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Descriptive Metaphysics, Natural Language Metaphysics, Sapir-Whorf, and All That Stuff: Evidence from the Mass-Count Distinction

Author(s): Francis Jeffry Pelletier

Journal: The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication
ISSN 1944-3676

Volume: 6;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Strawson (1959) described ‘descriptive metaphysics’, Bach (1986a) described ‘natural language metaphysics’, Sapir (1929) and Whorf (1940a,b, 1941) describe, well, Sapir-Whorfianism. And there are other views concerning the relation between correct semantic analysis of linguistic phenomena and the “reality” that is supposed to be thereby described. I think some considerations from the analyses of the mass-count distinction can shed some light on that very dark topic.ReferencesBach, Emmon. 1986a. ‘Natural Language Metaphysics’. In Ruth Barcan Marcus, G.J.W. Dorn & Paul Weingartner (eds.) ‘Logic, Methodology, and Philosophy of Science, VII’, 573–595. Amsterdam: North Holland.Bach, Emmon. 1986b. ‘The Algebra of Events’. Linguistics and Philosophy 9: 5–16.Berger, Peter & Luckmann, Thomas. 1966. The Social Construction of Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge. New York: Doubleday.Boroditsky, Lera, Schmidt, Lauren & Phillips, Webb. 2003. ‘Sex, Syntax, and Semantics’. 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