Royal Institute of Philosophy lectures
Consider the following two sentences:
- Potatoes were first cultivated in South America.
- Potatoes are starchy.
The orthodox view maintains that, despite superficial similarities, these sentences have very different semantic structures. The former involves applying a property to the kind potato, while the latter involves quantification over individual potatoes. In this talk, we challenge the orthodoxy and defend an alternative account of generics, one according to which sentences such as (1) and (2) have very similar structures, both involving ascribing a property to a kind