Affiliations: [a] College of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physical Sciences, University of Exeter, UK. E-mail: [email protected] | [b] Department of Computing and Information Systems, University of Greenwich, UK. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: Expressions designating collectives, such as “the committee” or “the ships in the port”, may be interpreted de re or de dicto, depending on context, according as they pick out collectives defined by their members or collectives defined by some criterion for membership. We call these E(xtensional)-collectives and I(ntensional)-collectives respectively, and in this paper we explore in depth the relationship between these two categories. In particular, we identify important respects in which they differ, regarding the nature of the dependence of the collective on its members, the nature of the parthood relation in which the members stand to the whole, and, from an application perspective, the different methods used for identifying the two forms of collective from large spatio-temporal data-sets.
Keywords: Collectives, collections, de re, de dicto