Simple Generics

Noûs 45 (3):409-442 (2011)

Authors
David Liebesman
University of Calgary
Abstract
Consensus has it that generic sentences such as “Dogs bark” and “Birds fly” contain, at the level of logical form, an unpronounced generic operator: Gen. On this view, generics have a tripartite structure similar to overtly quantified sentences such as “Most dogs bark” and “Typically, birds fly”. I argue that Gen doesn’t exist and that generics have a simple bipartite structure on par with ordinary atomic sentences such as “Homer is drinking”. On my view, the subject terms of generics are kind-referring. The interesting truth conditions characteristic of generics arise from the interesting ways in which kinds inherit properties from their members.
Keywords generics  logical form
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Reprint years 2010, 2011
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0068.2010.00774.x
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References found in this work BETA

Elements of Episodic Memory.Endel Tulving - 1985 - Oxford University Press.
Word and Object.W. QUINE - 1960 - MIT Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

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Generics in Context.Rachel Sterken - 2015 - Philosophers' Imprint 15.
Copredication and Property Inheritance.David Liebesman & Ofra Magidor - 2017 - Philosophical Issues 27 (1):131-166.

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