Oxford University Press UK (2016)

Bernhard Nickel
Harvard University
Bernhard Nickel presents a theory of generic sentences and the kind-directed modes of thought they express. The theory closely integrates compositional semantics with metaphysics to solve the problem that generics pose: what do generics mean? Generic sentences are extremely simple, yet if there are patterns to be discerned in terms of which are true and which are false, these patterns are subtle and complex. Ravens are black, and lions have manes: statistical measures cannot do justice to the facts, but what else is there that has a hope of giving us insight into what we are capturing across so many domains? Nickel argues that generics are the top of a fundamentally explanatory iceberg, and that this explanatory framework is deeply intertwined with the semantics of the language we use to express them. In providing an integrated semantic and metaphysical theory of generics, he aims to solve old puzzles and draw attention to new phenomena.
Keywords Genericalness
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Reprint years 2019
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ISBN(s) 9780199640003   0191822043   9780198822615   0198822618   0199640009
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Generic Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey & Peter van Elswyk - 2021 - Journal of Philosophy 118 (8):405-429.
The Radical Account of Bare Plural Generics.Anthony Nguyen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1303-1331.
Agentive Modals.Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis & David Boylan - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):301-343.
The Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle M. Johnson - 2020 - Mind 129 (516):1193-1236.
Weak Generics.Mahrad Almotahari - forthcoming - Analysis.

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