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  1. Genericity generalized.Alnica Visser - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 180 (3):703-723.
    In his _Between Logic and the World_, in the course of presenting his theory of generics, Nickel (Between logic and the world, Oxford University Press, 2016) argues for a theory of characteristicness, or “genericity”, which states that a property is characteristic for a kind if and only if its presence among the members of that kind is explicable by some explanatory domain that recognizes the existence of that kind in the course of engaging the explanatory strategies made available by that (...)
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  • Moral Principles as Generics.Ravi Thakral - 2024 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 10 (2):205-224.
    I argue that moral principles involve the same sort of generalization as ordinary yet elusive generic generalizations in natural language such as ‘Tigers are striped’ or ‘Peppers are spicy’. A notable advantage of the generic view is that it simultaneously allows for pessimism and optimism about the role and status of moral principles in our lives. It provides a new perspective on the nature of moral principles on which principles are not apt for determining the moral status of particular actions (...)
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  • Generics and Metalinguistic Negotiation.David Plunkett, Rachel Katharine Sterken & Timothy Sundell - 2023 - Synthese 201 (50):1-46.
    In this paper, we consider how the notion of metalinguistic negotiation interacts with various theories of generics. The notion of metalinguistic negotiation we discuss stems from previous work from two of us (Plunkett and Sundell). Metalinguistic negotiations are disputes in which speakers disagree about normative issues concerning language, such as issues about what a given word should mean in the relevant context, or which of a range of related concepts a word should express. In a metalinguistic negotiation, speakers argue about (...)
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  • The Natural Probability Theory of Stereotypes.Jacob Stegenga - forthcoming - Diametros:1-27.
    A stereotype is a belief or claim that a group of people has a particular feature. Stereotypes are expressed by sentences that have the form of generic statements, like “Canadians are nice.” Recent work on generics lends new life to understanding generics as statements involving probabilities. I argue that generics (and thus sentences expressing stereotypes) can take one of several forms involving conditional probabilities, and these probabilities have what I call a naturalness requirement. This is the natural probability theory of (...)
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  • Prejudice, generics, and resistance to evidence.M. Giulia Napolitano - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In his book, "Prejudice", Endre Begby offers a novel and engaging account of the epistemology of prejudice which challenges some of the standard assumptions that have so far guided the recent discussion on the topic. One of Begby's central arguments against the standard view of prejudice, according to which a prejudiced person necessarily displays an epistemically culpable resistance to counterevidence, is that, qua stereotype judgments, prejudices can be flexible and rationally maintained upon encountering many disconfirming instances. By expanding on Begby's (...)
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  • Generics and the Metaphysics of Kinds.David Liebesman & Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2021 - Philosophy Compass (7):1-14.
    Recent years have seen renewed interest in the semantics of generics. And a relatively mainstream view in this work is that the semantics of generics must appeal to kinds. But what are kinds? Can we learn anything about their nature by looking at how semantic theories of generics appeal to them? In this article, we overview recent work on the semantics of generics and consider their consequences for our understanding of the metaphysics of kinds.
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  • “Philosophers care about the truth”: Descriptive/normative generics.Olivier Lemeire - 2023 - Mind and Language 38 (3):772-786.
    Some generic generalizations have both a descriptive and a normative reading. The generic sentence “Philosophers care about the truth”, for instance, can be read as describing what philosophers in fact care about, but can also be read as prescribing philosophers to care about the truth. On Leslie’s account, this generic sentence has two readings due to the polysemy of the kind term “philosopher”. In this paper, I first argue against this polysemy account of descriptive/normative generics. In response, a contextualist semantic (...)
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  • Falsifying generic stereotypes.Olivier Lemeire - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2293-2312.
    Generic stereotypes are generically formulated generalizations that express a stereotype, like “Mexican immigrants are rapists” and “Muslims are terrorists.” Stereotypes like these are offensive and should not be asserted by anyone. Yet when someone does assert a sentence like this in a conversation, it is surprisingly difficult to successfully rebut it. The meaning of generic sentences is such that they can be true in several different ways. As a result, a speaker who is challenged after asserting a generic stereotype can (...)
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  • What’s Positive and Negative about Generics: A Constrained Indexical Approach.Junhyo Lee & Anthony Nguyen - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1739-1761.
    Nguyen argues that only his radically pragmatic account and Sterken’s indexical account can capture what we call the positive data. We present some new data, which we call the negative data, and argue that no theory of generics on the market is compatible with both the positive data and the negative data. We develop a novel version of the indexical account and show that it captures both the positive data and the negative data. In particular, we argue that there is (...)
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  • Normative generics: Against semantic polysemy.Samia Hesni - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (3):218-225.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, Volume 10, Issue 3, Page 218-225, September 2021.
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  • Generics as instructions.Samia Hesni - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12587-12602.
    Generic claims like ‘women stay home and raise children’ and ‘boys don’t cry’ are normative generics: generic claims that express a norm. The truth conditions of normative generics are even harder to account for than those for more descriptive generics like ‘ducks lay eggs.’ Until recently, such generics were treated as deviant and thus not accounted for in standard accounts of generics. But recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of normative generics has changed that. In light of this recent (...)
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  • Implicit Bias and Qualiefs.Martina Fürst - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-34.
    In analyzing implicit bias, one key issue is to clarify its metaphysical nature. In this paper, I develop a novel account of implicit bias by highlighting a particular kind of belief-like state that is partly constituted by phenomenal experiences. I call these states ‘qualiefs’ for three reasons: qualiefs draw upon qualitative experiences of what an object seems like to attribute a property to this very object, they share some of the distinctive features of proper beliefs, and they also share some (...)
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  • Introducing new work on indeterminacy and underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-14.
    This paper summarises the contributions to our Topical Collection on indeterminacy and underdetermination. The collection includes papers in ethics, metaethics, logic, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of language and philosophy of computation.
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  • A Problem for Generic Generalisations in Scientific Communication.Mark Bowker - 2023 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 40 (1):123-132.
    Generic generalisations like ‘Opioids are highly addictive’ are very useful in scientific communication, but they can often be interpreted in many different ways. Although this is not a problem when all interpretations provide the same answer to the question under discussion, a problem arises when a generic generalisation is used to answer a question other than that originally intended. In such cases, some interpretations of the generalisation might answer the question in a way that the original speaker would not endorse. (...)
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  • Generics: some (non) specifics.Anne Bosse - 2021 - Synthese (5-6):14383-14401.
    This paper is about an underappreciated aspect of generics: their non-specificity. Many uses of generics, utterances like ‘Seagulls swoop down to steal food’, express non-specific generalisations which do not specify their quantificational force or flavour. I consider whether this non-specificity arises as a by-product of context-sensitivity or semantic incompleteness but argue instead that generics semantically express non-specific generalisations by default as a result of quantifying existentially over more specific ones.
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  • Reflections on knowledge and belief.Simon Bastian Wimmer - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Warwick
    This thesis defends egalitarianism about knowledge and belief, on which neither is understood in terms of the other, from what I call the abductive argument. This argument is meant to favour views opposed to egalitarianism: doxasticism, on which knowledge is understood in terms of belief, and epistemicism, on which belief is understood in terms of knowledge. The abductive argument turns on the idea that doxasticism and epistemicism, by contrast with egalitarianism, explain certain data about knowledge and belief. I argue, however, (...)
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  • Something Out of Nothing: The Semantics and Pragmatics of Implicit Quantification.Ariel Cohen - 2020 - Leiden: Brill. Edited by Klaus von Heusinger & Ken Turner.
    "Some sentences contain no overt quantifier, yet are interpreted quantificationally, e.g., Plumbers are available (entailing that some plumbers are available), or Plumbers are intelligent (whose entailment is less clear, but seems to be saying that a large number of plumbers are intelligent). Where does the quantifier come from? In this book, Ariel Cohen makes the novel proposal that the quantifier is not simply an empty category, but is generated by reinterpretations mechanisms, which are governed by well specified principles. He demonstrates (...)
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  • Generics in Use.Annie Bosse - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Cambridge
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  • Generic Cognition: A Neglected Source of Context Sensitivity.Mahrad Almotahari - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    What is the relationship between the claim that generics articulate psychologically primitive generalizations and the claim that they exhibit a unique form of context sensitivity? This paper maintains that the two claims are compatible. It develops and defends an overlooked form of contextualism grounded in the idiosyncrasies of System 1 thought.
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  • Non-conventionalized Generics and Exceptions.YoungEun Yoon - 2023 - Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics 23:358-375.
    As is well known, research on generics is represented by three approaches: majority- based (Cohen 1996, 1999, 2004), normalcy-based (Nickel 2006; 2009; 2010a, b; 2013; 2016; 2018), and cognition-based (Leslie 2007a, b; 2008; 2013; 2017) approaches. Two recent approaches proposed by van Rooij and Schulz (2020) and Tessler and Goodman (2019) are more elaborated theories on generics, although neither of these approaches nor the three representative theories can fully account for various generics data, as argued by Yoon (2021). On the (...)
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  • Generic Generalizations.Sarah-Jane Leslie & Adam Lerner - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Stereotyping and Generics.Anne Bosse - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    We use generic sentences like ‘Blondes are stupid’ to express stereotypes. But why is this? Does the fact that we use generic sentences to express stereotypes mean that stereotypes are themselves, in some sense, generic? I argue that they are. However, stereotypes are mental and generics linguistic, so how can stereotypes be generic? My answer is that stereotypes are generic in virtue of the beliefs they contain. Stereotypes about blondes being stupid contain a belief element, namely a belief that blondes (...)
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  • Flexible Acceptance Condition of Generics from a Probabilistic Viewpoint: Towards Formalization of the Semantics of Generics.Soo Hyun Ryu, Wonsuk Yang & Jong C. Park - 2022 - Journal Of Psycholinguistic Research.
    Formalization of the semantics of generics has been considered extremely challenging for their inherent vagueness and context-dependence that hinder a single fixed truth condition. The present study suggests a way to formalize the semantics of generics by constructing flexible acceptance conditions with comparative probabilities. Findings from our in-depth psycholinguistic experiment show that two comparative probabilities—cue validity and prevalence—indeed construct the flexible acceptance conditions for generics in a systematic manner that can be applied to a diverse types of generics: Acceptability of (...)
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  • Genericity.Ariel Cohen - 2022 - In Mark Aronoff (ed.), Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 1-35.
    Generics are sentences such as Birds fly, which express generalizations. They are prevalent in speech, and as far as is known, no human language lacks generics. Yet, it is very far from clear what they mean. After all, not all birds fly—penguins don’t! -/- There are two general views about the meaning of generics in the literature, and each view encompasses many specific theories. According to the inductivist view, a generic states that a sufficient number of individuals satisfy a certain (...)
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