Philosophy Lexicon of Arguments

All: part of speech, which picks out all elements of the area under consideration. Problems are circular reasoning, decidability, self-reference, paradoxes.
Author Item Excerpt Meta data
Millikan, Ruth
Books on Amazon
All I 235
All/"all"/figure/representation/fact/Millikan: Problem: if "All A are φ" is supposed to be a representation, according to what rule does it map the world? What is its real value, if it is true, and how is the real value determined according to the rule?
Suppose "All A's" is a description, as is "the A".
Specific description: this description always has a referential function. That is, there is something to be mapped. And this is determined before the sentence was formed.
"All a": If there are any at all, this is then like a certain description, i.e. it has an indexical adapter and thus a certain sense.
Referent/Problem: in the case of a specific description it is assumed that the listener is able to identify the referent. However, "all" does not assume that the listener is capable of doing so. In this regard, "All As!" works like an undetermined description.
"All"/Millikan: "all" therefore escapes the distinction determined/undetermined. Or the distinction "determined-and-referential" against "undetermined-and-non-referential".
Figure/"all"/Millikan: it is assumed that there is something specific on which it is mapped in every applicable case,...
I 236
...but at the same time it is assumed that this "something" is not individually identified.
Necessarily identifying description/necessarily identifying/Millikan: works purely descriptive (non-referential) and escapes the distinction.
All/"all"/real value/Millikan: E.g. "all A's are φ" maps the world as it should if each single A is a real value of "A" in the sentence.
That is, the real value of the sentence is the fact that a (sic) is φ plus the fact that b is φ plus the fact that c ... etc. ((s) infinite conjunction).
Millikan: at the end you have to add: "And these are all A's that exist". ((s) list, of names).

Millk I
R. G. Millikan
Language, Thought, and Other Biological Categories: New Foundations for Realism Cambridge 1987

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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2017-04-28