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Generics: some (non) specifics

Synthese (5-6):14383-14401 (2021)

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  1. Stereotyping and Generics.Anne Bosse - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-17.
    We use generic sentences like ‘Blondes are stupid’ to express stereotypes. But why is this? Does the fact that we use generic sentences to express stereotypes mean that stereotypes are themselves, in some sense, generic? I argue that they are. However, stereotypes are mental and generics linguistic, so how can stereotypes be generic? My answer is that stereotypes are generic in virtue of the beliefs they contain. Stereotypes about blondes being stupid contain a belief element, namely a belief that blondes (...)
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