Attributives, Their First Denotative Correlates, Complex Predicates and Free Logics
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English words and phrases of adjectival, verbal, or prepositional form fall in the class of expressions traditionally called attributive terms; this is the class of expressions “purport(ing)... to apply to things”.1 Examples are ‘courageous’, ‘studies’, and ‘next to’. English nouns and noun phrases fall in the class of expressions traditionally called denotative terms; this is the class of expressions “purport(ing) to refer to things”.2 Examples are ‘Russell’, ‘the author of “On Denoting’”, ‘courageous things’ and ‘philosopher’. Of particular interest here are pairs of expressions such as the attributive term ‘courageous’ and the denotative term ‘courageous things’. The second member of this pair is the first denotative correlate of the attributive term ‘courageous’. (Attributives also have second denotative correlates. These are abstract terms that purport to name the property in virtue of which a certain thing is such and such, ‘courage’, for example is the second denotative correlate of the attributive ‘courageous’.) For every attributive term there is a first denotative correlate which can be regimented as an expression of the form ‘object x such that x is...’, where ‘...’ is replaced by that attributive term.
KeywordsNoun Phrase Formal Language Singular Term Virtual Object Outer Domain
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