Semantic Apparatus – Group nouns and pseudo-singularity

Cited by Lee Sonogan

Types of Nouns - The Noun - School Lead

Abstract by Eric Snyder, Stewart Shapiro

Definite group nouns, such as “the deck of cards,” raise two important kinds of problems. Philosophically, they raise the ancient Problem of the Many: How can one deck be many cards? Linguistically, they threaten paradox: If such expressions singularly refer to groups as set-like entities, then analyses employing such entities threaten to be incoherent, due to Russell’s paradox. On the other hand, no paradox is threatened if, per the suggestion of Alex Oliver and Timothy Smiley, “the deck of cards” is a pseudo-singular term, that is, a term which is syntactically singular but semantically plural, exploiting the primitive relation of plural reference. Against this, we argue that pseudo-singularity is linguistically and logically untenable. As such, it will not plausibly solve either kind of problem raised by definite group nouns.

Publication: Haught A Journal Of Philosophy (Peer-Reviewed Journal)

Pub Date: 10, Feb 2021 Doi:

Keywords: Group Nouns, Pseudo-Singularity, Semantic Paradox (Plenty more sections and references in this research article)

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