It is often thought that ‘bishop’ sentences (e.g. A bishop met a
bishop, and he blessed him)
provide an important argument for dynamic
theories and against E-type theories of unbound anaphora. In a
nutshell, the problem for E-type approaches is that the two 'bishop'
antecedents play such symmetric roles that pronouns-as-descriptions
have trouble distinguishing their denotations. But we argue
that dynamic theories are faced with a similar problem in a minimally
different example: At least two
bishops (each) met at least two
bishops, and they (each) blessed them. The source of the
that numerals such as at least two give rise to maximal readings.
Dynamic theories can handle them by positing maximality conditions
either in the semantics of pronouns, or of quantifiers. Either
way, the pronoun they ends up
denoting the maximal set of bishops who each met at
least two bishops. If the sentence is true, this set must include at
least four bishops – and there must be at least four blessings, which
goes against intuition.