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  1. added 2019-03-07
    Robert Brandom Über Singuläre Termini.Daniel Dohrn - 2009 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 63 (3):453-465.
    Robert Brandom charakterisiert singuläre Termini durch ihre symmetrische substitutionsinferentielle Rolle. Er entwickelt ein transzendentales Argument, wonach solche Termini notwendig für jede Sprache sind, welche die üblichen logischen Ausdrucksressourcen wie Negation und Konditional besitzt. Verschiedene Einwände werden diskutiert. Brandom kann die Forderung erfüllen, dass die Semantik einer Sprache kompositional sein muss. Er kann auch mit der asymmetrischen inferentiellen Rolle bestimmter singulärer Termini umgehen, sofern diese nicht systematisch ist. Aber er kann der Möglichkeit nicht gerecht werden, singuläre Termini einzuführen, die nicht durch (...)
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  2. added 2018-12-23
    Smell’s Puzzling Discrepancy: Gifted Discrimination, yet Pitiful Identification.Benjamin D. Young - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
    Humans are gifted at detecting and discriminating odors, yet we have difficulty identifying even the most prevalent everyday odors by name. This paper offers a new explanation for the puzzling discrepancy between our olfactory capacities for discrimination and identification by weaving together recent neuroscientific findings regarding the cortical connectivity of the olfactory system, the olfactory system’s proprietary semantic integration center, and recent philosophical research on the olfactory system’s compositional format of representation. The paper combines these areas of research to develop (...)
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  3. added 2018-10-04
    Kinds of Monsters and Kinds of Compositionality.Mark McCullagh - 2018 - Analysis 78 (4):657-666.
    In response to Stefano Predelli's article finding in David Kaplan's “Demonstratives” a distinction between “context shifting” monsters and “operators on character,” I argue that context shifters are operators on character. That conclusion conflicts with the claim that operators on character must be covertly quotational. But that claim is itself unmotivated.
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  4. added 2018-09-06
    On Context Shifters and Compositionality in Natural Languages.Adrian Briciu - 2018 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 25 (1):2-20.
    My modest aim in this paper is to prove certain relations between some type of hyper-intensional operators, namely context shifting operators, and compositionality in natural languages. Various authors (e.g. von Fintel & Matthewson 2008; Stalnaker 2014) have argued that context-shifting operators are incompatible with compositionality. In fact, some of them understand Kaplan’s (1989) famous ban on context-shifting operators as a constraint on compositionality. Others, (e.g. Rabern 2013) take contextshifting operators to be compatible with compositionality but, unfortunately, do not provide a (...)
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  5. added 2018-08-26
    Context Update for Lambdas and Vectors.Reinhard Muskens & Mehrnoosh Sadrzadeh - 2016 - In Maxime Amblard, Philippe de Groote, Sylvain Pogodalla & Christian Retoré (eds.), Logical Aspects of Computational Linguistics. Celebrating 20 Years of LACL (1996--2016). Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 247--254.
    Vector models of language are based on the contextual aspects of words and how they co-occur in text. Truth conditional models focus on the logical aspects of language, the denotations of phrases, and their compositional properties. In the latter approach the denotation of a sentence determines its truth conditions and can be taken to be a truth value, a set of possible worlds, a context change potential, or similar. In this short paper, we develop a vector semantics for language based (...)
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  6. added 2018-08-12
    Operator Arguments Revisited.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri, John Hawthorne & Peter Fritz - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Certain passages in Kaplan’s ‘Demonstratives’ are often read as constituting an argument for the conclusion that the presence of a non-vacuous sentential operator associated with a certain parameter of sentential truth in a language requires the assertoric contents-cum-compositional semantic values of sentences in that language to vary in truth value with that parameter. Thus, for example, the non-vacuity of a temporal sentential operator ‘always’ would require some of its operands to have assertoric contents that have different truth values at different (...)
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  7. added 2017-12-22
    Semantic with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - manuscript
    This manuscript develops a framework for compositional semantics and begins illustrating its fruitfulness by applying it to a spectrum of core linguistic data, such as with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, relative clauses, conditionals, and questions. The key move is to introduce variables for assignment functions into the syntax; semantic values are treated systematically in terms of sets of assignments, theoretically interpreted as representing possibilities. The framework provides an alternative to traditional ``context-index''-style frameworks descending from Kamp/Kaplan/Lewis/Stalnaker. A principal feature of the account (...)
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  8. added 2017-02-17
    Donkeys Under Discussion.Lucas Champollion, Dylan Bumford & Robert Henderson - forthcoming - Semantics and Pragmatics.
    Donkey sentences have existential and universal readings, but they are not often perceived as ambiguous. We extend the pragmatic theory of nonmaximality in plural definites by Križ (2016) to explain how context disambiguates donkey sentences. We propose that the denotations of such sentences produce truth-value gaps — in certain scenarios the sentences are neither true nor false — and demonstrate that Križ’s pragmatic theory fills these gaps to generate the standard judgments of the literature. Building on Muskens’s (1996) Compositional Discourse (...)
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  9. added 2016-12-22
    What is Wrong with Classical Negation?Nils Kürbis - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 92 (1):51-86.
    The focus of this paper are Dummett's meaning-theoretical arguments against classical logic based on consideration about the meaning of negation. Using Dummettian principles, I shall outline three such arguments, of increasing strength, and show that they are unsuccessful by giving responses to each argument on behalf of the classical logician. What is crucial is that in responding to these arguments a classicist need not challenge any of the basic assumptions of Dummett's outlook on the theory of meaning. In particular, I (...)
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  10. added 2016-09-20
    Reference and Extension.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & James McGilvray - 2010 - In P. C. Horgan (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopaedia of the Language Sciences. Cambridge University Press.
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  11. added 2016-01-22
    Prototypes as Compositional Components of Concepts.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2016 - Synthese 193 (9):2899–2927.
    The aim of this paper is to reconcile two claims that have long been thought to be incompatible: that we compositionally determine the meaning of complex expressions from the meaning of their parts, and that prototypes are components of the meaning of lexical terms such as fish, red, and gun. Hypotheses and are independently plausible, but most researchers think that reconciling them is a difficult, if not hopeless task. In particular, most linguists and philosophers agree that is not negotiable; so (...)
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  12. added 2016-01-22
    The Structure of Semantic Competence: Compositionality as an Innate Constraint of The Faculty of Language.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (4):375–413.
    This paper defends the view that the Faculty of Language is compositional, i.e., that it computes the meaning of complex expressions from the meanings of their immediate constituents and their structure. I fargue that compositionality and other competing constraints on the way in which the Faculty of Language computes the meanings of complex expressions should be understood as hypotheses about innate constraints of the Faculty of Language. I then argue that, unlike compositionality, most of the currently available non-compositional constraints predict (...)
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  13. added 2016-01-07
    Does Semantic Relationism Solve Frege’s Puzzle?Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (1):97-118.
    In a series of recent works, Kit Fine, 605–631, 2003, 2007) has sketched a novel solution to Frege’s puzzle. Radically departing from previous solutions, Fine argues that Frege’s puzzle forces us to reject compositionality. In this paper we first provide an explicit formalization of the relational semantics for first-order logic suggested, but only briefly sketched, by Fine. We then show why the relational semantics alone is technically inadequate, forcing Fine to enrich the syntax with a coordination schema. Given this enrichment, (...)
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  14. added 2015-10-08
    What Do Quantifier Particles Do?Anna Szabolcsi - 2015 - Linguistics and Philosophy 38 (2):159-204.
    In many languages, the same particles that form quantifier words also serve as connectives, additive and scalar particles, question markers, roots of existential verbs, and so on. Do these have a unified semantics, or do they merely bear a family resemblance? Are they aided by silent operators in their varied roles―if yes, what operators? I dub the particles “quantifier particles” and refer to them generically with capitalized versions of the Japanese morphemes. I argue that both MO and KA can be (...)
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  15. added 2015-08-18
    The Antinomy of the Variable: A Tarskian Resolution.Bryan Pickel & Brian Rabern - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (3):137-170.
    Kit Fine has reawakened a puzzle about variables with a long history in analytic philosophy, labeling it “the antinomy of the variable”. Fine suggests that the antinomy demands a reconceptualization of the role of variables in mathematics, natural language semantics, and first-order logic. The difficulty arises because: (i) the variables ‘x’ and ‘y’ cannot be synonymous, since they make different contributions when they jointly occur within a sentence, but (ii) there is a strong temptation to say that distinct variables ‘x’ (...)
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  16. added 2015-05-28
    Do Inferential Roles Compose?Mark McCullagh - 2003 - Dialectica 57 (4):431-38.
    Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lepore have argued that inferential roles are not compositional. It is unclear, however, whether the theories at which they aim their objection are obliged to meet the strong compositionality requirement they have in mind. But even if that requirement is accepted, the data they adduce can in fact be derived from an inferential-role theory that meets it. Technically this is trivial, but it raises some interesting objections turning on the issue of the generality of inferential roles. (...)
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  17. added 2015-05-28
    The Fodorian Fallacy.François Recanati - 2002 - Analysis 62 (4):285-89.
    In recent years Fodor has repeatedly argued that nothing epistemic can be essential to, or constitutive of, any concept. This holds in virtue of a constraint which Fodor dubs the Compositionality Constraint. I show that Fodor's argument is fallacious because it rests on an ambiguity.
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  18. added 2015-03-24
    Compositionality and Modest Inferentialism.James Trafford - 2014 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):39-56.
    This paper provides both a solution and a problem for the account of compositionality in Christopher Peacocke’s modest inferentialism. The immediate issue facing Peacocke’s account is that it looks as if compositionality can only be understood at the level of semantics, which is difficult to reconcile with inferentialism. Here, following up a brief suggestion by Peacocke, I provide a formal framework wherein compositionality occurs the level of the determining relation between inference and semantics. This, in turn provides a “test” for (...)
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  19. added 2014-06-05
    Quantifier Words and Their Multifunctional(?) Parts.Anna Szabolcsi, James Doh Whang & Vera Zu - 2014 - Language and Linguistics 15 (1).
    Formal semantic analyses often take words to be minimal building blocks for the purposes of compositionality. But various recent theories of morphology and syntax have converged on the view that there is no demarcation line corresponding to the word level. The same conclusion has emerged from the compositional semantics of superlatives. In the spirit of extending compositionality below the word level, this paper explores how a small set of particles (Japanese KA and MO, Chinese DOU, and Hungarian VALA/VAGY, MIND, and (...)
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  20. added 2014-06-05
    Presuppositional TOO, Postsuppositional TOO.Adrian Brasoveanu & Anna Szabolcsi - 2013 - The Dynamic, Inquisitive, and Visionary Life of Φ, ?Φ, and ◊Φ Subtitle: A Festschrift for Jeroen Groenendijk, Martin Stokhof, and Frank Veltman.
    One of the insights of dynamic semantics in its various guises (Kamp 1981, Heim 1982, Groenendijk & Stokhof 1991, Kamp & Reyle 1993 among many others) is that interpretation is sensitive to left-to-right order. Is order sensitivity, particularly the default left-to-right order of evaluation, a property of particular meanings of certain lexical items (e.g., dynamically interpreted conjunction) or is it a more general feature of meaning composition? If it is a more general feature of meaning composition, is it a processing (...)
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  21. added 2014-06-05
    Compositionality Without Word Boundaries: (The) More and (the) Most.Anna Szabolcsi - 2012 - Proceedings of Semantics and Linguistic Theory (SALT) 22.
    This paper seeks to illustrate the advantages of not treating phonological words as distinguished building blocks in compositional semantics. Following Bobaljik 2012, we derive the relative readings of amount superlatives in two steps, [[[d-many] comparative] superlative]. The existence of two comparative constructions is revealed, involving more vs. the more. Each builds a different superlative construction, explaining the conflicting intuitions about superlatives in the literature, as well as puzzles relating to the definite article in superlatives.
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  22. added 2014-04-30
    The Semantics of Contextual Shifting and Sensitivity.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Dissertation, The Australian National University
    This thesis argues for two main points concerning the philosophy of natural language semantics. Firstly, that the objects of assertion are distinct from the entities appealed to in the compositional rules of natural language semantics. Secondly, natural languages contain context-shifting operators known as "monsters". In fact, it will be shown that these theses are simply two sides of the same coin.
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  23. added 2014-04-23
    Compositionality and Sandbag Semantics.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2014 - Synthese 191 (14):3329-3350.
    It is a common view that radical contextualism about linguistic meaning is incompatible with a compositional explanation of linguistic comprehension. Recently, some philosophers of language have proposed theories of 'pragmatic' compositionality challenging this assumption. This paper takes a close look at a prominent proposal of this kind due to François Recanati. The objective is to give a plausible formulation of the view. The major results are threefold. First, a basic distinction that contextualists make between mandatory and optional pragmatic processes needs (...)
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  24. added 2014-04-02
    Propositions and Compositionality.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2013 - Philosophical Perspectives 27 (1):526-563.
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  25. added 2014-04-02
    Compositional Semantics for Expressivists.Arvid Båve - 2013 - Philosophical Quarterly 63 (253):633-659.
    I here propose a hitherto unnoticed possibility of solving embedding problems for noncognitivist expressivists in metaethics by appeal to Conceptual Role Semantics. I show that claims from the latter as to what constitutes various concepts can be used to define functions from states expressed by atomic sentences to states expressed by complex sentences, thereby allowing an expressivist semantics that satisfies a rather strict compositionality constraint. The proposal can be coupled with several different types of concept individuation claim, and is shown (...)
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  26. added 2014-03-16
    Meaning Without Analyticity: Essays on Logic, Language and Meaning.H. G. Callaway - 2008 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Meaning without Analyticity draws upon the author’s essays and articles, over a period of 20 years, focused on language, logic and meaning. The book explores the prospect of a non-behavioristic theory of cognitive meaning which rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction, Quinean behaviorism, and the logical and social-intellectual excesses of extreme holism. Cast in clear, perspicuous language and oriented to scientific discussions, this book takes up the challenges of philosophical communication and evaluation implicit in the recent revival of the pragmatist tradition—especially those (...)
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  27. added 2013-10-06
    Self-Reference and the Divorce Between Meaning and Truth.Savas L. Tsohatzidis - 2013 - Logic and Logical Philosophy 22 (4):445-452.
    This paper argues that a certain type of self-referential sentence falsifies the widespread assumption that a declarative sentence's meaning is identical to its truth condition. It then argues that this problem cannot be assimilated to certain other problems that the assumption in question is independently known to face.
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  28. added 2012-11-01
    On the Interpretation of Three-Dimensional Syntactic Trees.Friederike Moltmann - 1992 - In Chris Barker & David Dowty (eds.), Proceedings of Sinn und Bedeutung 2, Ohio State University.
    Syntacticians have proposed three-dimensional syntactic structures to account for the peculiarities of coordination. This paper proposes a way of interpreting such structures and gives an account of sentences of the sort 'John bought and Mary sold a total of ten cars' based on a notion of 'implicit' coordination.
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  29. added 2012-07-03
    Embedding Denial.David Ripley - 2015 - In Colin Caret & Ole Hjortland (eds.), Foundations of Logical Consequence. Oxford University Press. pp. 289-309.
    Suppose Alice asserts p, and the Caterpillar wants to disagree. If the Caterpillar accepts classical logic, he has an easy way to indicate this disagreement: he can simply assert ¬p. Sometimes, though, things are not so easy. For example, suppose the Cheshire Cat is a paracompletist who thinks that p ∨ ¬p fails (in familiar (if possibly misleading) language, the Cheshire Cat thinks p is a gap). Then he surely disagrees with Alice's assertion of p, but should himself be unwilling (...)
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  30. added 2012-03-28
    Scope in English: Analysis in CCG+UC2.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 5 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for today: (a) Introduction: scope prediction (SA vs. BA), sample data (English vs. Kalaallisut), (b) Analysis of English data.
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  31. added 2012-03-28
    Scope in Kalaallisut: Analysis in CCG+UC2.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 6 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for today: (a) Review: scope prediction, Kalaallisut data, (b) Analysis of Kalaallisut data, (c) Questions & discussion.
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  32. added 2012-03-28
    From Kalaallisut to English: Analysis in CCG+UC2.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 4 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan to today: (a) Introduction (syn-sem traits of English vs. Kalaallisut, scope corollary), (b) UC1 + event (re)centering = UC2, (c) English and Kalaallisut in CCG+UC2, (d) Analysis of Kalaallisut BA.TO.L (review) vs. English SA.SU.S (new).
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  33. added 2012-03-28
    Semantic Composition: Kalaallisut in CCG+UC1.Maria Bittner - manuscript
    Day 3 of advanced course on "Crosslinguistic compositional semantics" at 2009 LSA Summer Institute at UC Berkeley. Plan for the day: (a) Introduction: Toward sun-sem typology (b) CCG+UC1 fragment of Kalaallisut, (c) Kalaallisut BA.TO.L-traits explained.
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  34. added 2012-03-28
    Word Order and Incremental Update.Maria Bittner - 2003 - In Proceedings from CLS 39-1. CLS.
    The central claim of this paper is that surface-faithful word-by-word update is feasible and desirable, even in languages where word order is supposedly free. As a first step, in sections 1 and 2, I review an argument from Bittner 2001a that semantic composition is not a static process, as in PTQ, but rather a species of anaphoric bridging. But in that case the context-setting role of word order should extend from cross-sentential discourse anaphora to sentence-internal anaphoric composition. This can be (...)
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  35. added 2012-03-28
    Quantification in Eskimo: A Challenge for Compositional Semantics.Maria Bittner - 1995 - In E. Bach, E. Jelinek, A. Kratzer & B. Partee (eds.), Quantification in Natural Languages. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 59--80.
    This paper describes quantificational structures in Greenlandic Eskimo (Kalaallisut), a language where familiar quantificational meanings are expressed in ways that are quite different from English. Evidence from this language thus poses some formidable challenges for cross-linguistic theories of compositional semantics.
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  36. added 2012-01-10
    Depiction and Composition.Ben Blumson - 2014 - In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. pp. 99-116.
    Traditionally, the structure of a language is revealed by constructing an appropriate theory of meaning for that language, which exhibits how – and whether – the meaning of sentences in the language depends upon the meaning of their parts. In this paper, I argue that whether – and how – what pictures represent depends on what their parts represent should likewise by revealed by the construction of appropriate theories of representation for the symbol system of those pictures. This generalisation, I (...)
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  37. added 2012-01-08
    Compositionality in Focus.Anna Szabolcsi - 1982 - Folia Linguistica Europea 15:141-162.
    I believe that the validity of [the Fregean principle of compositionality] is beyond doubt and thus any grammar, whether organized to reflect [it] directly or not, may ultimately be required to satisfy it. One of the systems that are precisely designed to reflect [it] is Montague Grammar, where, technical details aside, it is realized as follows: (2) a. Sentences are composed by putting their constituents together step by step, with no subsequent rearrangement; b. Not only each lexical item but also (...)
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  38. added 2010-12-27
    If A, Then B Too, but Only If C: A Reply to Varzi.Gilberto Gomes - 2006 - Analysis 66 (2):157–161.
    Varzi (2005) discussed 6 ways of symbolizing the sentence 'If Alf went to the movies then Beth went too, but only if she found a taxi-cab.' In the present reply, a seventh symbolization is offered, along with an analysis of the six alternatives discussed by Varzi.
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  39. added 2008-12-31
    Interpreting Images.Ben Blumson - 2014 - In Resemblance and Representation. Open Book Publishers. pp. 118-138.
    Just as it’s possible to understand novel sentences without having heard them before, it’s possible to understand novel pictures without having seen them before. But these possibilities are often supposed to have totally different explanations: whereas the ability to understand novel sentences is supposed to be explained by tacit knowledge of a compositional theory of meaning for their language, the ability to understand novel pictures is supposed to be explained differently. In this paper I argue against this disanalogy: insofar as (...)
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  40. added 2008-12-31
    Embodied Thoughts. Concepts and Compositionality Without Language.B. Hardy-Vallee & Pierre Poirier - 2006 - Theoria Et Historia Scientarum 1:53-72.
    Is thinking necessarily linguistic? Do we _think with words_, to use Bermudez’s (2003) phrase? Or does thinking occur in some other, yet to be determined, representational format? Or again do we think in various formats, switching from one to the other as tasks demand? In virtue perhaps of the ambiguous nature of first-person introspective data on the matter, philosophers have traditionally disagreed on this question, some thinking that thought had to be pictorial, other insisting that it could not be but (...)
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  41. added 2008-12-31
    Is Compositionality an a Priori Principle?Daniel Cohnitz - 2005 - In M. Wening, E. Machery & G. Schurz (eds.), The Compositionality of Concepts and Meanings: Foundational Issues. Ontos.
    When reasons are given for compositionality, the arguments usually purport to establish compositionality in an almost a priori manner. I will rehearse these arguments why one could think that compositionality is a priori true, or almost a priori true, and will find all of them inconclusive. This, in itself, is no reason against compositionality, but a reason to try to establish or defend the principle on other than quasi-a priori grounds.
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