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  1. Platonic and Aristotelian Influences in the Philosophy of Language: A Case for the Priority of the Cratylus.Hayden Kee - 2016 - Maritain Studies/Etudes Maritainiennes 32:72-82.
    Aristotle’s De Interpretatione has been referred to as the most influential text to be written in the history of semantics. I argue, however, that it is Plato who lays the foundation for subsequent reflection on signification. In the Cratylus, Plato confronts the two prevalent views of his time on the nature of the relationship between a name and a thing named: conventionalism, which holds that there is an arbitrary, imposed relationship between names and what they name; and naturalism, which holds (...)
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  2. Partial Content and Expressions of Part and Whole. Discussion of Stephen Yablo: Aboutness.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):797-808.
    In 'Aboutness' (MIT Press 2014), Yablo argues for the importance of the notions of partial content and partial truth. This paper argues that they are involved in a much greater range of entities than acknowledged by Yablo. The paper also argues that some of those entities involve a notion of partial satisfaction as well as partial existence (validity).
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  3. Which Symbol Grounding Problem Should We Try to Solve?Vincent C. Müller - 2015 - Journal of Experimental & Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 27 (1):73-78.
    Floridi and Taddeo propose a condition of “zero semantic commitment” for solutions to the grounding problem, and a solution to it. I argue briefly that their condition cannot be fulfilled, not even by their own solution. After a look at Luc Steels' very different competing suggestion, I suggest that we need to re-think what the problem is and what role the ‘goals’ in a system play in formulating the problem. On the basis of a proper understanding of computing, I come (...)
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  4. Fictive Interaction and the Nature of Linguistic Meaning.Sergeiy Sandler - forthcoming - In Esther Pascual & Sergeiy Sandler (eds.), The conversation frame: Forms and functions of fictive interaction. John Benjamins.
    One may distinguish between three broad conceptions of linguistic meaning. One conception, which I will call “logical”, views meaning as given in reference (for words) and truth (for sentences). Another conception, the “monological” one, seeks meaning in the cognitive capacities of the single mind. A third, “dialogical”, conception attributes meaning to interaction between individuals and personal perspectives. In this chapter I directly contrast how well these three approaches deal with the evidence brought forth by fictive interaction. I examine instances of (...)
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  5. The Poetics of Mind. [REVIEW]James Edwin Mahon - 1996 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 4:202-203.
    Review of Gibbs' book in which he argues against the twin assumptions that language is inherently literal, and that thought itself is literal. Metaphors, etc., are omnipresent in language, Gibbs argues, and the mind is inherently 'poetic', i.e., it engages in figurative thinking. For example, we conceptualize anger as "ANGER IS HEATED FLUID IN A CONTAINER" (p. 7), and as a result, that is how we talk about anger ('Bill is getting hot under the collar,' 'She blew up at me', (...)
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  6. Week Eleven: Objections to Jackson.Brian Weatherson - manuscript
    One of the benefits of the 2D framework we looked at last week was that it explained how we could understand a sentence without knowing which proposition it expressed. And we could do this even if we give an account of understanding which is closely tied to the possible worlds semantics we use to analyse propositions. Really this can be done very easily, without appeal to any high-flying Kripkean cases. In “Analytic Metaphysics” Jackson discusses a very simple case of it. (...)
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  7. What Is Meaning? By Scott Soames. Soochow University Lectures in Philosophy.Sergeiy Sandler - 2012 - The European Legacy 17 (5):708 - 709.
    The European Legacy, Volume 17, Issue 5, Page 708-709, August 2012.
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  8. The Meaning-Sharing Network.John Haglund & Johan Blomberg - 2010 - Hortues Semioticus 6:17-30.
    We advocate an analysis of meaning that departs from the pragmatic slogan that “meaning is use”. However, in order to avoid common missteps, this claim is in dire need of qualification. We argue that linguistic meaning does not originate from language use as such; therefore we cannot base a theory of meaning only on use. It is important not to neglect the fact that language is ultimately reliant on non-linguistic factors. This might seem to oppose the aforementioned slogan, but it (...)
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  9. Inside and Outside Language: Stroud's Nonreductionism About Meaning.Hannah Ginsborg - 2011 - In Jason Bridges, Niko Kolodny & Wai-Hung Wong (eds.), The Possibility of Philosophical Understanding: Essays for Barry Stroud. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that Stroud's nonreductionism about meaning is insufficiently motivated. First, given that he rejects the assumption that grasp of an expression's meaning guides or instructs us in its use, he has no reason to accept Kripke's arguments against dispositionalism or related reductive views. Second, his argument that reductive views are impossible because they attempt to explain language “from outside” rests on an equivocation between two senses in which an explanation of language can be from outside language. I offer a (...)
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  10. Does Meaning Evolve?Mark D. Roberts - 2004 - Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):401 - 426.
    A common method of making a theory more understandable is to compare it to another theory that has been better developed. Radical interpretation is a theory that attempts to explain how communication has meaning. Radical interpretation is treated as another time-dependent theory and compared to the time-dependent theory of biological evolution. The main reason for doing this is to find the nature of the time dependence; producing analogs between the two theories is a necessary prerequisite to this and brings up (...)
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  11. Psychologism in Semantics.Michael McKinsey - 1983 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 13 (1):1 - 25.
    According to grice, Semantic concepts like meaning and reference should be explicated in terms of the propositional attitudes. In this paper, I argue that grice's program is mistaken in principle. I first motivate a gricean strategy for defining denotation, Or semantic reference, In terms of rules that govern what speakers may refer to with the terms they use. I then express three paradigm gricean theories of denotation and introduce considerations which show that these theories are false.
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  12. Meaning and Truth.P. F. Strawson - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Arguing About Language. Routledge.
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  13. Meaning and Argument. A Theory of Meaning Centred on Immediate Argumental Role.Cesare Cozzo - 1994 - Almqvist & Wiksell.
    This study presents and develops in detail (a new version of) the argumental conception of meaning. The two basic principles of the argumental conception of meaning are: i) To know (implicitly) the sense of a word is to know (implicitly) all the argumentation rules concerning that word; ii) To know the sense of a sentence is to know the syntactic structure of that sentence and to know the senses of the words occurring in it. The sense of a sentence is (...)
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  14. The Internal Basis of Meaning.Michael McKinsey - 1991 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 72 (June):143-69.
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  15. The Semantic Basis of Externalism.Michael McKinsey - 2001 - In J. Campbell, M. O. Rourke & David Shier (eds.), Meaning and Truth. New York: Seven Bridges Press.
    1. The primary evidence and motivation for externalism in the philosophy of mind is provided by the semantic facts that support direct reference theories of names, indexi- cal pronouns, and natural kind terms. But many externalists have forgotten their sem- antic roots, or so I shall contend here. I have become convinced of this by a common reaction among externalists to the main argument of my 1991 paper AAnti-Individual- ism and Privileged Access.@ In that argument, I concluded that externalism is (...)
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Deflationary Theories of Meaning
  1. Gary Ostertag (Ed.), Meanings and Other Things: Themes From the Work of Stephen Schiffer. [REVIEW]Indrek Reiland - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 7.
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  2. Дефляция как болезнь современных развитых стран.Leonid Grinin & Andrey Korotayev - 2015 - In Анализ и моделирование мировой и страновой динамики: методология и базовые модели. Moscow,Russia: Uchitel Publishing House. pp. 241-270.
    В последние два-три года среди многочислен- ных проблем в отношении европейской и американской экономики все чаще стала упоминаться опасность дефляции. При этом в каче- стве примера рассматривается японская экономика, которая уже два десятилетия страдает от дефляции, несмотря на огромные раз- меры финансовых вливаний и усилия правительства разогнать ин- фляцию. В западных экономиках инфляция также низкая, времена- ми нулевая, переходящая в дефляцию. В целом есть основания счи- тать, что страны Европы заболевают «японской болезнью», а также что эта «болезнь» может прогрессировать либо (...)
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  3. Linguistic Understanding and Knowledge of Truth-Conditions.Chase Wrenn - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (3):355-370.
    What do you know when you know what a sentence means? According to some theories, understanding a sentence is, in part, knowing its truth-conditions. Dorit Bar-On, Claire Horisk, and William Lycan have defended such theories on the grounds of an “epistemic determination argument”. That argument turns on the ideas that understanding a sentence, along with knowledge of the non-linguistic facts, suffices to know its truth-value, and that being able to determine a sentence’s truth-value given knowledge of the non-linguistic facts is (...)
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Intention-Based Theories of Meaning
  1. Quine's Naturalism and Behaviorisms.Tony Cheng - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (4):548-567.
    This paper investigates the complicated relations between various versions of naturalism, behaviorism, and mentalism within the framework of W. V. O. Quine's thinking. It begins with Roger Gibson's reconstruction of Quine's behaviorisms and argues that it lacks a crucial ontological element and misconstrues the relation between philosophy and science. After getting clear of Quine's naturalism, the paper distinguishes between evidential, methodological, and ontological behaviorisms. The evidential and methodological versions are often conflated, but they need to be clearly distinguished in order (...)
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  2. Gary Ostertag (Ed.), Meanings and Other Things: Themes From the Work of Stephen Schiffer. [REVIEW]Indrek Reiland - 2018 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 7.
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  3. Mind the Gap: Expressing Affect with Hyperbole and Hyperbolic Compounds.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - forthcoming - John Benjamins.
    Hyperbole is traditionally understood as exaggeration. Instead, in this paper, we shall define it not just in terms of its form, but in terms of its effects and its purpose. Specifically, we characterize its form as a shift of magnitude along a scale of measurement. In terms of its effect, it uses this magnitude shift to make the target property more salient. The purpose of hyperbole is to express with colour and force that the target property is either greater or (...)
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  4. The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-33.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Secondly, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  5. Referential Intentions: A Response to Buchanan and Peet.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):610-615.
    Buchanan (2014) argues for a Gricean solution to well-known counterexamples to direct reference theories of content. Peet (2016) develops a way to change the counterexample so that it seems to speak against Buchanan’s own proposal. I argue that both theorists fail to notice a significant distinction between the kinds of cases at issue. Those appearing to count against direct reference theory must be described such that speakers have false beliefs about the identity of the object to which they intend to (...)
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  6. Saying Without Knowing What or How.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):351-382.
    In response to Stephen Neale (2016), I argue that aphonic expressions, such as PRO, are intentionally uttered by normal speakers of natural language, either by acts of omitting to say something explicitly, or by acts of giving phonetic realization to aphonics. I argue, also, that Gricean intention-based semantics should seek divorce from Cartesian assumptions of transparent access to propositional attitudes and, consequently, that Stephen Schiffer's so-called meaning-intention problem is not powerful enough to banish alleged cases of over-intellectualization in contemporary philosophy (...)
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  7. Does Legal Interpretation Need Paul Grice?Matczak Marcin - 2016 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):67-87.
    By significantly diminishing the role intentions play in communication, in Imagination and Convention Lepore and Stone attempt to overthrow the Gricean paradigm which prevails in the philosophy of language. The approach they propose is attractive to theorists of legal interpretations for many reasons. Primary among these is that the more general dispute in the philosophy of language between Griceans and non-Griceans mirrors the dispute between intentionalists and non-intentionalists in legal interpretation. The ideas proposed in Imagination and Convention naturally support the (...)
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  8. Is Davidson a Gricean?John R. Cook - 2009 - Dialogue 48 (3):557.
    ABSTRACT: In his recent collection of essays, Language, Truth and History, Donald Davidson appears to endorse a philosophy of language which gives primary importance to the notion of the speaker’s communicative intentions, a perspective on language not too dissimilar from that of Paul Grice. If that is right, then this would mark a major shift from the formal semanticist approach articulated and defended by Davidson in his Inquiries into Truth and Interpretation. In this paper, I argue that although there are (...)
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  9. Interaction and Resistance: The Recognition of Intentions in New Human-Computer Interaction.Vincent C. Müller - 2011 - In Anna Esposito, Antonietta M. Esposito, Raffaele Martone, Vincent C. Müller & Gaetano Scarpetta (eds.), Towards autonomous, adaptive, and context-aware multimodal interfaces: Theoretical and practical issues. Springer. pp. 1-7.
    Just as AI has moved away from classical AI, human-computer interaction (HCI) must move away from what I call ‘good old fashioned HCI’ to ‘new HCI’ – it must become a part of cognitive systems research where HCI is one case of the interaction of intelligent agents (we now know that interaction is essential for intelligent agents anyway). For such interaction, we cannot just ‘analyze the data’, but we must assume intentions in the other, and I suggest these are largely (...)
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  10. Racionalidad y Lenguaje. A propósito de la obra de Paul Grice.Tomás Barrero - 2009 - Dissertation, Universidad Nacional de Colombia
    In this work I argue for the thesis that Grice’s intentional-cooperative analysis of assertion works at three levels: the logical, the epistemological and the normative. I use “conventional implicature” as example. First part shows that other approaches to assertion can’t give an accurate description of semantic content. I point to a general, twofold conclusion: the truth-conditional approach fails by neglecting intentional acts to be the meaning blocks; the rule-oriented approach misses its target by disregarding that all communicative acts are intentional, (...)
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  11. The Act of Meaning.Paolo Leonardi - 2001 - In G. Cosenza (ed.), Paul Grice's Heritage. pp. 9--33.
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  12. The Grammar of 'Meaning'.Lajos L. Brons - 2011 - In S. Watanabe (ed.), CARLS Series of Advanced Study of Logic and Sensibility, volume 4. Keio University Press.
    This paper analyzes some grammatical aspects of the English verb "to mean" and its nominalizations, and based on that, argues that meaning is something that people do rather than something that words have.
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  13. Review of Donald Davidson's Truth, Language, and History. [REVIEW]John R. Cook - 2006 - Philosophy in Review (6):399-401.
    Language, Truth, and History is an excellent volume of essays coming from one of the most important philosophers in the last fifty years. It would be of interest to anyone interested in the ways Davidson's philosophy evolved after the publication of the first two volumes, and it is essential reading for anyone working in philosophy of language or philosophy of mind.
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  14. Following Rules of Nature, Not the Pedestrian Muse: Reply to Yamada.Daniel Dohrn - manuscript
    I criticize Yamada's account of rule-following. Yamada's conditions are not necessary. And he misses the deepest level of the rule-following considerations: how meaning rules come about.
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  15. On Defining Communicative Intentions.François Recanati - 1986 - Mind and Language 1 (3):213-41.
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  16. Defining Depiction.Ben Blumson - 2009 - British Journal of Aesthetics 49 (2):143-157.
    It is a platitude that whereas language is mediated by convention, depiction is mediated by resemblance. But this platitude may be attacked on the grounds that resemblance is either insufficient for or incidental to depictive representation. I defend common sense from this attack by using Grice's analysis of meaning to specify the non-incidental role of resemblance in depictive representation.
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Thought-Based Theories of Meaning
  1. Acts and Alternative Analyses.Arvid Båve - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] (...)
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  2. Free Associations Mirroring Self- and World-Related Concepts: Implications for Personal Construct Theory, Psycholinguistics and Philosophical Psychology.Martin Kuška, Radek Trnka, Aleš A. Kuběna & Jiří Růžička - 2016 - Frontiers in Psychology (7):art.n. 981, 1-13.
    People construe reality by using words as basic units of meaningful categorization. The present theory-driven study applied the method of a free association task to explore how people express the concepts of the world and the self in words. The respondents were asked to recall any five words relating with the word world. Afterwards they were asked to recall any five words relating with the word self. The method of free association provided the respondents with absolute freedom to choose any (...)
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  3. Theoretical Proposal of Hybrid Analysis of Lexical Unit: Light.Robert Boroch - 2012 - In Edis - Publishing Institution of the University Of Zilina (ed.), Proceedings in Advanced Research in Scientific Areas. The 1st Virtual International Conference.
    The main purpose of this paper is not to create another detailed lexical definition of light in accordance to the principles of theory, but rather to examine the methodology as well as the way of defining the light as a lexical unit by scholars (Dobaczewski 1999a, 1999b, 2001a, 2001b; Dyszak 1999a, 1999b). I argue that a semantic deposit (SD) domain of lexical unit light could be understood only if supplemented with semantic units that possess a high-abstractive meaning value organized in (...)
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  4. Subject, Tense and Truth.Pierre Pica - 1986 - In Jacqueline Guéron, Hans-Georg Obenauer & Jean-Yves Pollock (eds.), Grammatical Representations. Foris.
    It is suggested that the notion of truth value plays a role in syntactic theory and should be incorporated in the appropriate formulation of conditions on transformations.
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  5. Rational Procedures.Carlo Penco - 2009 - The Dialogue - Yearbook of Philosophical Hermenutics, Lit Verlag. Berlin, 2009 4 (1):137-153.
    In this paper I shall deal with the role of "understanding a thought" in the debate on the definition of the content of an assertion. I shall present a well known tension in Frege's writings, between a cognitive and semantic notion of sense. This tension is at the source of some of the major contemporary discussions, mainly because of the negative influence of Wittgenstein's Tractatus, which did not give in-depth consideration to the tension found in Frege. However many contemporary authors, (...)
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Use Theories of Meaning
  1. Directives, Expressives, and Motivation.Toru Suzuki - 2017 - Theoretical Economics 12:175–210.
    When an agent’s motivation is sensitive to how his supervisor thinks about the agent’s competence, the supervisor has to take into account both informational and expressive contents of her message to the agent. This paper shows that the supervisor can credibly express her trust in the agent’s ability only by being un- clear about what to do. Suggesting what to do, i.e., “directives,” could reveal the supervisor’s “distrust” and reduce the agent’s equilibrium effort level even though it provides useful information (...)
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  2. Meaning and Language.Jesús Gerardo Martínez del Castillo - 2015 - International Journal of Language and Linguistics 3 (6-1):50-58.
    Meaning defines language because it is the internal function of language. At the same time, meaning does not exist unless in language and because of language. From the point of view of the speaking subject meaning is contents of conscience. From the point of view of a language, meaning is the objectification of knowledge in linguistic signs. And from the point of view of the individual speaking subject, meaning is the expressive intentional purpose to say something.
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  3. Mind the Gap: Expressing Affect with Hyperbole and Hyperbolic Compounds.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - forthcoming - John Benjamins.
    Hyperbole is traditionally understood as exaggeration. Instead, in this paper, we shall define it not just in terms of its form, but in terms of its effects and its purpose. Specifically, we characterize its form as a shift of magnitude along a scale of measurement. In terms of its effect, it uses this magnitude shift to make the target property more salient. The purpose of hyperbole is to express with colour and force that the target property is either greater or (...)
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  4. Embedding Irony and the Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.Mihaela Popa-Wyatt - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-26.
    This paper argues that we need to re-think the semantics/pragmatics distinction in the light of new evidence from embedding of irony. This raises a new version of the old problem of ‘embedded implicatures’. I argue that embedded irony isn’t fully explained by solutions proposed for other embedded implicatures. I first consider two strategies: weak pragmatics and strong pragmatics. These explain embedded irony as truth-conditional content. However, by trying to shoehorn irony into said-content, they raise problems of their own. I conclude (...)
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  5. Bilateralism, Independence and Coordination.Gonçalo Santos - 2018 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 37 (1):23-27.
    Bilateralism is a theory of meaning according to which assertion and denial are independent speech acts. Bilateralism also proposes two coordination principles for assertion and denial. I argue that if assertion and denial are independent speech acts, they cannot be coordinated by the bilateralist principles.
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  6. Talking Monkeys : Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet--Articles and Reviews 2006-2017.Michael Starks - 2017 - Las Vegas, NV USA: Reality Press.
    This collection of articles was written over the last 10 years and edited to bring them up to date (2017). The copyright page has the date of the edition and new editions will be noted there as I edit old articles or add new ones. All the articles are about human behavior (as are all articles by anyone about anything), and so about the limitations of having a recent monkey ancestry (8 million years or much less depending on viewpoint) and (...)
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  7. Logic and Sense.Urszula Wybraniec-Skardowska - 2016 - Philosophy Study 6 (9).
    In the paper, original formal-logical conception of syntactic and semantic: intensional and extensional senses of expressions of any language L is outlined. Syntax and bi-level intensional and extensional semantics of language L are characterized categorically: in the spirit of some Husserl’s ideas of pure grammar, Leśniewski-Ajukiewicz’s theory syntactic/semantic categories and in accordance with Frege’s ontological canons, Bocheński’s famous motto—syntax mirrors ontology and some ideas of Suszko: language should be a linguistic scheme of ontological reality and simultaneously a tool of its (...)
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  8. The Search for the "Essence of Human Language" in Wittgenstein and Davidson.Jason Bridges - forthcoming - In Claudine Verheggen (ed.), Wittgenstein and Davidson on Language, Thought and Action. cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 139-158.
    This paper offers an interpretation of the later Wittgenstein's handling of the idea of an "essence of human language", and examines in particular his treatment of the 'Augustinean' vision of reference as constituting this "essence". A central theme of the interpretation is the perennial philosophical desire to impose upon linguistic meaning conceptual templates drawn from outside the forms of thought about meaning in which we engage when we exercise our capacity to speak and understand a language. The paper closes with (...)
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  9. Linguistic Understanding and Knowledge of Truth-Conditions.Chase Wrenn - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (3):355-370.
    What do you know when you know what a sentence means? According to some theories, understanding a sentence is, in part, knowing its truth-conditions. Dorit Bar-On, Claire Horisk, and William Lycan have defended such theories on the grounds of an “epistemic determination argument”. That argument turns on the ideas that understanding a sentence, along with knowledge of the non-linguistic facts, suffices to know its truth-value, and that being able to determine a sentence’s truth-value given knowledge of the non-linguistic facts is (...)
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  10. Putting Inferentialism and the Suppositional Theory of Conditionals to the Test (Second Dissertation, Psychology).Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2017 - Dissertation, University of Freiburg
    This dissertation is devoted to empirically contrasting the Suppositional Theory of conditionals, which holds that indicative conditionals serve the purpose of engaging in hypothetical thought, and Inferentialism, which holds that indicative conditionals express reason relations. Throughout a series of experiments, probabilistic and truth-conditional variants of Inferentialism are investigated using new stimulus materials, which manipulate previously overlooked relevance conditions. These studies are some of the first published studies to directly investigate the central claims of Inferentialism empirically. In contrast, the Suppositional Theory (...)
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  11. Does Legal Interpretation Need Paul Grice?Matczak Marcin - 2016 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):67-87.
    By significantly diminishing the role intentions play in communication, in Imagination and Convention Lepore and Stone attempt to overthrow the Gricean paradigm which prevails in the philosophy of language. The approach they propose is attractive to theorists of legal interpretations for many reasons. Primary among these is that the more general dispute in the philosophy of language between Griceans and non-Griceans mirrors the dispute between intentionalists and non-intentionalists in legal interpretation. The ideas proposed in Imagination and Convention naturally support the (...)
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