Between Logic and the World: An Integrated Theory of Generics by Bernhard Nickel

Between Logic and the World: An Integrated Theory of Generics

byBernhard Nickel

Hardcover | April 23, 2016

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Between Logic and the World presents a theory of generic sentences and the kind-directed modes of thought they express. The theory closely integrates compositional semantics with metaphysics to solve the problem that generics pose: what do generics mean? Generic sentences are extremelysimple, yet if there are patterns to be discerned in terms of which are true and which are false, these patterns are subtle and complex. Ravens are black, lions have manes, sea-turtles are long-lived, and bishops in chess move along diagonals. Statistical measures cannot do justice to the facts, butwhat else is there that at least has a hope of giving us insight into what we are capturing across so many domains? Bernhard Nickel argues that generics are the top of a fundamentally explanatory iceberg. By focusing on blackness in ravens and manes in lions, for instance, we can place the kindsinto a framework structured by explanatory considerations. Between Logic and the World argues that this explanatory framework is deeply intertwined with the semantics of the language we use to express them, and in giving its integrated semantic and metaphysical theory of generics, it aims to solveold puzzles and draw attention to new phenomena.

About The Author

Bernhard Nickel is Professor of Philosophy at Harvard University. His research interests lie in the philosophy of language and linguistics.

Details & Specs

Title:Between Logic and the World: An Integrated Theory of GenericsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:256 pagesPublished:April 23, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199640009

ISBN - 13:9780199640003

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Genericity and GenericsI: Semantics3. The Basic Semantics4. Other Recent Work5. Logical Complexity6. Genericity and GradabilityII: Normality7. A Definition of Normality8. Linguistics--A Case Study9. Coda: Onward, Upward, Inward, OutwardIII: AppendicesA. Formal Results and ImplementationsB. A Detailed Presentation of Free Choice Inferences