What we can do

  • Katherine RitchieEmail author


Plural first-person pronouns have often been ignored in the literature on indexicals and pronouns. The assumption seems to be that we is just the plural of I. So, we can focus on theorizing about singular indexicals and about non-indexical plurals then combine the results to yield a theory of plural indexicals. Here I argue that the “divide and conquer” strategy fails. By considering data involving plurals, generics, and complex demonstratives, I argue for a referential semantics on which we can refer to two sorts of group-like entities. Further, by considering the nature of semantic theorizing, I argue that semantics must draw some metaphysical distinctions, including between groups of two sorts.


Indexicals Plurals Generics Kinds Semantics 



I thank participants at the New York Philosophy of Language Workshop and the Nova Scotia Meaning Workshop for feedback on early versions of this paper. In particular I thank Derek Anderson, David Braun, Alex Grzankowski, Eric Mandelbaum, Eliot Michaelson, Gary Ostertag, Craige Roberts and an anonymous referee for helpful discussions and comments.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.CUNY Graduate Center and City College of New YorkNew YorkUSA

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