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Plural quantification exposed

Noûs 37 (1):71–92 (2003)

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  1. Self-Consciousness in Animals: Advantages and Problems of a Multipronged Approach.Florian Leonhard Wüstholz - 2015 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):1-18.
    Self-consciousness in non-human animals is a complex phenomenon which raises both conceptual and methodological problems. First, what do we mean by the concept of ‘self-consciousness’? Secondly, what is the best experimental approach to self-consciousness? This paper gives a short overview of the concept of self-consciousness in section 1. We can understand the concept of self-consciousness as capturing the ability of subjects to consciously think about themselves as themselves. If this is accurate, then it is prudent to look at a broad (...)
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  • Semantische Aspekte Pluraler Prädikatenlogischer Sprachen.Jonathan Lukic - 2015 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):99-121.
    Plural constructions in mathematical speech are no rarity. E.g., when we want to say that the real numbers are the basis on which we construct Calculus (cf. [16], p. 6), and that the integers are an integral domain (cf. [14], p. 237), we are not talking about one thing, namely the set of the real numbers and the set of the integers, respectively, but we are talking about several things, namely the real numbers and the integers, respectively. In the present (...)
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  • Plurals and Mereology.Salvatore Florio & David Nicolas - 2021 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 50 (3):415-445.
    In linguistics, the dominant approach to the semantics of plurals appeals to mereology. However, this approach has received strong criticisms from philosophical logicians who subscribe to an alternative framework based on plural logic. In the first part of the article, we offer a precise characterization of the mereological approach and the semantic background in which the debate can be meaningfully reconstructed. In the second part, we deal with the criticisms and assess their logical, linguistic, and philosophical significance. We identify four (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment and Ontological Commitments.Jared Warren - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2851-2859.
    The standard account of ontological commitment is quantificational. There are many old and well-chewed-over challenges to the account, but recently Kit Fine added a new challenge. Fine claimed that the ‘‘quantificational account gets the basic logic of ontological commitment wrong’’ and offered an alternative account that used an existence predicate. While Fine’s argument does point to a real lacuna in the standard approach, I show that his own account also gets ‘‘the basic logic of ontological commitment wrong’’. In response, I (...)
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  • Ontological Realism and Sentential Form.Eileen Nutting - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):5021-5036.
    The standard argument for the existence of distinctively mathematical objects like numbers has two main premises: some mathematical claims are true, and the truth of those claims requires the existence of distinctively mathematical objects. Most nominalists deny. Those who deny typically reject Quine’s criterion of ontological commitment. I target a different assumption in a standard type of semantic argument for. Benacerraf’s semantic argument, for example, relies on the claim that two sentences, one about numbers and the other about cities, have (...)
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  • Beyond Plurals.Agustin Rayo - 2006 - In Agustín Rayo & Gabriel Uzquiano (eds.), Absolute Generality. Oxford University Press. pp. 220--54.
    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 (...)
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  • Introduction.Agustin Rayo & Gabriel Uzquiano - 2006 - In Agustin Rayo & Gabriel Uzquiano (eds.), Absolute Generality. Oxford University Press.
    Whether or not we achieve absolute generality in philosophical inquiry, most philosophers would agree that ordinary inquiry is rarely, if ever, absolutely general. Even if the quantifiers involved in an ordinary assertion are not explicitly restricted, we generally take the assertion’s domain of discourse to be implicitly restricted by context.1 Suppose someone asserts (2) while waiting for a plane to take off.
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  • Mathematical Determinacy and the Transferability of Aboutness.Stephen Pollard - 2007 - Synthese 159 (1):83-98.
    Competent speakers of natural languages can borrow reference from one another. You can arrange for your utterances of ‘Kirksville’ to refer to the same thing as my utterances of ‘Kirksville’. We can then talk about the same thing when we discuss Kirksville. In cases like this, you borrow “ aboutness ” from me by borrowing reference. Now suppose I wish to initiate a line of reasoning applicable to any prime number. I might signal my intention by saying, “Let p be (...)
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  • Meghetologia.Massimiliano Carrara & Filippo Mancini - 2020 - Aphex. Portale Italiano di Filosofia Analitica 21 (1):1-49.
    Megethology is the second-order theory of the part-whole relation developed by David Lewis, and it is obtained by combining plural quantification with classical extensional mereology. It can express some hypotheses about the size of the domain such as that there are inaccessibly many atoms. This will prove enough to get the orthodox set theory. Then, megethology is a possible foundation for mathematics. This paper is an introduction to megethology.
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  • Groups as Pluralities.John Horden & Dan López de Sa - 2020 - Synthese 198 (11):10237-10271.
    We say that each social group is identical to its members. The group just is them; they just are the group. This view of groups as pluralities has tended to be swiftly rejected by social metaphysicians, if considered at all, mainly on the basis of two objections. First, it is argued that groups can change in membership, while pluralities cannot. Second, it is argued that different groups can have exactly the same members, while different pluralities cannot. We rebut these objections, (...)
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  • Critical Studies/Book Reviews.Øystein Linnebo - 2003 - Philosophia Mathematica 11 (1):92-104.
    This is a critical notice of Stewart Shapiro's 1997 book, Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology.
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  • Modalising Plurals.Simon Thomas Hewitt - 2012 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 41 (5):853-875.
    There has been very little discussion of the appropriate principles to govern a modal logic of plurals. What debate there has been has accepted a principle I call (Necinc); informally if this is one of those then, necessarily: this is one of those. On this basis Williamson has criticised the Boolosian plural interpretation of monadic second-order logic. I argue against (Necinc), noting that it isn't a theorem of any logic resulting from adding modal axioms to the plural logic PFO+, and (...)
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  • Is Mereology Ontologically Innocent? Well, It Depends….Christian Feldbacher-Escamilla - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (2):395-424.
    Mereology, the theory of parts and wholes, is sometimes used as a framework for categorisation because it is regarded as ontologically innocent in the sense that the mereological fusion of some entities is nothing over and above the entities. In this paper it is argued that an adequate answer to the question of whether the thesis of the ontological innocence of mereology holds relies crucially on the underlying theory of reference. It is then shown that upholding the thesis comes at (...)
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  • The Ontology of Products.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (1):1-16.
    We speak of products in two senses: in one, we speak of types of products, in the other we speak of the particular objects that are instances of those types. I argue that types of products have the same ontological status as that of material stuffs, like water and gold, which have a non-particular level of existence. I also argue that the relationship between types of products and their instances is logically similar to the relation of constitution, which holds between, (...)
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  • On the Innocence and Determinacy of Plural Quantification.Salvatore Florio & Øystein Linnebo - 2016 - Noûs 50 (3):565–583.
    Plural logic is widely assumed to have two important virtues: ontological innocence and determinacy. It is claimed to be innocent in the sense that it incurs no ontological commitments beyond those already incurred by the first-order quantifiers. It is claimed to be determinate in the sense that it is immune to the threat of non-standard interpretations that confronts higher-order logics on their more traditional, set-based semantics. We challenge both claims. Our challenge is based on a Henkin-style semantics for plural logic (...)
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  • A Notion of Logical Concept Based on Plural Reference.Carrara Massimiliano & Martino Enrico - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (1):19-33.
    In To be is to be the object of a possible act of choice the authors defended Boolos’ thesis that plural quantification is part of logic. To this purpose, plural quantification was explained in terms of plural reference, and a semantics of plural acts of choice, performed by an ideal team of agents, was introduced. In this paper, following that approach, we develop a theory of concepts that—in a sense to be explained—can be labeled as a theory of logical concepts. (...)
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  • Plural Quantifiers: A Modal Interpretation.Rafal Urbaniak - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1-22.
    One of the standard views on plural quantification is that its use commits one to the existence of abstract objects–sets. On this view claims like ‘some logicians admire only each other’ involve ineliminable quantification over subsets of a salient domain. The main motivation for this view is that plural quantification has to be given some sort of semantics, and among the two main candidates—substitutional and set-theoretic—only the latter can provide the language of plurals with the desired expressive power (given that (...)
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  • On What Actually Is.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):643-656.
    The actually-operator, understood as a rigidifier, has been employed for a range of purposes in natural language semantics. In this article I argue that the properties of the operator do not correspond to any feature of natural language or feature natural language users have access to. Nor is it needed to provide a formal representation of natural language sentences—the examples usually provided to illustrate the indispensability of the operator are much more plausibly interpreted using plural quantifiers. This lack of connection (...)
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  • Somehow Things Do Not Relate: On the Interpretation of Polyadic Second-Order Logic.Marcus Rossberg - 2015 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 44 (3):341-350.
    Boolos has suggested a plural interpretation of second-order logic for two purposes: to escape Quine’s allegation that second-order logic is set theory in disguise, and to avoid the paradoxes arising if the second-order variables are given a set-theoretic interpretation in second-order set theory. Since the plural interpretation accounts only for monadic second-order logic, Rayo and Yablo suggest an new interpretation for polyadic second-order logic in a Boolosian spirit. The present paper argues that Rayo and Yablo’s interpretation does not achieve the (...)
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  • Plural Logicism.Francesca Boccuni - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (5):1051-1067.
    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 (...)
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  • Semantics and the Plural Conception of Reality.Salvatore Florio - 2014 - Philosophers' Imprint 14:1-20.
    According to the singular conception of reality, there are objects and there are singular properties, i.e. properties that are instantiated by objects separately. It has been argued that semantic considerations about plurals give us reasons to embrace a plural conception of reality. This is the view that, in addition to singular properties, there are plural properties, i.e. properties that are instantiated jointly by many objects. In this article, I propose and defend a novel semantic account of plurals which dispenses with (...)
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  • The Logic of Finite Order.Simon Hewitt - 2012 - Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 53 (3):297-318.
    This paper develops a formal system, consisting of a language and semantics, called serial logic ( SL ). In rough outline, SL permits quantification over, and reference to, some finite number of things in an order , in an ordinary everyday sense of the word “order,” and superplural quantification over things thus ordered. Before we discuss SL itself, some mention should be made of an issue in philosophical logic which provides the background to the development of SL , and with (...)
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  • Mereological Nihilism: Keeping It Simple.Simon D. Thunder - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (4):278-287.
    (Mereological) nihilism states that there are no composite objects—there are only sub-atomic particles such as quarks. Nihilism’s biggest rival, (mereological) universalism, posits vast numbers of composite objects in addition to the sub-atomic particles, and so nihilism appears to be the more ontologically parsimonious of the two theories. If this is the case, it’s a significant result for the nihilist: ontological parsimony is almost always thought to be a theoretical virtue, so a nihilist victory in the parsimony stakes gives us a (...)
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  • Minimal Logicism.Francesca Boccuni - 2014 - Philosophia Scientae 18:81-94.
    PLV (Plural Basic Law V) is a consistent second-order system which is aimed to derive second-order Peano arithmetic. It employs the notion of plural quantification and a first-order formulation of Frege's 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. ACS provides a form of logicism which is radically alternative to Frege's and which is grounded on the existence of (...)
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  • Logical Consequence for Nominalists.Marcus Rossberg & Daniel Cohnitz - 2009 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 24 (2):147-168.
    It is often claimed that nominalistic programmes to reconstruct mathematics fail, since they will at some point involve the notion of logical consequence which is unavailable to the nominalist. In this paper we use an idea of Goodman and Quine to develop a nominalistically acceptable explication of logical consequence.
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  • Predicative Fragments of Frege Arithmetic.Øystein Linnebo - 2004 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 10 (2):153-174.
    Frege Arithmetic (FA) is the second-order theory whose sole non-logical axiom is Hume’s Principle, which says that the number of F s is identical to the number of Gs if and only if the F s and the Gs can be one-to-one correlated. According to Frege’s Theorem, FA and some natural definitions imply all of second-order Peano Arithmetic. This paper distinguishes two dimensions of impredicativity involved in FA—one having to do with Hume’s Principle, the other, with the underlying second-order logic—and (...)
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  • The Logic Behind Quine's Criterion of Ontological Commitment.Jeroen Smid - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (3):789-804.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Leibniz’s Argument Against Infinite Number.Filippo Costantini - 2019 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 22 (1):203-218.
    This paper deals with Leibniz’s well-known reductio argument against the infinite number. I will show that while the argument is in itself valid, the assumption that Leibniz reduces to absurdity does not play a relevant role. The last paragraph of the paper reformulates the whole Leibnizian argument in plural terms to show that it is possible to derive the contradiction that Leibniz uses in his argument even in the absence of the premise that he refutes.
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  • Plural Logic and Sensitivity to Order.Salvatore Florio & David Nicolas - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):444-464.
    Sentences that exhibit sensitivity to order (e.g. 'John and Mary arrived at school in that order' and 'Mary and John arrived at school in that order') present a challenge for the standard formulation of plural logic. In response, some authors have advocated new versions of plural logic based on fine-grained notions of plural reference, such as serial reference (Hewitt 2012) and articulated reference (Ben-Yami 2013). The aim of this article is to show that sensitivity to order should be accounted for (...)
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  • Critical Plural Logic.Salvatore Florio & Øystein Linnebo - 2020 - Philosophia Mathematica 28 (2):172-203.
    What is the relation between some things and the set of these things? Mathematical practice does not provide a univocal answer. On the one hand, it relies on ordinary plural talk, which is implicitly committed to a traditional form of plural logic. On the other hand, mathematical practice favors a liberal view of definitions which entails that traditional plural logic must be restricted. We explore this predicament and develop a “critical” alternative to traditional plural logic.
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  • The Metaphysics of Mass Expressions.Mark Steen - 2012 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Untyped Pluralism.Salvatore Florio - 2014 - Mind 123 (490):317-337.
    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 (...)
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  • Hierarchies Ontological and Ideological.Øystein Linnebo & Agustin Rayo - 2012 - Mind 121 (482):269 - 308.
    Gödel claimed that Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory is 'what becomes of the theory of types if certain superfluous restrictions are removed'. The aim of this paper is to develop a clearer understanding of Gödel's remark, and of the surrounding philosophical terrain. In connection with this, we discuss some technical issues concerning infinitary type theories and the programme of developing the semantics for higher-order languages in other higher-order languages.
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  • Metalogic and the Overgeneration Argument.Salvatore Florio & Luca Incurvati - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):761-793.
    A prominent objection against the logicality of second-order logic is the so-called Overgeneration Argument. However, it is far from clear how this argument is to be understood. In the first part of the article, we examine the argument and locate its main source, namely, the alleged entanglement of second-order logic and mathematics. We then identify various reasons why the entanglement may be thought to be problematic. In the second part of the article, we take a metatheoretic perspective on the matter. (...)
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  • Critical Studies/Book Reviews.O. Linnebo - 2003 - Philosophia Mathematica 11 (1):92-104.
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  • How to Talk About Unobservables.F. A. Muller & B. C. van Fraassen - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):197 - 205.
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  • Epistemological Challenges to Mathematical Platonism.Øystein Linnebo - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (3):545-574.
    Since Benacerraf’s “Mathematical Truth” a number of epistemological challenges have been launched against mathematical platonism. I first argue that these challenges fail because they unduely assimilate mathematics to empirical science. Then I develop an improved challenge which is immune to this criticism. Very roughly, what I demand is an account of how people’s mathematical beliefs are responsive to the truth of these beliefs. Finally I argue that if we employ a semantic truth-predicate rather than just a deflationary one, there surprisingly (...)
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  • From Plurals to Superplurals: In Defence of Higher-Level Plural Logic.Berta Grimau Roca - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Glasgow
    Plural Logic is an extension of First-Order Logic with plural terms and quantifiers. When its plural terms are interpreted as denoting more than one object at once, Plural Logic is usually taken to be ontologically innocent: plural quantifiers do not require a domain of their own, but range plurally over the first-order domain of quantification. Given that Plural Logic is equi-interpretable with Monadic Second-Order Logic, it gives us its expressive power at the low ontological cost of a first-order language. This (...)
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  • Dependencia e indeterminación en la lógica de segundo orden.Lucas Rosenblatt - 2011 - Cuadernos de Filosofía 57:31-50.
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  • The Inexpressibility Objection.Filippo Costantini - 2018 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 32 (2):25-46.
    In this paper, we offer a contribution to the discussion of one of the most important objections against a relativist position in the absolute generality debate. The inexpressibility objection accuses the generality-relativist of not being able to coherently express her own position. First, we examine Glanzberg’s attempt to reply to this objection and we show that it fails. Second, we study the prospects of generalizing the relativist position. In particular, we analyze Fine’s and Linnebo’s modal approaches and we argue that, (...)
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  • Plurals.Agustín Rayo - 2007 - Philosophy Compass 2 (3):411–427.
    Forthcoming in Philosophical Compass. I explain why plural quantifiers and predicates have been thought to be philosophically significant.
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  • Vom Zahlen Zu den Zahlen: On the Relation Between Computation and Arithmetical Structuralism.L. Horsten - 2012 - Philosophia Mathematica 20 (3):275-288.
    This paper sketches an answer to the question how we, in our arithmetical practice, succeed in singling out the natural-number structure as our intended interpretation. It is argued that we bring this about by a combination of what we assert about the natural-number structure on the one hand, and our computational capacities on the other hand.
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  • Superplurals in English.Øystein Linnebo & David Nicolas - 2008 - Analysis 68 (3):186–197.
    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, (...)
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  • Plural Quantification.Ø Linnebo - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    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 (...)
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  • Higher‐Level Plurals Versus Articulated Reference, and an Elaboration of Salva Veritate.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2013 - Dialectica 67 (1):81-102.
    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 (...)
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  • Descriptions: An Annotated Bibliography.Berit Brogaard - 2010 - Oxford Annotated Bibliographies Online.
    Descriptions are phrases of the form ‘an F’, ‘the F’, ‘Fs’, ‘the Fs’ and NP's F (e.g. ‘John's mother’). They can be indefinite (e.g., ‘an F’ and ‘Fs’), definite (e.g. ‘the F’ and ‘the Fs’), singular (e.g., ‘an F’, ‘the F’) or plural (e.g., ‘the Fs’, ‘Fs’). In English plural indefinite descriptions lack an article and are for that reason also known as ‘bare plurals’. How to account for the semantics and pragmatics of descriptions has been one of the central (...)
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  • Strong Logics of First and Second Order.Peter Koellner - 2010 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 16 (1):1-36.
    In this paper we investigate strong logics of first and second order that have certain absoluteness properties. We begin with an investigation of first order logic and the strong logics ω-logic and β-logic, isolating two facets of absoluteness, namely, generic invariance and faithfulness. It turns out that absoluteness is relative in the sense that stronger background assumptions secure greater degrees of absoluteness. Our aim is to investigate the hierarchies of strong logics of first and second order that are generically invariant (...)
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  • Indispensability Arguments and Instrumental Nominalism.Richard Pettigrew - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (4):687-709.
    In the philosophy of mathematics, indispensability arguments aim to show that we are justified in believing that abstract mathematical objects exist. I wish to defend a particular objection to such arguments that has become increasingly popular recently. It is called instrumental nominalism. I consider the recent versions of this view and conclude that it has yet to be given an adequate formulation. I provide such a formulation and show that it can be used to answer the indispensability arguments. -/- There (...)
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  • The Mereological Foundation of Megethology.Massimiliano Carrara & Enrico Martino - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 45 (2):227-235.
    In Mathematics is megethology. Philosophia Mathematica, 1, 3–23) David K. Lewis proposes a structuralist reconstruction of classical set theory based on mereology. In order to formulate suitable hypotheses about the size of the universe of individuals without the help of set-theoretical notions, he uses the device of Boolos’ plural quantification for treating second order logic without commitment to set-theoretical entities. In this paper we show how, assuming the existence of a pairing function on atoms, as the unique assumption non expressed (...)
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  • Plural Quantification Logic: A Critical Appraisal.Hanoch Ben-Yami - 2009 - Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (1):208-232.
    I first show that most authors who developed Plural Quantification Logic (PQL) argued it could capture various features of natural language better than can other logic systems. I then show that it fails to do so: it radically departs from natural language in two of its essential features; namely, in distinguishing plural from singular quantification and in its use of an relation. Next, I sketch a different approach that is more adequate than PQL for capturing plural aspects of natural language (...)
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