The elusive scope of descriptions

Philosophy Compass 2 (6):910–927 (2007)
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(1) Every miner went to a meeting. It seems that (1) can mean either that there was one meeting that every miner went to, or that every miner went to at least one meeting with no guarantee that they all went to the same meeting. In the language of first-order logic we can represent these two readings as a matter of the universal and existential quantifiers having different scope with respect to each other.



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Daniel Rothschild
University College London

Citations of this work

On What Actually Is.Fredrik Haraldsen - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (3):643-656.

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References found in this work

Semantics in generative grammar.Irene Heim & Angelika Kratzer - 1998 - Malden, MA: Blackwell. Edited by Angelika Kratzer.
On Denoting.Bertrand Russell - 1905 - Mind 14 (56):479-493.
Reference and definite descriptions.Keith S. Donnellan - 1966 - Philosophical Review 75 (3):281-304.
General semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.
Generalized quantifiers and natural language.John Barwise & Robin Cooper - 1981 - Linguistics and Philosophy 4 (2):159--219.

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