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  1. Local Conceptual Engineering in a Linguistic Subgroup and the Implementation Problem.Takaaki Matsui - manuscript
    In this paper, I examine Max Deutsch’s dilemma for the implementation of newly engineered concepts. In the debate over this dilemma, the goal of conceptual engineering tends to be set either too high or too low. As a result, implementation tends to be seen as either very unlikely to succeed or too easily achievable. This paper aims to offer a way out of this dilemma. I argue that the success conditions for implementation can be better understood if we distinguish between (...)
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  2. Truth and Imprecision.Josh Armstrong - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    Our ordinary assertions are often imprecise, insofar as the way we represent things as being only approximates how things are in the actual world. The phenomenon of assertoric imprecision raises a challenge to standard accounts of both the norm of assertion and the connection between semantics and the objects of assertion. After clarifying these problems in detail, I develop a framework for resolving them. Specifically, I argue that the phenomenon of assertoric imprecision motivates a rejection of the widely held belief (...)
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  3. Covert Mixed Quotation.Cameron Domenico Kirk-Giannini - 2024 - Semantics and Pragmatics 17 (5):1-52.
    The term 'covert mixed quotation' describes cases in which linguistic material is interpreted in the manner of mixed quotation — that is, used in addition to being mentioned — despite the superficial absence of any commonly recognized conventional devices indicating quotation. After developing a novel theory of mixed quotation, I show that positing covert mixed quotation allows us to give simple and unified treatments of a number of puzzling semantic phenomena, including the projective behavior of conventional implicature items embedded in (...)
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  4. What Is It To Have A Language?David Balcarras - 2023 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 104 (4):837-866.
    This article defends the view that having a language just is knowing how to engage in communication with it. It also argues that, despite claims to the contrary, this view is compatible and complementary with the Chomskyan conception of language on which humans have languages in virtue of being in brain states realizing tacit knowledge of grammars for those languages.
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  5. Overhearing uninterpreted sound: challenges in Davidsonian interpretation.Vladimir Lazurca - 2023 - In Ana Maria Haddad Baptista, Ciprian Vălcan & Márcia Fusaro (eds.), Education and Research Topics. Tesseractum. pp. 312-326.
    This paper develops a counterexample to Davidson’s elaborate model of conventionless communication, first articulated in his (1986) and defended in his (1994a). The first part contains an analysis of the model and its assumptions. Then, in a second part, I present a case focused around the concept of overhearing. It subtracts active interaction from the model and reveals that, under these novel conditions, communication makes further demands on it, namely conformity of the prior interpretive theory of all but one of (...)
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  6. Towards a Unified Theory of Illocutionary Normativity.Neri Marsili - 2023 - In Laura Caponetto & Paolo Labinaz (eds.), Sbisà on Speech as Action. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 2147483647-2147483647.
    Speech acts are governed by a variety of illocutionary norms. Building on Sbisà’s (2019) work, this chapter attempts to develop a common framework to study them. Four families of illocutionary rules are identified: (i) Validity rules set conditions for (actual) performance; (ii) Cooperative rules set conditions for cooperative performance; (iii) Illocutionary goals set conditions for successful performance; (iv) Illocutionary obligations set conditions for compliance. Illocutionary rules are often taken to play a constitutive role: speech acts are said to be constituted (...)
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  7. Darmok and Jalad on the Internet: the importance of metaphors in natural languages and natural language processing.Kristina Šekrst - 2023 - In Amy H. Sturgis & Emily Strand (eds.), Star Trek: Essays Exploring the Final Frontier. Vernon Press. pp. 89-117.
    In a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode, Cpt. Picard is captured and trapped on a planet with an alien captain who speaks a language incompatible with the universal translator, based on their societal historical metaphors. According to Shapiro (2004), the concept of a universal translator removes everything alien from alien languages, and since the Tamarian language refers only to their historical and cultural archetypes, Picard can only establish dialogue by invoking human analogues, such as Gilgamesh. The purpose of this (...)
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  8. Lying, Misleading, and Fairness.Emanuel Viebahn - 2022 - Ethics 132 (3):736-751.
    Sam Berstler defends a general moral advantage for misleading over lying by arguing that liars, but not misleaders, act unfairly toward the other members of their linguistic community. This article spells out three difficulties for Berstler’s account. First, though Berstler aims to avoid an error theory, it is dubitable that her account fits with intuitions on the matter. Second, there are some lies that do not exhibit the unfairness Berstler identifies. Third, fairness is not the only morally relevant difference between (...)
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  9. An Attempt at Interreligious Theologising.Subhasis Chattopadhyay - 2021 - Indian Catholic Matters.
    This blog post begins by showing the pejorative connotations inherent in the term 'Hindu' and goes on to lay bare the differences between Hinduism and other religions including Jainism and the Abrahamic religions. So that this necessary project of dialogues is not hijacked by celibates of various traditions; the post ends with these reflections: "The Hare Krishna movement, and all other prominent movements within the Sanatana Dharma including the various well known cults of hero-worship are all structured around centralised superstructures (...)
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  10. Lexical innovation and the periphery of language.Luca Gasparri - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 45 (1):39-63.
    Lexical innovations (e.g., zero-derivations coined on the fly by a speaker) seem to bear semantic content. Yet, such expressions cannot bear semantic content as a function of the conventions of meaning in force in the language, since they are not part of its lexicon. This is in tension with the commonplace view that the semantic content of lexical expressions is constituted by linguistic conventions. The conventionalist has two immediate ways out of the tension. The first is to preserve the conventionalist (...)
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  11. Categoricity by convention.Julien Murzi & Brett Topey - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (10):3391-3420.
    On a widespread naturalist view, the meanings of mathematical terms are determined, and can only be determined, by the way we use mathematical language—in particular, by the basic mathematical principles we’re disposed to accept. But it’s mysterious how this can be so, since, as is well known, minimally strong first-order theories are non-categorical and so are compatible with countless non-isomorphic interpretations. As for second-order theories: though they typically enjoy categoricity results—for instance, Dedekind’s categoricity theorem for second-order PA and Zermelo’s quasi-categoricity (...)
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  12. Philosophical implications of Morris’ semiotic theory.Milos Bogdanovic - 2020 - Filozofija I Društvo 31 (1):108-125.
    The subject of this paper is Charles Morris’ semiotic theory that has as one of its major projects the unification of all sciences of signs. However, since the above project has proven to be unsuccessful, we will try to examine here the reasons that led to this. Accordingly, we will argue that to transcend the particularities of individual disciplines that he wanted to unify, Morris had to make certain ontological assumptions, instead of theoretical and methodological ones, that they could share. (...)
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  13. Contested Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2020 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 97 (1):11-30.
    Sometimes speakers within a linguistic community use a term that they do not conceptualize as a slur, but which other members of that community do. Sometimes these speakers are ignorant or naïve, but not always. This article explores a puzzle raised when some speakers stubbornly maintain that a contested term t is not derogatory. Because the semantic content of a term depends on the language, to say that their use of t is semantically derogatory despite their claims and intentions, we (...)
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  14. Against Conventional Wisdom.Alexander W. Kocurek, Ethan Jerzak & Rachel Etta Rudolph - 2020 - Philosophers' Imprint 20 (22):1-27.
    Conventional wisdom has it that truth is always evaluated using our actual linguistic conventions, even when considering counterfactual scenarios in which different conventions are adopted. This principle has been invoked in a number of philosophical arguments, including Kripke’s defense of the necessity of identity and Lewy’s objection to modal conventionalism. But it is false. It fails in the presence of what Einheuser (2006) calls c-monsters, or convention-shifting expressions (on analogy with Kaplan’s monsters, or context-shifting expressions). We show that c-monsters naturally (...)
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  15. Comparing conventions.Rachel Etta Rudolph & Alexander W. Kocurek - 2020 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 30:294-313.
    We offer a novel account of metalinguistic comparatives, such as 'Al is more wise than clever'. On our view, metalinguistic comparatives express comparative commitments to conventions. Thus, 'Al is more wise than clever' expresses that the speaker has a stronger commitment to a convention on which Al is wise than to a convention on which she is clever. This view avoids problems facing previous approaches to metalinguistic comparatives. It also fits within a broader framework—independently motivated by metalinguistic negotiations and convention-shiftingexpressions— (...)
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  16. Yet another skeptical solution.Andrea Guardo - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (1):117-129.
    The paper puts forward a new skeptical solution to Kripke’s Wittgenstein’s rule-following paradox, a solution which revolves around the idea that human communication does not require meaning facts - at least as defined by Kripke. After a brief discussion of the paradox, I explain why I think that Kripkenstein’s solution needs revision and argue that the main goal of a skeptical solution to the rule-following paradox should be that of showing that communication does not require meaning. After that, I offer (...)
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  17. Hypothesis, analysis and synthesis, it’s all Greek to me.Ioannis Iliopoulos, Sophia Ananiadou, Antoine Danchin, John P. A. Ioannidis, Peter D. Katsidis, Christos A. Ouzounis & Vasilis J. Promponas - 2019 - eLife 8:e43514.
    The linguistic foundations of science and technology include many terms that have been borrowed from ancient languages. In the case of terms with origins in the Greek language, the modern meaning can often differ significantly from the original one. Here we use the PubMed database to demonstrate the prevalence of words of Greek origin in the language of modern science, and call for scientists to exercise care when coining new terms.
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  18. Linguistic convention and worldly fact: Prospects for a naturalist theory of the a priori.Brett Topey - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (7):1725-1752.
    Truth by convention, once thought to be the foundation of a uniquely promising approach to explaining our access to the truth in nonempirical domains, is nowadays widely considered an absurdity. Its fall from grace has been due largely to the influence of an argument that can be sketched as follows: our linguistic conventions have the power to make it the case that a sentence expresses a particular proposition, but they can’t by themselves generate truth; whether a given proposition is true—and (...)
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  19. Przynależność kulturowa i język. O metodologicznych problemach filozofii eksperymentalnej.Krzysztof Sękowski - 2018 - Filozofia Nauki 26 (1):49-66.
    The aim of this paper is to analyze methodological problems of cross-cultural research in experimental philosophy. By studying five research projects, representing two distinct approaches to the examination of cross-cultural differences in philosophical intuitions, I point out the difficulties related to the content validity that appear in the choice of some cultural affiliation indicators. I criticize various indicators of cultural affiliation that are used in experimental philosophy (selfidentification, language) and suggest which indicators, and how, should be chosen in that kind (...)
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  20. The Pragmatics of Slurs.Renée Jorgensen Bolinger - 2017 - Noûs 51 (3):439-462.
    I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints on (...)
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  21. Coordination, Triangulation, and Language Use.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (1):80-112.
    In this paper, I explore two contrasting conceptions of the social character of language. The first takes language to be grounded in social convention. The second, famously developed by Donald Davidson, takes language to be grounded in a social relation called triangulation. I aim both to clarify and to evaluate these two conceptions of language. First, I propose that Davidson’s triangulation-based story can be understood as the result of relaxing core features of conventionalism pertaining to both common-interest and diachronic stability—specifically, (...)
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  22. The Problem of Lexical Innovation.Josh Armstrong - 2016 - Linguistics and Philosophy 39 (2):87-118.
    In a series of papers, Donald Davidson :3–17, 1984, The philosophical grounds of rationality, 1986, Midwest Stud Philos 16:1–12, 1991) developed a powerful argument against the claim that linguistic conventions provide any explanatory purchase on an account of linguistic meaning and communication. This argument, as I shall develop it, turns on cases of what I call lexical innovation: cases in which a speaker uses a sentence containing a novel expression-meaning pair, but nevertheless successfully communicates her intended meaning to her audience. (...)
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  23. Introduction for Inquiry Symposium on Imagination and Convention. [REVIEW]E. Michaelson & J. Armstrong - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (2):139-144.
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  24. Incongruity and Seriousness.Chris A. Kramer - 2015 - Florida Philosophical Review 15 (1):1-18.
    In the first part of this paper, I will briefly introduce the concept of incongruity and its relation to humor and seriousness, connecting the ideas of Arthur Schopenhauer and the contemporary work of John Morreall. I will reveal some of the relations between Schopenhauer's notion of "seriousness" and the existentialists such as Jean Paul Sartre, Simone Be Beauvoir, and Lewis Gordon. In section II, I will consider the relationship between playfulness and incongruity, noting the role that enjoyment of incongruity plays (...)
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  25. Antirealist Essentialism.Jonathan Livingstone-Banks - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Leeds
    This project is an investigation into the prospects for an antirealist theory of essence. Essentialism is the claim that at least some things have some of their properties essentially. Essentialist discourse includes claims such as “Socrates is essentially human”, and “Socrates is accidentally bearded”. Historically, there are two ways of interpreting essentialist discourse. I call these positions ‘modal essentialism’ and ‘neo-Aristotelian essentialism’. According to modal essentialism, for Socrates to be essentially human is for it to be necessary that he be (...)
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  26. Can groups have concepts? Semantics for collective intentions.Cathal O'Madagain - 2014 - Philosophical Issues 24 (1):347-363.
    A substantial literature supports the attribution of intentional states such as beliefs and desires to groups. But within this literature, there is no substantial account of group concepts. Since on many views, one cannot have an intentional state without having concepts, such a gap undermines the cogency of accounts of group intentionality. In this paper I aim to provide an account of group concepts. First I argue that to fix the semantics of the sentences groups use to make their decisions (...)
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  27. Knowing linguistic conventions.Carin Robinson - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (2):167-176.
    A linguistic convention is a principle or norm that has been adopted by a person or linguistic community about how to use, and therefore what the meaning is of, a specific term. Examples of such norms or principles are those expressed by propositions that express the laws of logic or those that express implicit definitions. Arguments about the epistemic status of linguistic conventions, very broadly, fall into two camps: the one holds that the basis of linguistic conventions is objective and (...)
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  28. Jezik in javno: reorganizacija trivija v Lockovem Eseju in v Portroyalski logiki.Gregor Kroupa - 2013 - Filozofski Vestnik 34 (3):57-74.
    "Language and its Public Features: Reorganizing the Trivium in Locke's Essay and Port-Royal Logic" The new theory of language in the 17th century coincides with the end the traditional order of disciplines in the trivium (grammar, logic and rhetoric), which in the mediaeval times provided a comprehensive view of the problems of discourse. The article focuses on some key passages in Port-Royal Logic and Locke's Essay that provide us with a typical early modern scheme of linguistic representation, characterised by heavily (...)
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  29. Inherent emotional quality of human speech sounds.Blake Myers-Schulz, Maia Pujara, Richard C. Wolf & Michael Koenigs - 2013 - Cognition and Emotion 27 (6):1105-1113.
    During much of the past century, it was widely believed that phonemes--the human speech sounds that constitute words--have no inherent semantic meaning, and that the relationship between a combination of phonemes (a word) and its referent is simply arbitrary. Although recent work has challenged this picture by revealing psychological associations between certain phonemes and particular semantic contents, the precise mechanisms underlying these associations have not been fully elucidated. Here we provide novel evidence that certain phonemes have an inherent, non-arbitrary emotional (...)
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  30. Meaning and Linguistic Sound: Why Are Sounds Imposed on Our Minds?Abolfazl Sabramiz - 2013 - Dialogue: Journal of Phi Sigma Tau 56 (1):14-23.
    An interesting fact about the meaning of words is the compulsion to perceive them; when we encounter a symbol, we perceive its meaning without the least mental effort. In this paper, I answer the questions, "How does the meaning of a word impose itself on us?" and "How does a symbol become meaningful and what is the meaning of a symbol?" By emphasizing the time when we understand a word, I introduce the reality of words versus the language convention. By (...)
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  31. Bertrand Russell’s Theory of Definite Descriptions: an Examination.Mostofa Nazmul Mansur - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Calgary, Calgary, Ab, Canada
    Despite its enormous popularity, Russell’s theory of definite descriptions has received various criticisms. Two of the most important objections against this theory are those arising from the Argument from Incompleteness and the Argument from Donnellan’s Distinction. According to the former although a speaker may say something true by assertively uttering a sentence containing an incomplete description , on the Russellian analysis such a sentence expresses a false proposition; so, Russell’s theory cannot adequately deal with such sentences. According to the latter (...)
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  32. Zur Dekonstruktion des Un/Gesunden in philologischen Taxonomien: westlich-chinesischer Renaissance-Diskurs.Viatcheslav Vetrov - 2012 - Oriens Extremus 51:231-268.
    Following Mary Douglas' conviction that "dirt is never an isolated event", the present study aims at a systematic analysis of bodily projections of good and poor health (bacteria, diseases, im/purity etc.) into philological taxonomies of Republican China. Embedded in a global Renaissance discourse, modern Chinese representations of un/healthy language and un/healthy literature provided a system according to which the whole body of the national cultural heritage could be reexamined quickly and effectively.
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  33. Normativity and Instrumentalism in David Lewis’ Convention.S. M. Amadae - 2011 - History of European Ideas 37 (3):325-335.
    David Lewis presented Convention as an alternative to the conventionalism characteristic of early-twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Rudolf Carnap is well known for suggesting the arbitrariness of any particular linguistic convention for engaging in scientific inquiry. Analytic truths are self-consistent, and are not checked against empirical facts to ascertain their veracity. In keeping with the logical positivists before him, Lewis concludes that linguistic communication is conventional. However, despite his firm allegiance to conventions underlying not just languages but also social customs, he pioneered (...)
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  34. Grounds, Convention, and the Metaphysics of Linguistic Tokens.Brian Epstein - 2009 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):45-67.
    My aim in this paper is to discuss a metaphysical framework within which to understand “standard linguistic entities” (SLEs), such as words, sentences, phonemes, and other entities routinely employed in linguistic theory. In doing so, I aim to defuse certain kinds of skepticism, challenge convention-based accounts of SLEs, and present a series of distinctions for better understanding what the various accounts of SLEs do and do not accomplish.
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  35. Depiction and convention.Ben Blumson - 2008 - Dialectica 62 (3):335-348.
    By defining both depictive and linguistic representation as kinds of symbol system, Nelson Goodman attempts to undermine the platitude that, whereas linguistic representation is mediated by convention, depiction is mediated by resemblance. I argue that Goodman is right to draw a strong analogy between the two kinds of representation, but wrong to draw the counterintuitive conclusion that depiction is not mediated by resemblance.
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  36. Linguistic authority and convention in a speech act analysis of pornography.Nellie Wieland - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (3):435 – 456.
    Recently, several philosophers have recast feminist arguments against pornography in terms of Speech Act Theory. In particular, they have considered the ways in which the illocutionary force of pornographic speech serves to set the conventions of sexual discourse while simultaneously silencing the speech of women, especially during unwanted sexual encounters. Yet, this raises serious questions as to how pornographers could (i) be authorities in the language game of sex, and (ii) set the conventions for sexual discourse - questions which these (...)
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  37. Convention and language.Henry Jackman - 1998 - Synthese 117 (3):295-312.
    This paper has three objectives. The first is to show how David Lewis' influential account of how a population is related to its language requires that speakers be 'conceptually autonomous' in a way that is incompatible with content ascriptions following from the assumption that its speakers share a language. The second objective is to sketch an alternate account of the psychological and sociological facts that relate a population to its language. The third is to suggest a modification of Lewis' account (...)
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  38. Lewis on convention.S. R. Miller - 1982 - Philosophical Papers 11 (2):1-8.
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  39. Logico-linguistic papers.Peter Frederick Strawson - 1971 - Burlington, VT: Ashgate.
    This reissue of his collection of early essays, Logico-Linguistic Papers, is published with a brand new introduction by Professor Strawson but, apart from minor ...
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