The Semantics of ‘All A’s are B’s’
Laws and generalizations may not be the last work but are certainly the first word in our efforts to give rational accounts of reality. Our abilities to formulate and understand these are partly constitutive of our rationality. The applicability of generalizations to reality is fundamental to our belief that there is order in the universe.
KeywordsAbstract Domain Modern Logic Bare Plural Universal Generalization Existential Presupposition
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- 9.I am indebted to David Widerker for pointing out that on some interpretations what the subject expression refers to is one complex entity.Google Scholar
- I am indebted to Jonathan Stavi for helpful discussions; he should not be held re-sponsible for my conclusions.Google Scholar
- lnterestingly enough, Aristotle’s view of what he would regard as genuine sciences corresponds roughly to what was said here about mathematics. He is interested in the logical analysis of what I call in this paper lawlike sentences, but he also has existential import for generalizations; not on the ground of an analysis of lawlikeness, but on ground of his ontological assumption that every genuine science deals with a natural generic collection of entities, carved out from the total realm of existing things.Google Scholar
- I am indebted for comments to Asa Kasher, Tanya Reinhart and Scott Soames.Google Scholar