)
     
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  • Intrinzično, Dakle Stvarno; Ekstrinzično, Dakle Nestvarno? Modalna I Sortalna Svojstva Kontinuanata.Márta Ujvári - 2011 - Prolegomena 10 (1):53-66.
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  • Indeterminism and Persistence.Thomas Müller - 2011 - Philosophia Naturalis 49 (1):113-136.
    This paper aims at bringing together two debates in metaphysics that so far have been kept separate: the debate about determinism vs. indeterminism as de re modality on the one hand, and the debate about persistence on the other hand. Both debates significantly involve talk of things. We will show that working out a proper semantics for singular terms and an accompanying theory of things, motivated by considerations of quantified modal logic, can significantly further the persistence debate. We will use (...)
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  • Propositional Structure and B. Russell's Theory of Denoting in The Principles of Mathematics.Antonio Rauti - 2004 - History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):281-304.
  • The Doctrine of Distribution.Terence Parsons - 2006 - History and Philosophy of Logic 27 (1):59-74.
    Peter Geach describes the 'doctrine of distribution' as the view that a term is distributed if it refers to everything that it denotes, and undistributed if it refers to only some of the things that it denotes. He argues that the notion, so explained, is incoherent. He claims that the doctrine of distribution originates from a degenerate use of the notion of ?distributive supposition? in medieval supposition theory sometime in the 16th century. This paper proposes instead that the doctrine of (...)
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  • Syntax and Semantics: An Overview.Arnim von Stechow - 2012 - In Klaus von Heusinger, Claudia Maienborn & Paul Portner (eds.), Semantics: An International Handbook of Natural Language Meaning. De Gruyter Mouton.
  • Parthood.Theodore Sider - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (1):51-91.
    There will be a few themes. One to get us going: expansion versus contraction. About an object, o, and the region, R, of space(time) in which o is exactly located,1 we may ask: i) must there exist expansions of o: objects in filled superregions2 of R? ii) must there exist contractions of o: objects in filled subregions of..
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  • Crossover Situations.Daniel Büring - 2004 - Natural Language Semantics 12 (1):23-62.
    Situation semantics as conceived in Kratzer (1989) has been shown to be a valuable companion to the e-type pronoun analysis of donkey sentences (Heim 1990, and recently refined in Elbourne 2001b), and more generally binding out of DP (BOOD; Tomioka 1999; Büring 2001). The present paper proposes a fully compositional version of such a theory, which is designed to capture instances of crossover in BOOD.
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  • Why Four-Dimensionalism Explains Coincidence.Maya Eddon - 2010 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):721-728.
    In "Does Four-Dimensionalism Explain Coincidence" Mark Moyer argues that there is no reason to prefer the four-dimensionalist (or perdurantist) explanation of coincidence to the three-dimensionalist (or endurantist) explanation. I argue that Moyer's formulations of perdurantism and endurantism lead him to overlook the perdurantist's advantage. A more satisfactory formulation of these views reveals a puzzle of coincidence that Moyer does not consider, and the perdurantist's treatment of this puzzle is clearly preferable.
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  • Russell's Early Theory of Denoting.David Bostock - 2009 - History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (1):49-67.
    The article concerns the treatment of the so-called denoting phrases, of the forms ?every A?, ?any A?, ?an A? and ?some A?, in Russell's Principles of Mathematics. An initially attractive interpretation of what Russell's theory was has been proposed by P.T. Geach, in his Reference and Generality (1962). A different interpretation has been proposed by P. Dau (Notre Dame Journal, 1986). The article argues that neither of these is correct, because both credit Russell with a more thought-out theory than he (...)
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  • A Fregean Principle.Philip Hugly & Charles Sayward - 1998 - History and Philosophy of Logic 19 (3):125-135.
    Frege held that the result of applying a predicate to names lacks reference if any of the names lack reference. We defend the principle against a number of plausible objections. We put forth an account of consequence for a first-order language with identity in which the principle holds.
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  • Referential/Attributive: A Scope Interpretation.Richard L. Mendelsohn - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 147 (2):167-191.
    There is a core to the referential/attributive distinction that reveals a propositional ambiguity that is scope-related and rooted in syntax.
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