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A Two-Tiered Theory of Generics: A Synthesis of Leslie's and Liebesman's Theories

Assarsson, Elias LU (2012) FTEM02 20121
Theoretical Philosophy
Abstract
Generics are sentences that are not explicitly quantified but still seems to express something general of their subjects. For instance, "Dogs bark" is a true generic and so is "Ducks lay eggs". What sets generics apart from quantified sentences is that their truth~conditions are very difficult to pin down. Although most dogs bark it is not the case that most ducks lay eggs because only fertile female ducks do. In spite of this "Ducks lay eggs" seems to be true. There are many different theories of generics. Two recent and promising theories that have not yet received much attention are those of Sarah-Jane Leslie and David Liebesman. In this paper I will suggest a framework for how to think about theories of generics in which I will... (More)
Generics are sentences that are not explicitly quantified but still seems to express something general of their subjects. For instance, "Dogs bark" is a true generic and so is "Ducks lay eggs". What sets generics apart from quantified sentences is that their truth~conditions are very difficult to pin down. Although most dogs bark it is not the case that most ducks lay eggs because only fertile female ducks do. In spite of this "Ducks lay eggs" seems to be true. There are many different theories of generics. Two recent and promising theories that have not yet received much attention are those of Sarah-Jane Leslie and David Liebesman. In this paper I will suggest a framework for how to think about theories of generics in which I will synthesize Leslie's and Liebesman's theories by arguing that they are at different levels of description. I will also suggest some modifications to improve Leslie's theory. (Less)
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author
Assarsson, Elias LU
supervisor
organization
course
FTEM02 20121
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
philosophy of language, generics, habituals, truth conditions, logical form, inheritance
language
English
id
2799054
date added to LUP
2012-09-19 07:55:50
date last changed
2012-09-19 07:55:50
@misc{2799054,
  abstract     = {Generics are sentences that are not explicitly quantified but still seems to express something general of their subjects. For instance, "Dogs bark" is a true generic and so is "Ducks lay eggs". What sets generics apart from quantified sentences is that their truth~conditions are very difficult to pin down. Although most dogs bark it is not the case that most ducks lay eggs because only fertile female ducks do. In spite of this "Ducks lay eggs" seems to be true. There are many different theories of generics. Two recent and promising theories that have not yet received much attention are those of Sarah-Jane Leslie and David Liebesman. In this paper I will suggest a framework for how to think about theories of generics in which I will synthesize Leslie's and Liebesman's theories by arguing that they are at different levels of description. I will also suggest some modifications to improve Leslie's theory.},
  author       = {Assarsson, Elias},
  keyword      = {philosophy of language,generics,habituals,truth conditions,logical form,inheritance},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {A Two-Tiered Theory of Generics: A Synthesis of Leslie's and Liebesman's Theories},
  year         = {2012},
}