Variables, generality and existence

In Paolo Valore (ed.), Topics on General and Formal Ontology. Polimetrica International Scientific Publisher. pp. 27 (2006)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

So-called mass nouns, however precisely they are defined, are in any case a subset of non-count nouns. Count nouns are either singular or plural; to be non-count is hence to be neither singular nor plural. This is not, as such, a metaphysically significant contrast: 'pieces of furniture' is plural whereas 'furniture' itself is non-count. This contrast is simply between 'the many / few' and 'the much / little' - between counting and measuring. However not all non-count nouns are, like 'furniture', semantically atomic - 'wine' and 'water' are not. And here there are serious difficulties in the assignment of a range of values for variables, in a formal representation of quantified sentences involving such non-atomic non-count nouns.

Author's Profile

Henry Laycock
Queen's University

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
347 (#53,671)

6 months
68 (#76,112)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?