We are not a plural subject

ProtoSociology 35:167-196 (2018)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
In "On Social Facts" (1989) and subsequent works, Margaret Gilbert has suggested a plural subject account of the semantics of ‘we’ that claims that a central or standard use of ‘we’ is to refer to an existing or anticipated plural subject. This contrasts with the more general approach to treat plural pronouns as expressions referring to certain pluralities. I argue that (i) the plural subject approach cannot account for certain syntactic phenomena and that (ii) the sense of intimacy, which Gilbert cites as evidence for her plural subject account, has a different source than the existence of joint commitments constituting a respective plural subject. Moreover, (iii) there is a wide varie-ty of phenomena in the linguistic record, which, while not constituting conclusive evidence against the plural subject account, nevertheless, are dealt with better by the plurality account. ‘We’ thus refers to pluralities, which may or may not be plural subjects. The precise analysis of ‘we’ thus reveals a multi-layered ontology of groups.
Categories
(categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
1434-4319
PhilPapers/Archive ID
JANWAN-5
Revision history
Archival date: 2019-07-23
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2019-07-23

Total views
62 ( #33,816 of 43,895 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
62 ( #10,739 of 43,895 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.