Generic Generalizations

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[Revised entry by Sarah-Jane Leslie and Adam Lerner on August 4, 2022.
Changes to: Main text, Bibliography]
Generics are statements such as “tigers are striped”, “a duck lays eggs”, “the dodo is extinct”, and “ticks carry Lyme disease”. Generics express generalizations, but unlike quantified statements, generics do not carry information about how many members of the kind or category have the property. For example, if asked “how many ravens are black?” one could reply “all [or some, or most, etc.] ravens are black”, but one cannot felicitously reply with the…

Originally appeared on Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Read More

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