Composition and Relative Counting

Dialectica 71 (4):489-529 (2017)
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According to the so-called strong variant of Composition as Identity (CAI), the Principle of Indiscernibility of Identicals can be extended to composition, by resorting to broadly Fregean relativizations of cardinality ascriptions. In this paper we analyze various ways in which this relativization could be achieved. According to one broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about objects, while concepts occupy an additional argument place. It should be possible to paraphrase the cardinality ascriptions in plural logic and, as a consequence, relative counting requires the relativization either of quantifiers, or of identity, or of the is one of relation. However, some of these relativizations do not deliver the expected results, and others rely on problematic assumptions. In another broad variety of relativization, cardinality ascriptions are about concepts or sets. The most promising development of this approach is prima facie connected with a violation of the so-called Coreferentiality Constraint, according to which an identity statement is true only if its terms have the same referent. Moreover - even provided that the problem with coreferentiality can be fixed - the resulting analysis of cardinality ascriptions meets several difficulties.

Author Profiles

Giorgio Lando
Università degli Studi dell'Aquila
Massimiliano Carrara
University of Padua


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