[FOM] FOM: Nino Cochiarella paper

Dean Buckner Dean.Buckner at btopenworld.com
Tue Feb 11 15:37:41 EST 2003

Nino Cochiarella has just written to me regarding his paper "On the Logic of
Classes as Many" in _Studia Logica_, 70 (2002): 303-338.

This has a treatment of plural reference, similar to the ideas I mentioned
rather briefly in the "crocodile" posting.  He also mentions a paper
"Denoting Concepts, Reference, and the Logic of Names, Classes as Many,
Groups, and Plurals", which he will be putting on the web in a few days in
pdf format that can be downloaded free at the www.formalontology.it website.

He writes -

"There is a notion of class that has been igored by most, if not all
philosophers.  Thisis the logic of "class as many" as described e.g. by
Bertrand Russell in his 1903 Principles of Mathematics.  A class in this
sense is the extension of a common count noun.  The three important features
of this notion are, fiirst, that a vacuous common name, i.e. a common name
that names nothing has no extension, which is not the same as having an
empty class as its extension ... Secondly the extension of a common name
that names just one thing ... is just that one thing.  In other words,
unlike the singleton sets of set theory, which are not identical with their
single member, the class that is the extension of a common name that names
just one thing ... is none other than that thing.  This fact is related to
our third point, namely, that unlike sets, classes as the extension of names
are literally made up of their members so that when they have more than one
member they are in some sense pluralities, or "plural objects", and not
things that can themselves be members of classes."

The locus classicus is of course Frege's review of Schroeders' _Logic_
translated in Geach and Black, which is a critique (not very favourable) of
the classes-as-many view.

My question was, can we develop a theory out of this sort of view?

I recommend Nino's work to this discussion group.

Dean Buckner

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