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Communicating in contextual ignorance

Synthese 199 (5-6):12385-12405 (2021)

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  1. Linguistic Luck beyond Loar Cases.Axel Barceló - manuscript
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  • Collective Communicative Intentions in Context.Andrew Peet - 2023 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 10:211-236.
    What are the objects of speaker meaning? The traditional answer is: propositions. The traditional answer faces an important challenge: if propositions are the objects of speaker meaning then there must be specific propositions that speakers intend their audiences to recover. Yet, speakers typically exhibit a degree of indifference regarding how they are interpreted, and cannot rationally intend for their audiences to recover specific propositions. Therefore, propositions are not the objects of speaker meaning (Buchanan 2010; MacFarlane 2020a; 2020b; and Abreu Zavaleta (...)
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  • Making it precise—Imprecision and underdetermination in linguistic communication.Anna Drożdżowicz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-27.
    How good are we at understanding what others communicate? It often seems to us, at least, that we understand quite well what others convey when speaking in a familiar language. However, a growing body of evidence from the psychology of language suggests that in various communicative settings comprehenders routinely form linguistic representations that are underdetermined, “sketchy”, “shallow” or imprecise, often without noticing it. The paper discusses some important consequences of this evidence. Following recent discussions in this strand of research, I (...)
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  • Metacontexts and Cross-Contextual Communication: Stabilizing the Content of Documents Across Contexts.Alex Davies - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    Context-sensitive expressions appear ill suited to the purpose of sharing content across contexts. Yet we regularly use them to that end (in regulations, textbooks, memos, guidelines, laws, minutes, etc.). This paper describes the utility of the concept of a metacontext for understanding cross-contextual content-sharing with context-sensitive expressions. A metacontext is the context of a group of contexts: an infrastructure that can channel non-linguistic incentives on content ascription so as to homogenize the content ascribed to context-sensitive expressions in each context in (...)
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  • Partial understanding.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2023 - Synthese 202 (2):1-32.
    Say that an audience understands a given utterance perfectly only if she correctly identifies which proposition (or propositions) that utterance expresses. In ideal circumstances, the participants in a conversation will understand each other’s utterances perfectly; however, even if they do not, they may still understand each other’s utterances at least in part. Although it is plausible to think that the phenomenon of partial understanding is very common, there is currently no philosophical account of it. This paper offers such an account. (...)
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  • Sharing Content Online: the Effects of Likes and Comments on Linguistic Interpretation.Alex Davies - forthcoming - In Patrick Connolly, Sandy Goldberg & Jennifer Saul (eds.), Conversations Online. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Bystander information is information about others’ attitudes towards a text (i.e. about whether they agree or disagree with it). Social media platforms force bystander information upon us when we read posts thereon. What effect does this have on how we respond to what we read? The dominant view in the literature is that it changes our minds (the so-called “bandwagon effect”). Simplifying a little: if we see that most people agree (disagree) with what a post says, we are more likely (...)
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