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Fara, Delia Graff. Desires, Scope, and Tense
2003, Philosophical Perspectives 17(1): 141-163.
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Added by: Nick Novelli

Summary: According to James McCawley (1981) and Richard Larson and Gabriel Segal (1995), the following sentence is three-ways ambiguous: -/- Harry wants to be the mayor of Kenai. -/- According to them also, the three-way ambiguity cannot be accommodated on the Russellian view that definite descriptions are quantified noun phrases. In order to capture the three-way ambiguity of the sentence, these authors propose that definite descriptions must be ambiguous: sometimes they are predicate expressions; sometimes they are Russellian quantified noun phrases. After explaining why the McCawley-Larson-Segal solution contains an obvious flaw, I discuss how an effort to correct the flaw brings to light certain puzzles about the individuation of desires, about quantifying in, and about the disambiguation of desire ascriptions.

Comment: An interesting paper about the semantics of desire. Would be suitable in a philosophy of language course.

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Uckelman, Sara L.. A Quantified Temporal Logic for Ampliation and Restriction
2013, Vivarium 51(1-4): 485-510.
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Added by: Berta Grimau, Contributed by: Sara L. Uckelman

Abstract: Temporal logic as a modern discipline is separate from classical logic; it is seen as an addition or expansion of the more basic propositional and predicate logics. This approach is in contrast with logic in the Middle Ages, which was primarily intended as a tool for the analysis of natural language. Because all natural language sentences have tensed verbs, medieval logic is inherently a temporal logic. This fact is most clearly exemplified in medieval theories of supposition. As a case study, we look at the supposition theory of Lambert of Lagny (Auxerre), extracting from it a temporal logic and providing a formalization of that logic.

Comment: This article employs modal-temporal logic with Kripke semantics to formalize a particular supposition theory (Lambert of Lagny’s). Thus, it includes an original proposal. Moreover, it provides both an introduction to medieval supposition theory and an introduction to Kripke semantics. So, it could be used as a means to work on either of those topics. It does not involve many technicalities, but a bit of familiarity with modal logic is recommended.

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