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  1. 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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  • The Radical Account of Bare Plural Generics.Anthony Nguyen - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (5):1303-1331.
    Bare plural generic sentences pervade ordinary talk. And yet it is extremely controversial what semantics to assign to such sentences. In this paper, I achieve two tasks. First, I develop a novel classification of the various standard uses to which bare plurals may be put. This “variety data” is important—it gives rise to much of the difficulty in systematically theorizing about bare plurals. Second, I develop a novel account of bare plurals, the radical account. On this account, all bare plurals (...)
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  • Falsifying Generic Stereotypes.Olivier Lemeire - 2021 - 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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  • Genericity Sans Gen.John Collins - 2018 - Mind and Language 33 (1):34-64.
    Generics are exception-admitting generalisations, which find expression in apparently diverse linguistic forms. A standard claim is that there is a hidden linguistic unity to genericity in the form of a covert operator, Gen. This article surveys and rejects a range of considerations that purport to show Gen to be syntactically essential to the explanation of a range of linguistic phenomena connected to genericity. The conclusion reached is that genericity is not a specifically linguistic property insofar as it does not supervene (...)
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  • Generics, Covert Structure and Logical Form.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):503-529.
    The standard view amongst philosophers of language and linguists is that the logical form of generics is quantificational and contains a covert, unpronounced quantifier expression Gen. Recently, some theorists have begun to question the standard view and rekindle the competing proposal, that generics are a species of kind-predication. These theorists offer some forceful objections to the standard view, and new strategies for dealing with the abundance of linguistic evidence in favour of the standard view. I respond to these objections and (...)
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  • Slippery Generics and the Key Schema.Trevor Bloomfield - manuscript
    In ‘Language and Race’, Luvell Anderson, Sally Haslanger, and Rae Langton highlight a slip of ambiguous expression exhibited by racial generics that harbor bad faith arguments, reduces social contingencies to racial essences, and masks oppression. They locate two psycholinguistic slips between classes of generics which communicate their use; one is between the characteristic generic and striking property generic and the other is between the characteristic generic and majority generic. I postulate three additional slips between classes of generics and speaker beliefs; (...)
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  • Generic Animalism.Andrew M. Bailey & Peter Van Elswyk - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    The animalist says we are animals. This thesis is commonly understood as the universal generalization that all human persons are human animals. This article proposes an alternative: the thesis is a generic that admits of exceptions. We defend the resulting view, which we call generic animalism, and show its aptitude for diagnosing the limits of eight case-based objections to animalism.
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  • Language Loss and Illocutionary Silencing.Ethan Nowak - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):831-865.
    The twenty-first century will witness an unprecedented decline in the diversity of the world’s languages. While most philosophers will likely agree that this decline is lamentable, the question of what exactly is lost with a language has not been systematically explored in the philosophical literature. In this paper, I address this lacuna by arguing that language loss constitutes a problematic form of illocutionary silencing. When a language disappears, past and present speakers lose the ability to realize a range of speech (...)
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  • The Sophisticated Kind Theory.Matt Teichman - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-47.
    Generic sentences are commonsense statements of the form ‘Fs are G,’ like ‘Bears have fur’ or ‘Rattlesnakes are poisonous.’ Kind theories hold that rather than being general statements about indivi...
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  • Agentive Modals.Matthew Mandelkern, Ginger Schultheis & David Boylan - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (3):301-343.
    This essay proposes a new theory of agentive modals: ability modals and their duals, compulsion modals. After criticizing existing approaches—the existential quantificational analysis, the universal quantificational analysis, and the conditional analysis—it presents a new account that builds on both the existential and conditional analyses. On this account, the act conditional analysis, a sentence like ‘John can swim across the river’ says that there is some practically available action that is such that if John tries to do it, he swims across (...)
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  • Generics and Weak Necessity.Ravi Thakral - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-28.
    A prevailing thought is that generics have a covert modal operator at logical form. I claim that if this is right, the covert generic modality is a weak necessity modal. In this paper, I pr...
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  • The Meaning of Generics.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2017 - Philosophy Compass 12 (8):e12431.
    This article discusses recent theories of the meaning of generics. The discussion is centred on how the theories differ in their approach to addressing the primary difficulty in providing a theory of generic meaning: The notoriously complex ways in which the truth conditions of generics seem to vary. In addition, the article summarizes considerations for and against each theory.
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  • Generic Generalizations.Sarah-Jane Leslie & Adam Lerner - 2016 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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