more from Oliver,A/Smiley,T

Single Idea 14234

[catalogued under 5. Theory of Logic / G. Quantification / 6. Plural Quantification]

Full Idea

A 'singularist', who refers to objects one at a time, must resort to the language of sets in order to replace plural reference to members ('Henry VIII's wives') by singular reference to a set ('the set of Henry VIII's wives').

Gist of Idea

If you only refer to objects one at a time, you need sets in order to refer to a plurality


Oliver,A/Smiley,T (What are Sets and What are they For? [2006], Intro)

Book Reference

'Metaphysics (Philosophical Perspectives 20)', ed/tr. Hawthorne,John [Blackwell 2006], p.124

A Reaction

A simple and illuminating point about the motivation for plural reference. Null sets and singletons give me the creeps, so I would personally prefer to avoid set theory when dealing with ontology.