, Volume 34, Issue 5-6, pp 459-506

The Logic and Meaning of Plurals. Part I

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Abstract

Contemporary accounts of logic and language cannot give proper treatments of plural constructions of natural languages. They assume that plural constructions are redundant devices used to abbreviate singular constructions. This paper and its sequel, “The logic and meaning of plurals, II”, aim to develop an account of logic and language that acknowledges limitations of singular constructions and recognizes plural constructions as their peers. To do so, the papers present natural accounts of the logic and meaning of plural constructions that result from the view that plural constructions are, by and large, devices for talking about many things (as such). The account of logic presented in the papers surpasses contemporary Fregean accounts in its scope. This extension of the scope of logic results from extending the range of languages that logic can directly relate to. Underlying the view of language that makes room for this is a perspective on reality that locates in the world what plural constructions can relate to. The papers suggest that reflections on plural constructions point to a broader framework for understanding logic, language, and reality that can replace the contemporary Fregean framework as this has replaced its Aristotelian ancestor.