This paper offers three objections to Leslie’s recent and already influential theory of generics (Leslie in Philos Perspect 21(1):375–403, 2007a, Philos Rev 117(1):1–47, 2008): (i) her proposed metaphysical truth-conditions are subject to systematic counter-examples, (ii) the proposed disquotational semantics fails, and (iii) there is evidence that generics do not express cognitively primitive generalisations.
KeywordsGenerics Disquotation Context Gen Generalisation Primitive
This paper has benefited from discussions with Mahrad Almotahari, Nicholas Asher, Herman Cappelen, Ephraim Glick, John Hawthorne, Torfinn Huvenes, Philipp Koralus, Nick Kroll, Sarah-Jane Leslie, David Liebesman, Michael Morreau, Bernhard Nickel, Jeff Pelletier, Jennifer Saul, Jonathan Schaffer, Martin Smith, Andreas Stokke, Brian Weatherson and Elia Zardini. Parts of the paper were presented at a Workshop on Philosophy of Language at Harvard University, the Society for Exact Philosophy (SEP) Conference held at the University of Alberta, the Harvard/MIT Graduate Conference, the Yale/UConn Graduate Conference, the Princeton/Rutgers Graduate Conference, the University of Oslo (CSMN) and the University of St Andrews (Arché). I thank the audience members and organisers at these events. I also thank an anonymous referee for this journal for helpful comments.
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