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  • P. T. Geach
Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 43)

Abstract

When we speak of a pronoun as looking back or referring back to its antecedent we are using terms of traditional grammar: so I begin with some methodological remarks on the use of such terms. It is a fallacy — one that I have called, from its best known perpetrator, the Socratic fallacy — to infer a lack of understanding of such terms from the absence of a rigorous formal definition of them. A common understanding of terms may be achieved, and in some cases must be achieved, by other means than formal definition. People who have received a certain sort of high- school education will mostly agree about the parsing of an English sentence, with the use of grammatical terms like these; it is only this sort of common understanding of familiar grammatical terms — including the ones italicized in my first sentence — that I am assuming. It is a merely extensional common understanding: people will mostly agree in picking out examples.

Keywords

Relative Clause Definite Description Possessive Pronoun Indirect Speech Grammatical Subject 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. T. Geach
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LeedsUSA

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