Quantification with Intentional and with Intensional Verbs

  • Friederike MoltmannEmail author
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 373)


Whether natural language permits quantification over ‘nonexistent’, intentional objects is subject of a major controversy, as is the nature of such entities themselves. This paper argues that certain constructions in natural language involving ‘intentional verbs’ such as ‘think of ’, ‘describe’, and ‘imagine’ cannot be analysed compositionally without positing intentional objects, as entities strictly dependent on intentional acts. The paper also argues that intentional verbs involve a distinctive semantics, which is fundamentally different from that of intensional transitive verbs, a difference reflected in a range of quantificational phenomena.


Relative Clause Fictional Character Definite Description Intentional Object Head Noun 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut d’Histoire et de Philosophie de Sciences et Techniques (IHPST)Université Paris 1ParisFrance

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