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Conceptual Role Semantics

In Edward Craig (ed.), Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 242-256 (1998)

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  1. Meaning and Metaphysical Necessity.Tristan Grotvedt Haze - 2022 - New York: Routledge.
    This book is about the idea that some true statements would have been true no matter how the world had turned out, while others could have been false. It develops and defends a version of the idea that we tell the difference between these two types of truths in part by reflecting on the meanings of words. It has often been thought that modal issues—issues about possibility and necessity—are related to issues about meaning. In this book, the author defends the (...)
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  • Is Radically Enactive Imagination Really Contentless?Marco Facchin - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-17.
    Radical enactivists claim that cognition is split in two distinct kinds, which can be differentiated by how they relate to mental content. In their view, basic cognitive activities involve no mental content whatsoever, whereas linguistically scaffolded, non-basic, cognitive activities constitutively involve the manipulation of mental contents. Here, I evaluate how this dichotomy applies to imagination, arguing that the sensory images involved in basic acts of imaginations qualify as vehicles of content, contrary to what radical enactivists claim. To argue so, I (...)
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  • The Epistemic Goal of a Concept: Accounting for the Rationality of Semantic Change and Variation.Ingo Brigandt - 2010 - Synthese 177 (1):19-40.
    The discussion presents a framework of concepts that is intended to account for the rationality of semantic change and variation, suggesting that each scientific concept consists of three components of content: 1) reference, 2) inferential role, and 3) the epistemic goal pursued with the concept’s use. I argue that in the course of history a concept can change in any of these components, and that change in the concept’s inferential role and reference can be accounted for as being rational relative (...)
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  • Causal Generalisations in Policy-Oriented Economic Research: An Inferentialist Analysis.François Claveau & Luis Mireles-Flores - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (4):383-398.
    The most common way of analysing the meaning of causal generalisations relies on referentialist semantics. In this article, we instead develop an analysis based on inferentialist semantics. According to this approach, the meaning of a causal generalisation is constituted by the web of inferential connections in which the generalisation participates. We distinguish and discuss five classes of inferential connections that constitute the meaning of causal generalisations produced in policy-oriented economic research. The usefulness of our account is illustrated with the analysis (...)
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  • The Reliability Challenge and the Epistemology of Logic.Joshua Schechter - 2010 - Philosophical Perspectives 24 (1):437-464.
    We think of logic as objective. We also think that we are reliable about logic. These views jointly generate a puzzle: How is it that we are reliable about logic? How is it that our logical beliefs match an objective domain of logical fact? This is an instance of a more general challenge to explain our reliability about a priori domains. In this paper, I argue that the nature of this challenge has not been properly understood. I explicate the challenge (...)
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  • Private Investigators and Public Speakers.Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    Near the end of 'Naming the Colours', Lewis (1997) makes an interesting claim about the relationship between linguistic and mental content; we are typically unable to read the content of a belief off the content of a sentence used to express that belief or vice versa. I call this view autonomism. I motivate and defend autonomism and discuss its importance in the philosophy of mind and language. In a nutshell, I argue that the different theoretical roles that mental and linguistic (...)
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  • Change of Logic, Change of Meaning.Jared Warren - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 96 (2):421-442.
    Some philosophers have argued that putative logical disagreements aren't really disagreements at all since when you change your logic you thereby change the meanings of your logical constants. According to this picture classical logicians and intuitionists don't really disagree, they just mean different things by terms like “not” and “or”. Quine gave an infamous “translation argument” for this view. Here I clarify the change of logic, change of meaning (CLCM) thesis, examine and find fault with Quine's translation argument for the (...)
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  • Quantifier Variance and Indefinite Extensibility.Jared Warren - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (1):81-122.
    This essay clarifies quantifier variance and uses it to provide a theory of indefinite extensibility that I call the variance theory of indefinite extensibility. The indefinite extensibility response to the set-theoretic paradoxes sees each argument for paradox as a demonstration that we have come to a different and more expansive understanding of ‘all sets’. But indefinite extensibility is philosophically puzzling: extant accounts are either metasemantically suspect in requiring mysterious mechanisms of domain expansion, or metaphysically suspect in requiring nonstandard assumptions about (...)
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  • The Ethics of Belief, Cognition, and Climate Change Pseudoskepticism: Implications for Public Discourse.Lawrence Torcello - 2016 - Topics in Cognitive Science 8 (1):19-48.
    The relationship between knowledge, belief, and ethics is an inaugural theme in philosophy; more recently, under the title “ethics of belief” philosophers have worked to develop the appropriate methodology for studying the nexus of epistemology, ethics, and psychology. The title “ethics of belief” comes from a 19th-century paper written by British philosopher and mathematician W.K. Clifford. Clifford argues that we are morally responsible for our beliefs because each belief that we form creates the cognitive circumstances for related beliefs to follow, (...)
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  • Propositions, Meaning, and Names.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2018 - Philosophical Forum 49 (3):335-362.
    The object of this paper is to sketch an approach to propositions, meaning and names. The key ingredients are a Twin-Earth-inspired distinction between internal and external meaning, and a middle-Wittgenstein-inspired conception of internal meaning as role in language system. I show how the approach offers a promising solution to the problem of the meaning of proper names. This is a plea for a neglected way of thinking about these topics.
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  • Keeping (Direct) Reference in Mind.Kevan Edwards - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):342-367.
    This paper explores the psychological analogues of a cluster of arguments that have played an important role in motivating a now widespread, reference-based approach in philosophy of language. What I will call the psychological analogues of Kripke-style arguments provide a substantial motivation for a reference-based approach to concepts. Insofar as such an approach is rarely given serious consideration, the availability of these arguments suggests the need for a rethinking of some foundational assumptions in philosophy of mind and other branches of (...)
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  • In Defense of Epistemic Modesty.Farid Masrour - 2011 - Philosophical Issues 21 (1):312-331.
    An ambitious project in epistemology is to show that we have justification for anti-skeptical beliefs such as the belief that we are not brains in vats. A much less ambitious project is to account for how perceptual experience justifies ordinary perceptual beliefs like the belief that there is a cat in front of me. One problem is that these two projects are entangled in such manner that the failure of the anti-skeptical project seems to entail the failure of the project (...)
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  • What Are Modules and What is Their Role in Development?Stephen Andrew Butterfill - 2007 - Mind and Language 22 (4):450–473.
    Modules are widely held to play a central role in explaining mental development and in accounts of the mind generally. But there is much disagreement about what modules are, which shows that we do not adequately understand modularity. This paper outlines a Fodoresque approach to understanding one type of modularity. It suggests that we can distinguish modular from nonmodular cognition by reference to the kinds of process involved, and that modular cognition differs from nonmodular forms of cognition in being a (...)
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  • Do Computers "Have Syntax, But No Semantics"?Jaroslav Peregrin - 2021 - Minds and Machines 31 (2):305-321.
    The heyday of discussions initiated by Searle's claim that computers have syntax, but no semantics has now past, yet philosophers and scientists still tend to frame their views on artificial intelligence in terms of syntax and semantics. In this paper I do not intend to take part in these discussions; my aim is more fundamental, viz. to ask what claims about syntax and semantics in this context can mean in the first place. And I argue that their sense is so (...)
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  • Interpersonal Sameness of Meaning for Inferential Role Semantics.Martin L. Jönsson - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (3):269-297.
    Inferential Role Semantics is often criticized for being incompatible with the platitude that words of different speakers can mean the same thing. While many assume that this platitude can be accommodated by understanding sameness of meaning in terms of similarity of meaning, no worked out proposal has ever been produced for Inferential Role Semantics. I rectify this important omission by giving a detailed structural account of meaning similarity in terms of graph theory. I go on to argue that this account (...)
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  • A Reply to Jerry Fodor on How the Mind Works.Steven Pinker - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (1):33-38.
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  • What Concepts Do.Kevan Edwards - 2009 - Synthese 170 (2):289 - 310.
    This paper identifies and criticizes a line of reasoning that has played a substantial role in the widespread rejection of the view that Fodor has dubbed “Concept Atomism”. The line of reasoning is not only fallacious, but its application in the present case rests on a misconception about the explanatory potential of Concept Atomism. This diagnosis suggests the possibility of a new polemical strategy in support of Concept Atomism. The new strategy is more comprehensive than that which defenders of the (...)
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  • What Does '&' Mean?Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 5:45-50.
    Using conjunction as an example, I show a technical and philosophical problem when trying to conciliate the currently prevailing views on the meaning of logical connectives: the inferientialist one based on introduction and elimination rules, and the representationalist one given through truth tables. Mostly I show that the widespread strategy of using the truth theoretical definition of logical consequence to collapse both definitions must be rejected by inferentialists. An important consequence of my argument is that there are different notions of (...)
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  • Inference and the Structure of Concepts.Matías Osta Vélez - 2020 - Dissertation, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
    This thesis studies the role of conceptual content in inference and reasoning. The first two chapters offer a theoretical and historical overview of the relation between inference and meaning in philosophy and psychology. In particular, a critical analysis of the formality thesis, i.e., the idea that rational inference is a rule-based and topic-neutral mechanism, is advanced. The origins of this idea in logic and its influence in philosophy and cognitive psychology are discussed. Chapter 3 consists of an analysis of the (...)
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  • Inferentialism.Florian Steinberger & Julien Murzi - 2017 - In Blackwell Companion to Philosophy of Language. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 197-224.
    This article offers an overview of inferential role semantics. We aim to provide a map of the terrain as well as challenging some of the inferentialist’s standard commitments. We begin by introducing inferentialism and placing it into the wider context of contemporary philosophy of language. §2 focuses on what is standardly considered both the most important test case for and the most natural application of inferential role semantics: the case of the logical constants. We discuss some of the (alleged) benefits (...)
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  • Significado e Cognição. O Legado de Frege.João Branquinho - 2016 - In Léo Peruzzo Júnior E. Bortolo Valle (ed.), Filosofia da Linguagem. Curitiba, PR, Brasil: pp. 9 - 52.
    Queremos neste ensaio caracterizar de modo introdutório o essencial do legado de Gottlob Frege para a Filosofia da Linguagem contemporânea, identificando e caracterizando os traços distintivos mais genéricos de uma teoria do significado (ou conteúdo semântico) inspirada nas suas ideias seminais e contrastando-a com outras concepções actuais influentes acerca do significado, em especial as posições sobre o conteúdo singular (conteúdo expresso por nomes próprios e outros termos singulares) remotamente inspiradas em ideias de John Stuart Mill.
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  • Pietro Salis, "Pratiche Discorsive Razionali. Studi Sull'inferenzialismo di Robert Brandom", Milano-Udine, Mimesis Edizioni, 2016, Pp. 332. [REVIEW]Giacomo Turbanti - 2018 - Aphex 17.
    Che cosa vuol dire per le espressioni del nostro linguaggio avere un significato? Secondo un approccio oggi sostanzialmente standard in semantica, avere significato vuol dire prima di tutto avere un contenuto rappresentazionale, cioè poter rappresentare qualcosa. Secondo un inferenzialista come Robert Brandom, invece, le espressioni del nostro linguaggio hanno contenuto perché sono inserite in una rete di relazioni inferenziali, rispetto alla quale possono essere utilizzate per dare e richiedere ragioni. Il libro di Pietro Salis, Pratiche discorsive razionali, presenta e discute (...)
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  • What is Inferentialism?Jaroslav Peregrin - unknown
    Inferentialism is the conviction that to be meaningful in the distinctively human way, or to have a 'conceptual content', is to be governed by a certain kind of inferential rules. The term was coined by Robert Brandom as a label for his theory of language; however, it is also naturally applicable (and is growing increasingly common) within the philosophy of logic.
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  • Problems of Representation II: Naturalizing Content.Dan Ryder - 2009 - In Francisco Garzon & John Symons (eds.), Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Psychology. Routledge.
    John is currently thinking that the sun is bright. Consider his occurrent belief or judgement that the sun is bright. Its content is that the sun is bright. This is a truth- evaluable content (which shall be our main concern) because it is capable of being true or false. In virtue of what natural, scientifically accessible facts does John’s judgement have this content? To give the correct answer to that question, and to explain why John’s judgement and other contentful mental (...)
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  • Representationalism About Sensory Phenomenology.Matthew Ivanowich - unknown
    This dissertation examines representationalism about sensory phenomenology—the claim that for a sensory experience to have a particular phenomenal character is a matter of it having a particular representational content. I focus on a particular issue that is central to representationalism: whether reductive versions of the theory should be internalist or externalist. My primary goals are to demonstrate that externalist representationalism fails to provide a reductive explanation for phenomenal qualities, and to present a reductive internalist version of representationalism that utilizes the (...)
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  • How Language Couldn’T Have Evolved: A Critical Examination of Berwick and Chomsky’s Theory of Language Evolution.Ronald Planer - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (6):779-796.
    This article examines some recent work by Berwick and Chomsky as presented in their book Why Only Us? Language and Evolution. As I understand them, Berwick and Chomsky’s overarching purpose is to explain how human language could have arisen in so short an evolutionary period. After articulating their strategy, I argue that they fall far short of reaching this goal. A co-evolutionary scenario linking the mechanisms that realize the language system, both with one other and with cognitive mechanisms capable of (...)
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  • Learning to Represent Exact Numbers.Barbara W. Sarnecka - 2015 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 5):1001-1018.
    This article focuses on how young children acquire concepts for exact, cardinal numbers. I believe that exact numbers are a conceptual structure that was invented by people, and that most children acquire gradually, over a period of months or years during early childhood. This article reviews studies that explore children’s number knowledge at various points during this acquisition process. Most of these studies were done in my own lab, and assume the theoretical framework proposed by Carey. In this framework, the (...)
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