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Friederike Moltmann
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
  1.  32
    Attitudinal Objects: Their Ontology and Importance for Philosophy and Natural Language Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Brian Brian & Christoph Schuringa (eds.), Judgment. Act and Object. Routledge Studies in Contemporary Philosophy. Routledge.
    This paper argues for the philosophical and semantic importance of attitudinal objects, entities such as judgments, claims, beliefs, demands, and desires, as an ontological category distinct from that of events and states and from that of propositions. The paper presents significant revisions and refinements of the notion of an attitudinal object as it was developed in my previous work.
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  2. Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Oxford University Press.
    This book pursues the question of how and whether natural language allows for reference to abstract objects in a fully systematic way. By making full use of contemporary linguistic semantics, it presents a much greater range of linguistic generalizations than has previously been taken into consideration in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological picture is very different from that generally taken for granted by philosophers and semanticists alike. Reference to abstract objects such as properties, numbers, propositions, and degrees (...)
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  3. Reference to Numbers in Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (3):499 - 536.
    A common view is that natural language treats numbers as abstract objects, with expressions like the number of planets, eight, as well as the number eight acting as referential terms referring to numbers. In this paper I will argue that this view about reference to numbers in natural language is fundamentally mistaken. A more thorough look at natural language reveals a very different view of the ontological status of natural numbers. On this view, numbers are not primarily treated abstract objects, (...)
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  4.  44
    Chapter 5: Intensional Transitive Verbs and Their 'Objects'.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In Abstract Objects and the semantics of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter gives a truthmaker-based account of the semantics of 'reifying' quantifiers like 'something' when they act as complements of intensional transitive verbs ('need', 'look for'). It argues that such quantifiers range over 'variable satisfiers' of the attitudinal object described by the verb (e.g. the need or the search).
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  5.  60
    An Object‐Based Truthmaker Semantics for Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Philosophical Issues 28 (1):255-288.
    Possible worlds semantics faces a range of difficulties for at least certain types of modals, especially deontic modals with their distinction between heavy and light permissions and obligations. This paper outlines a new semantics of modals that aims to overcome some of those difficulties. The semantics is based on an a novel ontology of modal objects, entities like obligations, permissions, needs, as well as epistemic states, abilities, and essences. Moreover, it is based on truthmaking, in the sense of Fine’s recent (...)
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  6.  71
    Truth Predicates, Truth Bearers, and Their Variants.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - Synthese:1-28.
    This paper argues that truth predicates in natural language and their variants, predicates of correctness, satisfaction and validity, do not apply to propositions (not even with 'that'-clauses), but rather to a range of attitudinal and modal objects. As such natural language reflects a notion of truth that is primarily a normative notion of correctness constitutive of representational objects. The paper moreover argues that 'true' is part of a larger class of satisfaction predicates whose semantic differences are best accounted for in (...)
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  7. Propositions, Attitudinal Objects, and the Distinction Between Actions and Products.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supplementary Volume on Propositions, Edited by G. Rattan and D. Hunter 43 (5-6):679-701.
    This paper argues that attitudinal objects, entities of the sort of John's judgment, John's thought, and John's claim, should play the role of propositions, as the cognitive products of cognitive acts, not the acts themselves.
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  8.  58
    Clauses as Semantic Predicates: Difficulties for Possible-Worlds Semantics.Friederike Moltmann - 2018 - Festschrift for Angelika Kratzer.
    The standard view of clauses embedded under attitude verbs or modal predicates is that they act as terms standing for propositions, a view that faces a range of philosophical and linguistic difficulties. Recently an alternative has been explored according to which embedded clauses act semantically as predicates of content-bearing objects. This paper argues that this approach faces serious problems when it is based on possible worlds-semantics. It outlines a development of the approach in terms of truthmaker theory instead.
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  9. Natural Language Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Oxford Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
    The aim of natural language ontology is to uncover the ontological categories and structures that are implicit in the use of natural language, that is, that a speaker accepts when using a language. This article aims to clarify what exactly the subject matter of natural language ontology is, what sorts of linguistic data it should take into account, how natural language ontology relates to other branches of metaphysics, in what ways natural language ontology is important, and what may be distinctive (...)
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  10. Number Words as Number Names.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Linguistics and Philosophy 40 (4):331-345.
    This paper critically evaluates the view according to which number words in argument position retain the meaning they have when occurring as determiners or adjectives. In particular, it argues against syntactic evidence from German given by myself in support of that view.
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  11. Generic One, Arbitrary PRO, and the First Person.Friederike Moltmann - 2006 - Natural Language Semantics 14 (3):257–281.
    The generic pronoun 'one' (or its empty counterpart, arbitrary PRO) exhibits a range of properties that show a special connection to the first person, or rather the relevant intentional agent (speaker, addressee, or described agent). The paper argues that generic 'one' involves generic quantification in which the predicate is applied to a given entity ‘as if’ to the relevant agent himself. This is best understood in terms of simulation, a central notion in some recent developments in the philosophy of mind (...)
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  12. Parts and Wholes in Semantics (TOC).Friederike Moltmann - 1997 - Oxford University Press.
    This book present a unified semantic theory of expressions involving the notions of part and whole. It develops a theory of part structures which differs from traditional (extensional) mereological theories in that the notion of an integrated whole plays a central role and in that the part structure of an entity is allowed to vary across different situations, perspectives, and dimensions. The book presents a great range of empirical generalizations involving plurals, mass nouns, adnominal and adverbial modifiers such as 'whole', (...)
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  13. 'Truth Predicates' in Natural Language.Friederike Moltmann - 2015 - In Dora Achourioti, Henri Galinon & José Martinez (eds.), Unifying Theories of Truth. Springer. pp. 57-83.
    This takes a closer look at the actual semantic behavior of apparent truth predicates in English and re-evaluates the way they could motivate particular philosophical views regarding the formal status of 'truth predicates' and their semantics. The paper distinguishes two types of 'truth predicates' and proposes semantic analyses that better reflect the linguistic facts. These analyses match particular independently motivated philosophical views.
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  14. Partial Content and Expressions of Part and Whole. Discussion of Stephen Yablo: Aboutness.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):797-808.
    In 'Aboutness' (MIT Press 2014), Yablo argues for the importance of the notions of partial content and partial truth. This paper argues that they are involved in a much greater range of entities than acknowledged by Yablo. The paper also argues that some of those entities involve a notion of partial satisfaction as well as partial existence (validity).
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  15. The Semantics of Existence.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (1):31-63.
    The notion of existence is a very puzzling one philosophically. Often philosophers have appealed to linguistic properties of sentences stating existence. However, the appeal to linguistic intuitions has generally not been systematic and without serious regard of relevant issues in linguistic semantics. This paper has two aims. On the one hand, it will look at statements of existence from a systematic linguistic point of view, in order to try to clarify what the actual semantics of such statements in fact is. (...)
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  16. Existence Predicates.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Natural languages generally distinguishes among different existence predicates for different types of entities, such as English 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain'. The paper gives an in-depth discussion and analysis of a range of existence predicates in natural language within the general project of descriptive metaphysics, or more specifically ‘natural language ontology’.
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  17.  88
    States Versus Tropes. Comments on C. Anderson and M. Morzycki: 'Degrees as Kinds'.Friederike Moltmann - 2015 - Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 33 (3):829-841.
    In their paper ‘Degrees as Kinds’, Anderson and Morzycki, demonstrate how certain constructions in a range of languages treat kinds, manners, and degrees alike. Their proposal is to identify degrees with kinds of states and they consider states to be interchangeable with tropes. In these comments, I will raise some issues about the interchangeability of (concrete) states and tropes as well as the category of concrete states as well as Anderson and Morzycki's analysis of the comparative.
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  18. Levels of Linguistic Acts and the Semantics of Saying and Quoting.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - In Savas L. Tsohatzidis (ed.), Interpreting Austin: Critical Essays. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 34-59.
    This paper will outline a novel semantics of verbs of saying and of quotation based on Austin’s (1962) distinction among levels of linguistic acts (illocutionary, locutionary, rhetic, phatic, and phonetic acts). It will propose a way of understanding the notion of a rhetic act and argue that it is well-reflected in the semantics of natural language. The paper will furthermore outline a novel, unified and compositional semantics of quotation which is guided by two ideas. First, quotations convey properties related to (...)
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  19.  61
    Natural Language and its Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Alvin Goldman & Brian Mclaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This paper gives a characterization of the ontology implicit in natural language and the entities it involves, situates natural language ontology within metaphysics, and responds to Chomskys' dismissal of externalist semantics.
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  20. Part Structures, Integrity, and the Mass-Count Distinction.Friederike Moltmann - 1998 - Synthese 116 (1):75 - 111.
    The notions of part and whole play an important role for ontology and in many areas of the semantics of natural language. Both in philosophy and linguistic semantics, usually a particular notion of part structure is used, that of extensional mereology. This paper argues that such a notion is insufficient for ontology and, especially, for the semantic analysis of the relevant constructionsof natural language. What is needed for the notion of part structure,in addition to an ordering among parts, is the (...)
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  21. Two Kinds of Universals and Two Kinds of Collections.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Linguistics and Philosophy 27 (6):739 - 776.
    This paper argues for an ontological distinction between two kinds of universals, 'kinds of tropes' such as 'wisdom' and properties such as 'the property of being wise'. It argues that the distinction is parallel to that between two kinds of collections, pluralities such as 'the students' and collective objects such as 'the class'. The paper argues for the priortity of distributive readings with pluralities on the basis of predicates of extent or shape, such 'large' or 'long'.
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  22. Names and the Mass-Count Distinction.Friederike Moltmann - manuscript
    This paper reviews the role of sortals in the syntax and semantics of proper names and the related question of a mass-count distinction among proper names. The paper argues that sortals play a significant role with proper names and that that role matches individuating or ‘sortal’ classifiers in languages lacking a mass-count distinction. Proper names do not themselves classify as count, but may classify as mass or rather number-neutral. This also holds for other expressions or uses of expressions that lack (...)
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  23.  85
    Attitude Reports, Cognitive Products, and Attitudinal Objects: A Response to G. Felappi On Product‐Based Accounts of Attitudes.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):3-12.
    In a range of recent and not so recent work, I have developed a novel semantics of attitude reports on which the notion of an attitudinal object or cognitive product takes center stage, that is, entities such as thoughts claims and decisions. The purpose of this note is to give a brief summary of this account against the background of the standard semantics of attitude reports and to show that the various sorts of criticism that Felappi recently advanced against it (...)
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  24. Situations, Alternatives, and the Semantics of 'Cases'.Friederike Moltmann - manuscript
    This paper presents a systematic semantic study of constructions with the noun 'case'. It argues that 'cases' are situations acting as truthmakers within a sentential or epistemic specified case-space. It develops a truthmaker-based alternative semantics of 'case'-constructions, based on Fine's recent truthmaker semantics.
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  25. Identificational Sentences.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Natural Language Semantics 21 (1):43-77.
    Based on the notion of a trope, this paper gives a novel analysis of identificational sentences such as 'this is Mary','this is a beautiful woman', 'this looks like Mary', or 'this is the same lump of clay, but not the same statue as that'.
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  26. On the Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Syntactic Trees.Friederike Moltmann - 1992 - In Chris Barker & David Dowty (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 2, Ohio State University.
    Syntacticians have proposed three-dimensional syntactic structures to account for the peculiarities of coordination. This paper proposes a way of interpreting such structures and gives an account of sentences of the sort 'John bought and Mary sold a total of ten cars' based on a notion of 'implicit' coordination.
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  27. Nominals and Event Structure.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Robert Truswell (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Event Structure . Oxford UP.
    This paper discusses three approaches to the semantics of event nominalizations and adverbial modification: the Davidsonian account, the Kimian account, and the truthmaker account. It argues that a combination of all three accounts is needed for the semantics of the full range of event, trope, and state nominalizations in English.
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  28. Plural Reference and Reference to a Plurality. Linguistic Facts and Semantic Analyses.Friederike Moltmann - 2016 - In Massimiliano Carrara, Alexandra Arapinis & Friederike Moltmann (eds.), Unity and Plurality. Logic, Philosophy, and Semantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 93-120.
    This paper defends 'plural reference', the view that definite plurals refer to several individuals at once, and it explores how the view can account for a range of phenomena that have been discussed in the linguistic literature.
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  29. Tropes, Intensional Relative Clauses, and the Notion of a Variable Object.Friederike Moltmann - 2012 - In Aloni Maria, Kimmelman Vadim, Weidman Sassoon Galit, Roloefson Floris, Schulz Katrin & Westera Matthjis (eds.), Proceedings of the 18th Amsterdam Colloquium 2011. Springer.
    NPs with intensional relative clauses such as 'the impact of the book John needs to write' pose a significant challenge for trope theory (the theory of particularized properties), since they seem to refer to tropes that lack an actual bearer. This paper proposes a novel semantic analysis of such NPs on the basis of the notion of a variable object. The analysis avoids a range of difficulties that an alternative analysis based on the notion of an individual concept would face.
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  30. The Semantics of Together.Friederike Moltmann - 2004 - Natural Language Semantics 12 (4):289-318.
    The semantic function of the modifier 'together' in adnominal position has generally been considered to be that of preventing a distributive reading of the predicate. This paper will argue that this view is mistaken. The semantic function of adnominal 'together' rather is that of inducing a cumulative measurement of the group that together is associated with. The measurement-based analysis of adnominal together that I propose can also, with some modifications, be extended to adverbial occurrences of together.
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  31. Variable Objects and Truthmaking.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Mircea Dumitru (ed.), Metaphysics, Meaning, and Modality. Themes from Kit Fine. Oxford University Press.
    This paper will focus on a philosophically significant construction whose semantics brings together two important notions in Kit Fine’s philosophy, the notion of truthmaking and the notion of a variable embodiment, or its extension, namely what I call a ‘variable object’. The analysis of the construction this paper will develop will be based on an account of clausal complements of intensional verbs that is of more general interest, based on truthmaking and the notion of a cognitive product, such as a (...)
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  32. Quantification with Intentional and with Intensional Verbs.Friederike Moltmann - 2015 - In Alessandro Torza (ed.), Quantifiers, Quantifiers, and Quantifiers. Springer.
    The question whether natural language permits quantification over intentional objects as the ‘nonexistent’ objects of thought is the topic of a major philosophical controversy, as is the status of intentional objects as such. This paper will argue that natural language does reflect a particular notion of intentional object and in particular that certain types of natural language constructions (generally disregarded in the philosophical literature) cannot be analysed without positing intentional objects. At the same time, those intentional objects do not come (...)
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  33.  31
    Chapter 3: The Semantics of Special Quantifiers in Predicate Position.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In Abstract Objects and the semantics of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter argues that special quantifiers such as 'something' when occurring in argument position are not ordinary or substitutional quantifiers; rather they have a reifying force introducing a domain of tropes or kinds of tropes to quantify over.
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  34. Attitudinal Objects and the Distinction Between Actions and Products.Friederike Moltmann - manuscript
    This paper explores a notion of a truth-bearing entity that is distinct both from a proposition and from an intentional event, state, or action, namely the notion of an attitudinal object. Attitudinal objects are entities like ‘John’s belief that S’, John’s claim that S’, ‘John’s desire that S’, or ‘John’s request that S’. The notion of an attitudinal object has an important precedent in the work of the Polish philosopher Twardowski (1912), who drew a more general distinction between ‘actions’ and (...)
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  35.  26
    Chapter 6: Reifying Terms.Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - In Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter develops a semantics for 'reifying terms' of the sort 'the proposition that S', 'the fact that S', 'the property of being P', 'the number eight', 'the concept horse', 'the truth value true', 'the kind humane being'. This semantics is developed within the broader perspective of the ontology of natural language involving abstract objects only at its periphery, not its core.
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  36.  92
    Cognitive Products and the Semantics of Attitude Verbs and Deontic Modals.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - In Friederike Moltmann & Mark Textor (eds.), Act-Based Conceptions of Propositional Content. Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 254-290.
    This paper outlines a semantic account of attitude reports and deontic modals based on cognitive and illocutionary products, mental states, and modal products, as opposed to the notion of an abstract proposition or a cognitive act.
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  37. Coordination and Comparatives.Friederike Moltmann - 1992 - Dissertation, MIT
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  38. The Number of Planets, a Number-Referring Term?Friederike Moltmann - 2016 - In Philip A. Ebert & Marcus Rossberg (eds.), Abstractionism: Essays in Philosophy of Mathematics. Oxford University Press. pp. 113-129.
    The question whether numbers are objects is a central question in the philosophy of mathematics. Frege made use of a syntactic criterion for objethood: numbers are objects because there are singular terms that stand for them, and not just singular terms in some formal language, but in natural language in particular. In particular, Frege (1884) thought that both noun phrases like the number of planets and simple numerals like eight as in (1) are singular terms referring to numbers as abstract (...)
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  39.  79
    Intensional Relative Clauses and the Semantics of Variable Objects.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Manfred Krifka & Schenner Mathias (eds.), Reconstruction Effects in Relative Clauses. De Gruyter.
    NPs with intensional relative clauses such as 'the book John needs to write' pose a significant challenge for semantic theory. Such NPs act like referential terms, yet they do not stand for a particular actual object. This paper will develop a semantic analysis of such NPs on the basis of the notion of a variable object. The analysis avoids a range of difficulties that a more standard analysis based on the notion of an individual concept would face. Most importantly, unlike (...)
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  40.  39
    A Plural Reference Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Syntactic Trees.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - In C. van Urk / H. Kotek / C. Halpert (eds.): A Pesky Set. Papers for David Pesetsky . MIT Working Papers in Linguistics (MITWPL) 80, MIT Cambridge (Mass.). Cambridge, MA:
    Various syntacticians have argued that coordinate structures involve a three-dimensional syntactic structure. This paper proposes an interpretation of three-dimensional syntactic structures in terms of plural reference and argues that such structures give further support for plural reference, the view that plural terms refer to several entities at once, rather than referring to a single plural individual.
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  41.  31
    Nominalizations: The Case of Nominalizations of Modal Predicates.Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - In Lisa Matthewson, Cécile Meier, Hotze Rullman & Thomas Ede Zimmermann (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Semantics. Wiley.
    Nominalizations of modal predicates have received little, if any, attention in the semantic or philosophical literature. This paper will argue that nominalizations of modal predicates require recognizing a novel ontological category of modal objects and it will outline a new semantics of modals based on modal objects.
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  42.  41
    On the Ontology of 'Cases'.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - In N. Flaux, P. Haas, K. Paykin, V. Mostrov & F. Tayalati (eds.), "De la passion du sens en linguistique: hommages à Danièle Van de Velde". Les Presses Universitaires de Valenciennes.
    This paper gives an account of constructions with the noun 'case' based on truthmaking and argues that 'cases' form their own ontological category.
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  43. Unity and Plurality. Philosophy, Logic, and Semantics.Massimiliano Carrara, Alessandra Arapinis & Friederike Moltmann - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume brings together new work on the logic and ontology of plurality and a range of recent articles exploring novel applications to natural language semantics. The contributions in this volume in particular investigate and extend new perspectives presented by plural logic and non-standard mereology and explore their applications to a range of natural language phenomena. Contributions by P. Aquaviva, A. Arapinis, M. Carrara, P. McKay, F. Moltmann, O. Linnebo, A. Oliver and T. Smiley, T. Scaltsas, P. Simons, and B.-Y. (...)
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  44. Act-Based Conceptions of Propositional Content. Contemporary and Historical Perspectives.Friederike Moltmann & Mark Textor (eds.) - 2017 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    Ever since Frege, propositions have played a central role in philosophy of language. Propositions are generally conceived as abstract objects that have truth conditions essentially and fulfill both the role of the meaning of sentences and of the objects or content of propositional attitudes. More recently, the abstract conception of propositions has given rise to serious dissatisfaction among a number of philosophers, who have instead proposed a conception of propositional content based on cognitive acts (Hanks, Moltmann, Soames). This approach is (...)
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  45. Propositions and Attitudinal Objects (Chapter 4 of Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language, OUP 2013).Friederike Moltmann - 2013 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Propositions have played a central role in philosophy of language since Frege. I will argue that the notion of a proposition, because of a range of philosophical problems as well as problems of linguistic adequacy, should be replaced by a different notion, for almost all the roles for it has been invoked, namely by the notion of an attitudinal object. Attitudinal objects are entities like ‘John’s belief that S’, ‘John’s claim that S’, and ‘John’s desire to do X’. Attitudinal objects (...)
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  46. Mass and Count in Linguistics, Philosophy, and Cognitive Science.Friederike Moltmann (ed.) - forthcoming - John Benjamins.
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  47.  34
    Objects and Attitudes (Book Outline, Under Contract with Oxford University Press).Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming
    This book pursues a novel semantics of attitude reports and modal sentences based on the notion of an attitudinal or modal object and its truthmakers.
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  48.  23
    Plural Reference and Syntactic Three-Dimensionality (Book Proposal, Under Contract).Friederike Moltmann - forthcoming - Oxford University Press.
    The book argues for Plural Reference for the semantics of natural language and makes the connection between Plural Reference and Alternative Semantics for the purpose of the interpretation of three-dimensional syntactic structures of coordinate sentences (in the sense of my 1992 MIT Ph D thesis).
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