Erkenntnis:1-20 (forthcoming)

Authors
Eric Snyder
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Stewart Shapiro
Ohio State University
Abstract
The primary argument against mereological singularism—the view that definite plural noun phrases like ‘the students’ refer to “set-like entities”—is that it is ultimately incoherent. The most forceful form of this charge is due to Barry Schein, who argues that singularists must accept a certain comprehension principle which entails the existence of things having the contradictory property of being both atomic and non-atomic. The purpose of this paper is to defuse Schein’s argument, by noting three necessary and independently motivated restrictions on the metalinguistic predicates ‘atom’ and ‘non-atom’: both are sort, property, and context-relative. With these restrictions in place, Schein’s problematic assumption becomes evident: his presumed singularist analysis of ‘non-atom’ conflates the metalanguage with the meta-metalanguage, i.e. the language used to talk about the metalanguage.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-020-00347-9
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References found in this work BETA

Frege: Philosophy of Language.Michael Dummett - 1973 - Philosophy 49 (190):438-442.
An Investigation of the Lumps of Thought.Angelika Kratzer - 1989 - Linguistics and Philosophy 12 (5):607 - 653.

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Citations of this work BETA

Group Nouns and Pseudo‐Singularity.Eric Snyder & Stewart Shapiro - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):66-77.

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