One well known problem regarding quantifiers, in particular the 1st order quantifiers, is connected with their syntactic categories and denotations.The unsatisfactory efforts to establish the syntactic and ontological categories of quantifiers in formalized first-order languages can be solved by means of the so called principle of categorial compatibility formulated by Roman Suszko, referring to some innovative ideas of Gottlob Frege and visible in syntactic and semantic compatibility of language expressions. In the paper the principle is introduced for (...) categorial languages generated by the Ajdukiewicz’s classical categorial grammar. The 1st-order quantifiers are typically ambiguous. Every 1st-order quantifier of the type k > 0 is treated as a two-argument functor-function defined on the variable standing at this quantifier and its scope (the sentential function with exactly k free variables, including the variable bound by this quantifier); a binary function defined on denotations of its two arguments is its denotation. Denotations of sentential functions, and hence also quantifiers, are defined separately in Fregean and in situational semantics. They belong to the ontological categories that correspond to the syntactic categories of these sentential functions and the considered quantifiers. The main result of the paper is a solution of the problem of categories of the 1st-order quantifiers based on the principle of categorial compatibility. (shrink)
Timothy Williamson has argued that in the debate on modal ontology, the familiar distinction between actualism and possibilism should be replaced by a distinction between positions he calls contingentism and necessitism. He has also argued in favor of necessitism, using results on quantified modal logic with plurally interpreted second-order quantifiers showing that necessitists can draw distinctions contingentists cannot draw. Some of these results are similar to well-known results on the relative expressivity of quantified modal logics with so-called inner and (...) outer quantifiers. The present paper deals with these issues in the context of quantified modal logics with generalized quantifiers. Its main aim is to establish two results for such a logic: Firstly, contingentists can draw the distinctions necessitists can draw if and only if the logic with inner quantifiers is at least as expressive as the logic with outer quantifiers, and necessitists can draw the distinctions contingentists can draw if and only if the logic with outer quantifiers is at least as expressive as the logic with inner quantifiers. Secondly, the former two items are the case if and only if all of the generalized quantifiers are first-order definable, and the latter two items are the case if and only if first-order logic with these generalized quantifiers relativizes. (shrink)
One well known problem regarding quantifiers, in particular the 1storder quantifiers, is connected with their syntactic categories and denotations. The unsatisfactory efforts to establish the syntactic and ontological categories of quantifiers in formalized first-order languages can be solved by means of the so called principle of categorial compatibility formulated by Roman Suszko, referring to some innovative ideas of Gottlob Frege and visible in syntactic and semantic compatibility of language expressions. In the paper the principle is introduced for (...) categorial languages generated by the Ajdukiewicz’s classical categorial grammar. The 1st-order quantifiers are typically ambiguous. Every 1st-order quantifier of the type k > 0 is treated as a two-argument functorfunction defined on the variable standing at this quantifier and its scope (the sentential function with exactly k free variables, including the variable bound by this quantifier); a binary function defined on denotations of its two arguments is its denotation. Denotations of sentential functions, and hence also quantifiers, are defined separately in Fregean and in situational semantics. They belong to the ontological categories that correspond to the syntactic categories of these sentential functions and the considered quantifiers. The main result of the paper is a solution of the problem of categories of the 1st-order quantifiers based on the principle of categorial compatibility. (shrink)
In this paper I propose a set-theoretical interpretation of the logical square of opposition, in the perspective opened by generalized quantifier theory. Generalized quantifiers allow us to account for the semantics of quantificational Noun Phrases, and of other natural language expressions, in a coherent and uniform way. I suggest that in the analysis of the meaning of Noun Phrases and Determiners the square of opposition may help representing some semantic features responsible to different logical properties of these expressions. I (...) will conclude with some consideration on scope interactions between quantifiers. (shrink)
The Generalized Quantifiers Theory, I will argue, in the second half of last Century has led to an important rapprochement, relevant both in logic and in linguistics, between logical quantification theories and the semantic analysis of quantification in natural languages. In this paper I concisely illustrate the formal aspects and the theoretical implications of this rapprochement.
I here argue that Ted Sider's indeterminacy argument against vagueness in quantifiers fails. Sider claims that vagueness entails precisifications, but holds that precisifications of quantifiers cannot be coherently described: they will either deliver the wrong logical form to quantified sentences, or involve a presupposition that contradicts the claim that the quantifier is vague. Assuming (as does Sider) that the “connectedness” of objects can be precisely defined, I present a counter-example to Sider's contention, consisting of a partial, implicit definition (...) of the existential quantifier that in effect sets a given degree of connectedness among the putative parts of an object as a condition upon there being something (in the sense in question) with those parts. I then argue that such an implicit definition, taken together with an “auxiliary logic” (e.g., introduction and elimination rules), proves to function as a precisification in just the same way as paradigmatic precisifications of, e.g., “red”. I also argue that with a quantifier that is stipulated as maximally tolerant as to what mereological sums there are, precisifications can be given in the form of truth-conditions of quantified sentences, rather than by implicit definition. (shrink)
Quantification over individuals, times, and worlds can in principle be made explicit in the syntax of the object language, or left to the semantics and spelled out in the meta-language. The traditional view is that quantification over individuals is syntactically explicit, whereas quantification over times and worlds is not. But a growing body of literature proposes a uniform treatment. This paper examines the scopal interaction of aspectual raising verbs (begin), modals (can), and intensional raising verbs (threaten) with quantificational subjects in (...) Shupamem, Dutch, and English. It appears that aspectual raising verbs and at least modals may undergo the same kind of overt or covert scope-changing operations as nominal quantifiers; the case of intensional raising verbs is less clear. Scope interaction is thus shown to be a new potential diagnostic of object-linguistic quantification, and the similarity in the scope behavior of nominal and verbal quantifiers supports the grammatical plausibility of ontological symmetry, explored in Schlenker (2006). (shrink)
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.
Our main goal is to investigate whether the infinitary rules for the quantifiers endorsed by Elia Zardini in a recent paper are plausible. First, we will argue that they are problematic in several ways, especially due to their infinitary features. Secondly, we will show that even if these worries are somehow dealt with, there is another serious issue with them. They produce a truth-theoretic paradox that does not involve the structural rules of contraction.
Aristotle's syllogistic is extended to include denumerably many quantifiers such as 'more than 2/3' and 'exactly 2/3.' Syntactic and semantic decision procedures determine the validity, or invalidity, of syllogisms with any finite number of premises. One of the syntactic procedures uses a natural deduction account of deducibility, which is sound and complete. The semantics for the system is non-classical since sentences may be assigned a value other than true or false. Results about symmetric systems are given. And reasons are (...) given for claiming that syllogistic validity is relevant validity. (shrink)
The first aim of the paper is to show that under certain conditions generative syntax can be made suitable for Montague semantics, based on his type logic. One of the conditions is to make branching in the so-called X-bar syntax strictly binary, This makes it possible to provide an adequate semantics for Noun Phrases by taking them as referring to sets of collections of sets of entities ( type <ett,t>) rather than to sets of sets of entities (ett).
Imperatives cannot be true or false, so they are shunned by logicians. And yet imperatives can be combined by logical connectives: "kiss me and hug me" is the conjunction of "kiss me" with "hug me". This example may suggest that declarative and imperative logic are isomorphic: just as the conjunction of two declaratives is true exactly if both conjuncts are true, the conjunction of two imperatives is satisfied exactly if both conjuncts are satisfied—what more is there to say? Much more, (...) I argue. "If you love me, kiss me", a conditional imperative, mixes a declarative antecedent ("you love me") with an imperative consequent ("kiss me"); it is satisfied if you love and kiss me, violated if you love but don't kiss me, and avoided if you don't love me. So we need a logic of three -valued imperatives which mixes declaratives with imperatives. I develop such a logic. (shrink)
I examine three ‘anti-object’ metaphysical views: nihilism, generalism, and anti-quantificationalism. After setting aside nihilism, I argue that generalists should be anti-quantificationalists. Along the way, I attempt to articulate what a ‘metaphysically perspicuous’ language might even be.
I argue that the conjunction of perdurantism (the view that objects are temporally extended) and universalism (the thesis that any old class of things has a mereological fusion) gives rise to undesired complications when combined with certain plausible assumptions concerning the semantics of tensed statements.
Quine introduced a famous distinction between the ‘notional’ sense and the ‘relational’ sense of certain attitude verbs. The distinction is both intuitive and sound but is often conflated with another distinction Quine draws between ‘dyadic’ and ‘triadic’ (or higher degree) attitudes. I argue that this conflation is largely responsible for the mistaken view that Quine’s account of attitudes is undermined by the problem of the ‘exportation’ of singular terms within attitude contexts. Quine’s system is also supposed to suffer from the (...) problem of ‘suspended judgement with continued belief’. I argue that this criticism fails to take account of a crucial presupposition of Quine’s about the connection between thought and language. The aim of the paper is to defend the spirit of Quine’s account of attitudes by offering solutions to these two problems. (shrink)
Section 1 provides a brief summary of the pair-list literature singling out some points that are particularly relevant for the coming discussion. -/- Section 2 shows that the dilemma of quantifi cation versus domain restriction arises only in extensional complement interrogatives. In matrix questions and in intensional complements only universals support pairlist readings, whence the simplest domain restriction treatment suffices. Related data including conjunction, disjunction, and cumulative readings are discussed -/- Section 3 argues that in the case of extensional complements (...) the domain restriction treatment is inadequate for at least two independent reasons. One has to do with the fact that not only upward monotonic quantifi ers support pairlist readings, and the other with the derivation of apparent scope out readings. The reasoning is supplemented with some discussion of the semantic properties of layered quantifi ers. The above will establish the need for quantifi cation, so the question arises how the objections explicitly enlisted in the literature against quantifi cation can be answered. Section 4 considers the de dicto reading of the quantifi er s restriction, quanti cational variability, and the absence of pairlist readings with whether questions, and argues that they need not militate against the quanti ficational analysis. -/- Section 5 summarizes the emergent proposal -/- Finally, section 6 discusses the signifi cance of the above findings for the behavior of weak islands. (shrink)
Recent work in formal semantics suggests that the language system includes not only a structure building device, as standardly assumed, but also a natural deductive system which can determine when expressions have trivial truth‐conditions (e.g., are logically true/false) and mark them as unacceptable. This hypothesis, called the ‘logicality of language’, accounts for many acceptability patterns, including systematic restrictions on the distribution of quantifiers. To deal with apparent counter‐examples consisting of acceptable tautologies and contradictions, the logicality of language is often (...) paired with an additional assumption according to which logical forms are radically underspecified: i.e., the language system can see functional terms but is ‘blind’ to open class terms to the extent that different tokens of the same term are treated as if independent. This conception of logical form has profound implications: it suggests an extreme version of the modularity of language, and can only be paired with non‐classical—indeed quite exotic—kinds of deductive systems. The aim of this paper is to show that we can pair the logicality of language with a different and ultimately more traditional account of logical form. This framework accounts for the basic acceptability patterns which motivated the logicality of language, can explain why some tautologies and contradictions are acceptable, and makes better predictions in key cases. As a result, we can pursue versions of the logicality of language in frameworks compatible with the view that the language system is not radically modular vis‐á‐vis its open class terms and employs a deductive system that is basically classical. (shrink)
Sentences about logic are often used to show that certain embedding expressions, including attitude verbs, conditionals, and epistemic modals, are hyperintensional. Yet it not clear how to regiment “logic talk” in the object language so that it can be compositionally embedded under such expressions. This paper does two things. First, it argues against a standard account of logic talk, viz., the impossible worlds semantics. It is shown that this semantics does not easily extend to a language with propositional quantifiers, (...) which are necessary for regimenting some logic talk. Second, it develops an alternative framework based on logical expressivism, which explains logic talk using shifting conventions. When combined with the standard S5π+ semantics for propositional quantifiers, this framework results in a well-behaved system that does not face the problems of the impossible worlds semantics. It can also be naturally extended with hybrid operators to regiment a broader range of logic talk, e.g., claims about what laws hold according to other logics. The resulting system, called hyperlogic, is therefore a better framework for modeling logic talk than previous accounts. (shrink)
Cantor’s proof that the powerset of the set of all natural numbers is uncountable yields a version of Richard’s paradox when restricted to the full definable universe, that is, to the universe containing all objects that can be defined not just in one formal language but by means of the full expressive power of natural language: this universe seems to be countable on one account and uncountable on another. We argue that the claim that definitional contexts impose restrictions on the (...) scope of quantifiers reveals a natural way out. (shrink)
Recent work in formal semantics suggests that the language system includes not only a structure building device, as standardly assumed, but also a natural deductive system which can determine when expressions have trivial truth-conditions (e.g., are logically true/false) and mark them as unacceptable. This hypothesis, called the `logicality of language', accounts for many acceptability patterns, including systematic restrictions on the distribution of quantifiers. To deal with apparent counter-examples consisting of acceptable tautologies and contradictions, the logicality of language is often (...) paired with an additional assumption according to which logical forms are radically underspecified: i.e., the language system can see functional terms but is `blind' to open class terms to the extent that different tokens of the same term are treated as if independent. This conception of logical form has profound implications: it suggests an extreme version of the modularity of language, and can only be paired with non-classical---indeed quite exotic---kinds of deductive systems. The aim of this paper is to show that we can pair the logicality of language with a different and ultimately more traditional account of logical form. This framework accounts for the basic acceptability patterns which motivated the logicality of language, can explain why some tautologies and contradictions are acceptable, and makes better predictions in key cases. As a result, we can pursue versions of the logicality of language in frameworks compatible with the view that the language system is not radically modular vis-a-vis its open class terms and employs a deductive system that is basically classical. (shrink)
It is a received view of the post-Fregean predicate logic that a universal statement has no existential import and thus does not entail its particular (existential) counterpart. This paper takes issue with the view by discussing the trespasser case, which has widely been employed for supporting the view. The trespasser case in fact involves a shift of context. Properly understood, the case provides no support for the received view but rather suggests that we rethink the ‘quantity view’ of the existential (...) import of quantifiers. (shrink)
The problem concerns quantifiers that seem to hover between universal and existential readings. I argue that they are neither, but a different quantifier that has features of each. NOTE the published paper has a mistake. I have corrected this in the version on this site. A correction note will appear in Analysis.
Parry discusses an extension of Aristotle's syllogistic that uses four nontraditional quantifiers. We show that his conjectured decision procedure for validity for the extended syllogistic is correct even if syllogisms have more than two premises. And we axiomatize this extension of the syllogistic.
This paper studies a family of monotonic extensions of first-order logic which we call modulated logics, constructed by extending classical logic through generalized quantifiers called modulated quantifiers. This approach offers a new regard to what we call flexible reasoning. A uniform treatment of modulated logics is given here, obtaining some general results in model theory. Besides reviewing the “Logic of Ultrafilters”, which formalizes inductive assertions of the kind “almost all”, two new monotonic logical systems are proposed here, the (...) “Logic of Many” and the “Logic of Plausibility”, that characterize assertions of the kind “many”, and “for a good number of”. Although the notion of simple majority (“more than half”) can be captured by means of a modulated quantifier semantically interpreted by cardinal measure on evidence sets, it is proven that this system, although sound, cannot be complete if checked against the intended model. This justifies the interest on a purely qualitative approach to this kind of quantification, what is guaranteed by interpreting the modulated quantifiers as notions of families of principal filters and reduced topologies, respectively. We prove that both systems are conservative extensions of classical logic that preserve important properties, such as soundness and completeness. Some additional perspectives connecting our approach to flexible reasoning through modulated logics to epistemology and social choice theory are also discussed. (shrink)
A textbook on proof in mathematics, inspired by an Aristotelian point of view on mathematics and proof. The book expounds the traditional view of proof as deduction of theorems from evident premises via obviously valid steps. It deals with the proof of "all" statements, "some" statements, multiple quantifiers and mathematical induction.
This article consists in two parts that are complementary and autonomous at the same time. -/- In the first one, we develop some surprising consequences of the introduction of a new constant called Lambda in order to represent the object ``nothing" or ``void" into a standard set theory. On a conceptual level, it allows to see sets in a new light and to give a legitimacy to the empty set. On a technical level, it leads to a relative resolution of (...) the anomaly of the intersection of a family free of sets. -/- In the second part, we show the interest of introducing an operator of potentiality into a standard set theory. Among other results, this operator allows to prove the existence of a hierarchy of empty sets and to propose a solution to the puzzle of "ubiquity" of the empty set. -/- Both theories are presented with equi-consistency results (model and interpretation). -/- Here is a declaration of intent : in each case, the starting point is a conceptual questionning; the technical tools come in a second time\\[0.4cm] \textbf{Keywords:} nothing, void, empty set, null-class, zero-order logic with quantifiers, potential, effective, empty set, ubiquity, hierarchy, equality, equality by the bottom, identity, identification. (shrink)
What does 'might' mean? One hypothesis is that 'It might be raining' is essentially an avowal of ignorance like 'For all I know, it's raining'. But it turns out these two constructions embed in different ways, in particular as parts of larger constructions like Wittgenstein's 'It might be raining and it's not' and Moore's 'It's raining and I don't know it', respectively. A variety of approaches have been developed to account for those differences. All approaches agree that both Moore sentences (...) and Wittgenstein sentences are classically consistent. In this paper I argue against this consensus. I adduce a variety of new data which I argue can best be accounted for if we treat Wittgenstein sentences as being classically inconsistent. This creates a puzzle, since there is decisive reason to think that 'Might p' is classically consistent with 'Not p'. How can it also be that 'Might p and not p' and 'Not p and might p' are classically inconsistent? To make sense of this situation, I propose a new theory of epistemic modals and their interaction with embedding operators. This account makes sense of the subtle embedding behavior of epistemic modals, shedding new light on their meaning and, more broadly, the dynamics of information in natural language. -/- . (shrink)
This paper defends the view that perceptual ascriptions such as “Jones sees a cat” are sometimes intensional. I offer a range of examples of intensional perceptual ascriptions, respond to objections to intensional readings of perceptual ascriptions, and show how widely accepted semantic accounts of intensionality can explain the key features of intensional perceptual ascriptions.
In 1988, Kit Fine published a semantic theory for quantified relevant logics. He referred to this theory as stratified semantics. While it has received some attention in the literature, 1–20, 1992; Mares & Goldblatt, Journal of Symbolic Logic 71, 163–187, 2006), stratified semantics has overall received much less attention than it deserves. There are two plausible reasons for this. First, the only two dedicated treatments of stratified semantics available are, 27–59, 1988; Mares, Studia Logica 51, 1–20, 1992), both of which (...) are quite dense and technically challenging. Second, there are a number of prima facie reasons to be worried about stratified semantics. The purpose of this paper is to revitalize research on stratified semantics. I will do so by giving a ‘user friendly’ presentation of the semantics, and by giving reasons to think that the prima facie reasons to be worried about it are too simplistic. (shrink)
There are many examples offered as evidence that proper names are predicates. Not all of these cases speak to a name’s semantic content, but many of them do. Some of these include attributive, quantifier, and ambiguity cases. We will explore those cases here, and we will see that none of them conclusively show that names are predicates. In fact, all of these constructions can be given alternative analyses that eliminate the predicative characteristics of names they feature. These analyses do not (...) involve having names functioning as predicates in any way at all. In attributive cases, the names within them are to be understood as occurring in a comparative construction, not an attributive construction. In the last two sorts of cases, the names that occur are analyzed as part of a more complex referring device for a specific domain, rather than functioning as predicates. Both paraphrases can be given plausible semantic treatments that have significant advantages over their competitors. For this reason, there is less motivation to focus on predicative views of proper names. (shrink)
I present a formal theory of the logic and aboutness of imagination. Aboutness is understood as the relation between meaningful items and what they concern, as per Yablo and Fine’s works on the notion. Imagination is understood as per Chalmers’ positive conceivability: the intentional state of a subject who conceives that p by imagining a situation—a configuration of objects and properties—verifying p. So far aboutness theory has been developed mainly for linguistic representation, but it is natural to extend it to (...) intentional states. The proposed framework combines a modal semantics with a mereology of contents: imagination operators are understood as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a content-preservation constraint. (shrink)
Monism about being says that there is one way to be. Pluralism about being says that there are many ways to be. Recently, Trenton Merricks and David Builes have offered arguments against Pluralism. In this paper, I show how Pluralists who appeal to the relative naturalness of quantifiers can respond to these arguments.
On Kratzer’s canonical account, modal expressions (like “might” and “must”) are represented semantically as quantifiers over possibilities. Such expressions are themselves neutral; they make a single contribution to determining the propositions expressed across a wide range of uses. What modulates the modality of the proposition expressed—as bouletic, epistemic, deontic, etc.—is context.2 This ain’t the canon for nothing. Its power lies in its ability to figure in a simple and highly unified explanation of a fairly wide range of language use. (...) Recently, though, the canon’s neat story has come under attack. The challenge cases involve the epistemic use of a modal sentence for which no single resolution of the contextual parameter appears capable of accommodating all our intuitions.3 According to these revisionaries, such cases show that the canonical story needs to be amended in some way that makes multiple bodies of information relevant to the assessment of such statements. Here I show that how the right canonical, flexibly contextualist account of modals can accommodate the full range of challenge cases. The key will be to extend Kratzer’s formal semantic account with an account of how context selects values for a modal’s.. (shrink)
I want to model a finite, fallible cognitive agent who imagines that p in the sense of mentally representing a scenario—a configuration of objects and properties—correctly described by p. I propose to capture imagination, so understood, via variably strict world quantifiers, in a modal framework including both possible and so-called impossible worlds. The latter secure lack of classical logical closure for the relevant mental states, while the variability of strictness captures how the agent imports information from actuality in the (...) imagined non-actual scenarios. Imagination turns out to be highly hyperintensional, but not logically anarchic. Section 1 sets the stage and impossible worlds are quickly introduced in Sect. 2. Section 3 proposes to model imagination via variably strict world quantifiers. Section 4 introduces the formal semantics. Section 5 argues that imagination has a minimal mereological structure validating some logical inferences. Section 6 deals with how imagination under-determines the represented contents. Section 7 proposes additional constraints on the semantics, validating further inferences. Section 8 describes some welcome invalidities. Section 9 examines the effects of importing false beliefs into the imagined scenarios. Finally, Sect. 10 hints at possible developments of the theory in the direction of two-dimensional semantics. (shrink)
Some contextually sensitive expressions are such that their context independent conventional meanings need to be in some way supplemented in context for the expressions to secure semantic values in those contexts. As we’ll see, it is not clear that there is a paradigm here, but ‘he’ used demonstratively is a clear example of such an expression. Call expressions of this sort supplementives in order to highlight the fact that their context independent meanings need to be supplemented in context for them (...) to have semantic values relative to the context. Many philosophers and linguists think that there is a lot of contextual sensitivity in natural language that goes well beyond the pure indexicals and supplementives like ‘he’. Constructions/expressions that are good candidates for being contextually sensitive include: quantifiers, gradable adjectives including “predicates of personal taste”, modals, conditionals, possessives and relational expressions taking implicit arguments. It would appear that in none of these cases does the expression/construction in question have a context independent meaning that when placed in context suffices to secure a semantic value for the expression/construction in the context. In each case, some sort of supplementation is required to do this. Hence, all these expressions are supplementives in my sense. For a given supplementive, the question arises as to what the mechanism is for supplementing its conventional meanings in context so as to secure a semantic value for it in context. That is, what form does the supplementation take? The question also arises as to whether different supplementives require different kinds of supplementation. Let us call an account of what, in addition to its conventional meaning, secures a semantic value for a supplementive in context a metasemantics for that supplementive. So we can put our two questions thus: what is the proper metasemantics for a given supplementive; and do all supplementives have the same metasemantics? In the present work, I sketch the metasemantics I formulated for demonstratives in earlier work. Next, I briefly consider a number of other supplementives that I think the metasemantics I propose plausibly applies to and explain why I think that. Finally, I consider the prospects for extending the account to all supplementives. In so doing, I take up arguments due to Michael Glanzberg to the effect that supplementives are governed by two different metasemantics and attempt to respond to them. (shrink)
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).
This book surveys research in quantification starting with the foundational work in the 1970s. It paints a vivid picture of generalized quantifiers and Boolean semantics. It explains how the discovery of diverse scope behavior in the 1990s transformed the view of quantification, and how the study of the internal composition of quantifiers has become central in recent years. It presents different approaches to the same problems, and links modern logic and formal semantics to advances in generative syntax. A (...) unique feature of the book is that it systematically brings cross-linguistic data to bear on the theoretical issues, discussing French, German, Dutch, Hungarian, Russian, Japanese, Telugu (Dravidian), and Shupamem (Grassfield Bantu), and pointing to formal semantic literature involving quantification in around thirty languages. -- -/- 1. What this book is about and how to use it; 2. Generalized quantifiers and their elements: operators and their scopes; 3. Generalized quantifiers in non-nominal domains; 4. Some empirically significant properties of quantifiers and determiners; 5. Potential challenges for generalized quantifiers; 6. Scope is not uniform and not a primitive; 7. Existential scope versus distributive scope; 8. Distributivity and scope; 9. Bare numeral indefinites; 10. Modified numerals; 11. Clause-internal scopal diversity; 12. Towards a compositional semantics of quantifier words. (shrink)
There is a growing movement towards construing some classic debates in ontology as meaningless, either because the answers seem obvious or the debates seem intractable. In this paper, I respond to this movement. The response has three components: First, the members of the two sides of the ontological debates that dismissivists have targeted are using different quantifiers. Second, the austere ontologist is using a more fundamental quantifier than her opponent. Third, the austere ontologist’s more fundamental quantifier is a restriction (...) of her opponent’s quantifier. This response takes seriously the intuition that there is something wrong with the ontological disputes, but does not entail dismissivism. (shrink)
Scientific realism holds that the terms in our scientific theories refer and that we should believe in their existence. This presupposes a certain understanding of quantification, namely that it is ontologically committing, which I challenge in this paper. I argue that the ontological loading of the quantifiers is smuggled in through restricting the domains of quantification, without which it is clear to see that quantifiers are ontologically neutral. Once we remove domain restrictions, domains of quantification can include non-existent (...) things, as they do in scientific theorizing. Scientific realism would therefore require redefining without presupposing a view of ontologically committing quantification. (shrink)
This paper aims to provide two abductive considerations adducing in favor of the thesis of Necessitism in modal ontology. I demonstrate how instances of the Barcan formula can be witnessed, when the modal operators are interpreted 'naturally' -- i.e., as including geometric and nomological possibilities -- and the quantifiers in the formula range over a domain of natural, or concrete, entities and their contingently non-concrete analogues. I argue that, because there are considerations within physics and metaphysical inquiry which corroborate (...) modal relationalist claims concerning the possible geometric structures of spacetime, and dispositional properties are actual possible entities, the condition of being grounded in the concrete is consistent with the Barcan formula; and thus -- in the nomological setting -- merits adoption by the Necessitist. (shrink)
Formal semantics has so far focused on three categories of quantifiers, to wit, Q-determiners (e.g. 'every'), Q-adverbs (e.g. 'always'), and Q-auxiliaries (e.g. 'would'). All three can be analyzed in terms of tripartite logical forms (LF). This paper presents evidence from verbs with distributive affixes (Q-verbs), in Kalaallisut, Polish, and Bininj Gun-wok, which cannot be analyzed in terms of tripartite LFs. It is argued that a Q-verb involves discourse reference to a distributive verbal dependency, i.e. an episode-valued function that sends (...) different semantic objects in a contextually salient plural domain to different episodes. (shrink)
I present an approach to our conceiving absolute impossibilities—things which obtain at no possible world—in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and impossible worlds based on world similarity. The explicit content of a representation plays a role similar in some respects to the one of a ceteris paribus conditional antecedent. I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability, and how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus (...) counterfactual conditionals, the closest worlds are relevantly closest belief-worlds: closest to how things are believed to be, rather than to how they are. Also, closeness takes into account apriority and the opacity of intentional contexts. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
We present a formal semantics for epistemic logic, capturing the notion of knowability relative to information (KRI). Like Dretske, we move from the platitude that what an agent can know depends on her (empirical) information. We treat operators of the form K_AB (‘B is knowable on the basis of information A’) as variably strict quantifiers over worlds with a topic- or aboutness- preservation constraint. Variable strictness models the non-monotonicity of knowledge acquisition while allowing knowledge to be intrinsically stable. Aboutness-preservation (...) models the topic-sensitivity of information, allowing us to invalidate controversial forms of epistemic closure while validating less controversial ones. Thus, unlike the standard modal framework for epistemic logic, KRI accommodates plausible approaches to the Kripke-Harman dogmatism paradox, which bear on non-monotonicity, or on topic-sensitivity. KRI also strikes a better balance between agent idealization and a non-trivial logic of knowledge ascriptions. (shrink)
We explore the view that Frege's puzzle is a source of straightforward counterexamples to Leibniz's law. Taking this seriously requires us to revise the classical logic of quantifiers and identity; we work out the options, in the context of higher-order logic. The logics we arrive at provide the resources for a straightforward semantics of attitude reports that is consistent with the Millian thesis that the meaning of a name is just the thing it stands for. We provide models to (...) show that some of these logics are non-degenerate. (shrink)
Mereological universalists and nihilists disagree on the conditions for composition. In this paper, we show how this debate is a function of one’s chosen semantics for plural quantifiers. Debating mereologists have failed to appreciate this point because of the complexity of the debate and extraneous theoretical commitments. We eliminate this by framing the debate between universalists and nihilists in a formal model where these two theses about composition are contradictory. The examination of the two theories in the model brings (...) clarity to a debate in which opponents frequently talk past one another. With the two views stated precisely, our investigation reveals the dependence of the mereologists’ ontological commitments on the semantics of plural quantifiers. Though we discuss the debate with respect to a simplified and idealized model, the insights provided will make more complex debates on composition more productive and deflationist criticisms of the debate less substantial. (shrink)
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