Alex Oliver and Timothy Smiley provide a natural point of entry to what for most readers will be a new subject. Plural logic deals with plural terms ('Whitehead and Russell', 'Henry VIII's wives', 'the real numbers', 'the square root of -1', 'they'), plural predicates ('surrounded the fort', 'are prime', 'are consistent', 'imply'), and plural quantification ('some things', 'any things'). Current logic is singularist: its terms stand for at most one thing. By contrast, the foundational thesis of this book is that a particular term may legitimately stand for several things at once; in other words, there is such a thing as genuinely plural denotation. The authors argue that plural phenomena need to be taken seriously and that the only viable response is to adopt a plural logic, a logic based on plural denotation. They expound a framework of ideas that includes the distinction between distributive and collective predicates, the theory of plural descriptions, multivalued functions, and lists. A formal system of plural logic is presented in three stages, before being applied to Cantorian set theory as an illustration. Technicalities have been kept to a minimum, and anyone who is familiar with the classical predicate calculus should be able to follow it. The authors' approach is an attractive blend of no-nonsense argumentative directness and open-minded liberalism, and they convey the exciting and unexpected richness of their subject. Mathematicians and linguists, as well as logicians and philosophers, will find surprises in this book. This second edition includes a greatly expanded treatment of the paradigm empty term zilch, a much strengthened treatment of Cantorian set theory, and a new chapter on higher-level plural logic.
Unity and Plurality presents novel ways of thinking about plurality while casting new light on the interconnections among the logical, philosophical, and linguistic aspects of plurals. The volume brings together new work on the logic and ontology of plurality and on the semantics of plurals in natural language. Plural reference, the view that definite plurals such as 'the students' refer to several entities at once (the individual students), is an approach favoured by logicians and philosophers, who take sentences with plurals ('the students gathered') not to be committed to entities beyond individuals, entities such as classes, sums, or sets. By contrast, linguistic semantics has been dominated by a singularist approach to plurals, taking the semantic value of a definite plural such as 'the students' to be a mereological sum or set. Moreover, semantics has been dominated by a particular ontological view of plurality, that of extensional mereology. This volume aims to build a bridge between the two traditions and to show the fruitfulness of nonstandard mereological approaches. A team of leading experts investigates new perspectives that arise from plural logic and non-standard mereology and explore novel applications to natural language phenomena.
The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intentionality provides a wide-ranging survey of topics in a rapidly expanding area of interdisciplinary research. It consists of 36 chapters, written exclusively for this volume, by an international team of experts. What is distinctive about the study of collective intentionality within the broader study of social interactions and structures is its focus on the conceptual and psychological features of joint or shared actions and attitudes, and their implications for the nature of social groups and their functioning. This Handbook fully captures this distinctive nature of the field and how it subsumes the study of collective action, responsibility, reasoning, thought, intention, emotion, phenomenology, decision-making, knowledge, trust, rationality, cooperation, competition, and related issues, as well as how these underpin social practices, organizations, conventions, institutions and social ontology. Like the field, the Handbook is interdisciplinary, drawing on research in philosophy, cognitive science, linguistics, legal theory, anthropology, sociology, computer science, psychology, economics, and political science. Finally, the Handbook promotes several specific goals: (1) it provides an important resource for students and researchers interested in collective intentionality; (2) it integrates work across disciplines and areas of research as it helps to define the shape and scope of an emerging area of research; (3) it advances the study of collective intentionality.
Parthood and composition are everywhere. The leg of a table is part of the table, the word "Christmas" is part of the sentence "I wish you a merry Christmas", the 13th century is part of the Middle Ages. The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg compose Benelux, the body of a deer is composed of a huge number of cells, the Middle Ages are composed of the Early Middle Ages, High Middle Ages, and Late Middle Ages. Is there really a general theory covering every instance of parthood and composition? Is classical mereology this general theory? Are its seemingly counter-intuitive features serious defects? Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction addresses the multifaceted and lively philosophical debates surrounding these questions, and defends the idea that classical mereology is indeed the general and exhaustive theory of parthood and composition in the domain of concrete entities. Several examples of parthood and composition, involving entities of different kinds, are scrutinised in depth. Incidentally, mereology is shown to interact in a surprising way with metaontology. Presenting a well-organized and comprehensive discussion of parthood and related notions, Mereology: A Philosophical Introduction contributes to a better understanding of a subject central to contemporary metaphysics.
Composition is the relation between a whole and its parts—the parts are said to compose the whole; the whole is composed of the parts. But is a whole anything distinct from its parts taken collectively? It is often said that 'a whole is nothing over and above its parts'; but what might we mean by that? Could it be that a whole just is its parts? This collection of essays is the first of its kind to focus on the relationship between composition and identity. Twelve original articles—written by internationally renowned scholars and rising stars in the field—argue for and against the controversial doctrine that composition is identity. An editor's introduction sets out the formal and philosophical groundwork to bring readers to the forefront of the debate.
Alex Oliver and Timothy Smiley provide an account of plural logic. They argue that there is such a thing as genuinely plural denotation in logic, and expound a framework of ideas that includes the distinction between distributive and collective predicates, the theory of plural descriptions, multivalued functions, and lists.
Anaphora (Linguistics) by Rick Willem Frans Nouwen
Plural logic has seen a surge of interest in recent years. This book explores its broader significance for philosophy, logic, and linguistics. What can plural logic do for us? Are the bold claims made on its behalf correct? The result is a more nuanced picture of plural logic's applications than has been given thus far.
Frege's invention of the predicate calculus has been the most influential event in the history of modern logic. The calculus’ place in logic is so central that many philosophers think, in fact, of it when they think of logic. This book challenges the position in contemporary logic and philosophy of language of the predicate calculus claiming that it is based on mistaken assumptions. Ben-Yami shows that the predicate calculus is different from natural language in its fundamental semantic characteristics, primarily in its treatment of reference and quantification, and that as a result the calculus is inadequate for the analysis of the semantics and logic of natural language. Ben-Yami develops both an alternative analysis of the semantics of natural language and an alternative deductive system comparable in its deductive power to first order predicate calculus but more adequate than it for the representation of the logic of natural language. Ben-Yami's book is a revolutionary challenge to classical first order predicate calculus, casting doubt on many of the central claims of modern logic.
The individual that the social sciences take as an object is most often studied in a particular context or from a single dimension. The actor is analysed as a student, worker, consumer, spouse, reader, sportsperson, a voter etc. However, in societies where individuals live often through simultaneously and successively heterogeneous and sometimes contradictory social experiences, each person inevitably carries a plurality of roles, ways of seeing, feeling and acting. The aim of this study is to consider the ways in which this plurality of worlds and experiences are incorporated into the being of each individual and to observe the individual's actions in a variety of settings. In addition to his sociological viewpoint, the author engages with psychology, history, anthropology and philosophy. His reflections lead him to embark on a program of psychological sociology to highlight the complexities of this plural view of the social.
The main purpose of this volume is to demonstrate several significant distinctions between the predicate calculus and natural language, distinctions that make the former inadequate for the study of the semantics and logic of the latter.