Whether natural language permits quantification over ‘nonexistent’, intentional objects is subject of a major controversy, as is the nature of such entities themselves. This paper argues that certain constructions in natural language involving ‘intentional verbs’ such as ‘think of ’, ‘describe’, and ‘imagine’ cannot be analysed compositionally without positing intentional objects, as entities strictly dependent on intentional acts. The paper also argues that intentional verbs involve a distinctive semantics, which is fundamentally different from that of intensional transitive verbs, a difference reflected in a range of quantificational phenomena.
Moltmann, F. (2015). Quantification with intentional and with intensional verbs. In Quantifiers, Quantifiers, and Quantifiers: Themes in Logic, Metaphysics, and Language (pp. 141–168). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-18362-6_8