By Friederike Moltmann
Summary items were a primary subject in philosophy seeing that antiquity. Philosophers have defended numerous perspectives approximately summary items through beautiful to metaphysical issues, concerns relating to arithmetic or technology, and, now not once in a while, intuitions approximately ordinary language. This publication pursues the query of ways and no matter if common language enables connection with summary gadgets in a completely systematic approach. via making complete use of up to date linguistic semantics, it provides a far larger diversity of linguistic generalizations than has formerly been considered in philosophical discussions, and it argues for an ontological photograph is particularly diversified from that commonly taken without any consideration via philosophers and semanticists alike. connection with summary gadgets reminiscent of homes, numbers, propositions, and levels is significantly extra marginal than often held. as a substitute, traditional language is very beneficiant in permitting connection with particularized houses (tropes), using nonreferential expressions in obvious referential place, and using "nominalizing expressions," akin to quantifiers like "something." connection with summary items is completed usually simply via 'reifying terms', reminiscent of "the quantity eight."
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Extra resources for Abstract Objects and the Semantics of Natural Language
67) a. The students are numerous. b. The class is numerous.  Predicates of existence With deﬁnite plurals, the verb exist can claim only the existence of members of the plurality, not the existence of the plurality as an entity “beyond” its members. By contrast, when exist occurs with collective NPs, it can claim the existence of a collective entity as such: (68) a. The students do not exist. b. The class does not exist. (68a) denies the existence of the individual students; (68b) denies the existence of the class, as an entity beyond the individual students.
John needs two things, new ideas and good co-workers. Thus, the same reiﬁcation function mapping pluralities to entities applies here as in the case of plurals. This reiﬁcation is part not only of the meaning of –thing, but also of the meaning of kind. Quantiﬁcational NPs like several kinds and several things thus have two semantic functions: that of quantiﬁcation and that of reiﬁcation of pluralities. To fulﬁll these two semantic roles, such quantiﬁcational NPs should not only be assigned a scope but also a nominalization domain.
B. c. d. John can distinguish several kinds of things. several x 9pp(kind(x, pp) & distinguish(John, pp)). John faced various things, hostility, incomprehension, and prejudice. John needs two things, new ideas and good co-workers. Thus, the same reiﬁcation function mapping pluralities to entities applies here as in the case of plurals. This reiﬁcation is part not only of the meaning of –thing, but also of the meaning of kind. Quantiﬁcational NPs like several kinds and several things thus have two semantic functions: that of quantiﬁcation and that of reiﬁcation of pluralities.