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Truth and meaning

Synthese 17 (1):304-323 (1967)

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  1. Underdetermination, Domain Restriction, and Theory Choice.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):205-220.
    It is often possible to know what a speaker intends to communicate without knowing what they intend to say. In such cases, speakers need not intend to say anything at all. Stanley and Szabó's influential survey of possible analysis of quantifier domain restriction is, therefore, incomplete and the arguments made by Clapp and Buchanan against Truth Conditional Compositionality and propositional speaker-meaning are flawed. Two theories should not always be viewed as incompatible when they associate the same utterance with different propositions, (...)
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  • The Time of Our Lives.David Hugh Mellor - 2001 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 48:45-59.
    The article shows how McTaggart’s distinction between A- and B-series ways of locating events in time prompted and enabled the twentieth century’s most important advances in the philosophy of time. It argues that, even if the B-series represents time as it really is, because having A-series beliefs when they are true is indispensable to the causation of timely action, the A-series represents ‘the time of our lives ’.
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  • Semantic Gaps and Protosemantics.Benj Hellie - 2019 - In Acacio de Barros & Carlos Montemayor (eds.), Mind and Quanta. Berlin: Springer.
    Semantic gaps between physical and mental discourse include the 'explanatory', 'epistemic' (Black-and-White Mary), and 'suppositional' (zombies) gaps; protosemantics is concerned with what is fundamental to meaning. Our tradition presupposes a truth-based protosemantics, with disastrous consequences for interpreting the semantic gaps: nonphysicalism, epiphenomenalism, separatism. Fortunately, an endorsement-based protosemantics, recentering meaning from the world to the mind, is technically viable, intuitively more plausible, and empirically more adequate. But, of present significance, it makes room for interpreting mental discourse as expressing simulations: this blocks (...)
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  • What is Field's Epistemological Objection to Platonism?Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - In Robin Stenwall & Tobias Hansson Wahlberg (eds.), Maurinian Truths. pp. 123-133.
    This paper concerns an epistemological objection against mathematical platonism, due to Hartry Field.The argument poses an explanatory challenge – the challenge to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs – which the platonist, it’s argued, cannot meet. Is the objection compelling? Philosophers disagree, but they also disagree on (and are sometimes very unclear about) how the objection should be understood. Here I distinguish some options, and highlight some gaps that need to be filled in on the potentially most compelling version (...)
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  • Semantic Verbs Are Intensional Transitives.Justin D’Ambrosio - 2019 - Mind 128 (509):213-248.
    In this paper I show that we have strong empirical and theoretical reasons to treat the verbs we use in our semantic theorizing—particularly ‘refers to ’, ‘applies to ’, and ‘is true of ’—as intensional transitive verbs. Stating our semantic theories with intensional vocabulary allows us to partially reconcile two competing approaches to the nature and subject-matter of semantics: the Chomskian approach, on which semantics is non-relational, internalistic, and concerns the psychology of language users, and the Lewisian approach, on which (...)
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  • Off-Target Responses to Occasion-Sensitivity.Alex Davies - 2014 - Dialectica 68 (4):499-523.
    In the literature on linguistic context-sensitivity, a recurrent move has been made with the intention of attacking Charles Travis's occasion-sensitivity. The move is to provide a semantic analysis of the meaning of an expression which makes the content of that expression context sensitive but without providing any reason to think that the meaning of the expression is a character. I argue that this move is off-target. Such proposals are entirely consistent with occasion-sensitivity and so don't constitute an attack on it.
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  • Alethic Pluralism and the Role of Reference in the Metaphysics of Truth.Brian Ball - 2017 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 55 (1):116-135.
    In this paper, I outline and defend a novel approach to alethic pluralism, the thesis that truth has more than one metaphysical nature: where truth is, in part, explained by reference, it is relational in character and can be regarded as consisting in correspondence; but where instead truth does not depend upon reference it is not relational and involves only coherence. In the process, I articulate a clear sense in which truth may or may not depend upon reference: this involves (...)
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  • Does Changing the Subject From A to B Really Provide an Enlarged Understanding of A?John Woods - 2016 - Logic Journal of the IGPL 24 (4).
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  • Scaffolded Minds And The Evolution Of Content In Signaling Pathways.Tomasz Korbak - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 41 (1):89-103.
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  • Correspondence Via the Backdoor and Other Stories.Peter Alward - 2003 - Disputatio 1 (14):3-21.
    Much has been written of late concerning the relative virtues and views of correspondence and deflationary theories of Truth. What is troubling, however, is that it is not always entirely clear exactly what distinguishes different conceptions of truth. Characterizations of the distinction are often vague and sometimes vary from writer to writer. One central thing I want to do here is to diagnose the source of the difficulty in providing a clear characterization of the distinction. In light of this diagnosis, (...)
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  • Eligibility and Inscrutability.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Philosophical Review 116 (3):361-399.
    Inscrutability arguments threaten to reduce interpretationist metasemantic theories to absurdity. Can we find some way to block the arguments? A highly influential proposal in this regard is David Lewis’ ‘ eligibility ’ response: some theories are better than others, not because they fit the data better, but because they are framed in terms of more natural properties. The purposes of this paper are to outline the nature of the eligibility proposal, making the case that it is not ad hoc, but (...)
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  • Context-Sensitive Truth-Theoretic Accounts of Semantic Competence.Steven Gross - 2005 - Mind and Language 20 (1):68–102.
    According to cognitivist truth-theoretic accounts of semantic competence, aspects of our linguistic behavior can be explained by ascribing to speakers cognition of truth theories. It's generally assumed on this approach that, however much context sensitivity speakers' languages contain, the cognized truththeories themselves can be adequately characterized context insensitively—that is, without using in the metalanguage expressions whose semantic value can vary across occasions of utterance. In this paper, I explore some of the motivations for and problems and consequences of dropping this (...)
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  • Spontaneous Linguistic Understanding: A Few Introductory Remarks.André Leclerc - 2012 - Disputatio 4 (34):713-737.
    Leclerc-Andre_Spontaneous-linguistic-understanding.
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  • General Semantics.David K. Lewis - 1970 - Synthese 22 (1-2):18--67.
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  • Agency Time and Naturalism.Jennifer Hornsby - 2017 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 91:137-153.
    I look critically at accounts of human action which help themselves to a certain conception of the causal order when they treat actions as effects of mental states. Donald Davidson introduced such accounts in the shape of the “belief-desire theory.” By way of examining Davidson’s ideas about events, I undertake to show what conceptions of time and of causality are needed for understanding agency, and for a viable naturalism.
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  • Theories, Theoretical Models, Truth.Ryszard Wójcicki - 1995 - Foundations of Science 1 (4):471-516.
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  • Word as Object: A View of Language at Hand.John Z. Elias & Shaun Gallagher - 2014 - Journal of Cognition and Culture 14 (5):373-384.
    Here we develop a view of language as a form of material engagement, one that foregrounds its embodied and ecological character. Achieving such a view, however, requires disabusing ourselves of certain received and deeply entrenched notions. We present a thought experiment meant to illuminate the materiality of language, as a technological activity on par with the construction and manipulation of artifacts. We explore its implications, justifying the comparison with actual languages while emphasizing revealing differences. Ultimately, we hope to expose the (...)
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  • The Presidential Address: Truth: The Identity Theory.Jennifer Hornsby - 1997 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 97 (1):1–24.
    I want to promote what I shall call ‘the identity theory of truth’. I suggest that other accounts put forward as theories of truth are genuine rivals to it, but are unacceptable. A certain conception of thinkables belongs with the identity theory’s conception of truth. I introduce these conceptions in Part I, by reference to John McDowell’s Mind and World; and I show why they have a place in an identity theory, which I introduce by reference to Frege. In Part (...)
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  • Compositionality II: Arguments and Problems.Peter Pagin & Dag Westerståhl - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (3):265-282.
    This is the second part of a two-part article on compositionality, i.e. the principle that the meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its parts and the way they are put together. In the first, Pagin and Westerståhl (2010), we provide a general historical background, a formal framework, definitions, and a survey of variants of compositionality. It will be referred to as Part I. Here we discuss arguments for and against the claim that natural languages have (...)
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  • Vygotsky and Moral Education: A Response to and Expansion of Tappan.Colin J. Lewis - 2019 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 51 (1):41-50.
    Despite increasing studies and applications of Vygotsky’s theory of learning and development, little has been written connecting Vygotsky specifically to moral education. The most comprehensive attempt at formulating such an account is given by Mark Tappan. I critically evaluate Tappan’s account before raising several problems for his approach. I then offer suggestions for resolving these issues by turning to research in socialization theory and recommending additional sociocultural artifacts that can supplement moral education.
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  • Davidsonian Semantics and Anaphoric Deflationism.David Löwenstein - 2012 - Dialectica 66 (1):23-44.
    Whether or not deflationism is compatible with truth-conditional theories of meaning has often been discussed in very broad terms. This paper only focuses on Davidsonian semantics and Brandom's anaphoric deflationism and defends the claim that these are perfectly compatible. Critics of this view have voiced several objections, the most prominent of which claims that it involves an unacceptable form of circularity. The paper discusses how this general objection applies to the case of anaphoric deflationism and Davidsonian semantics and evaluates different (...)
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  • Rethinking the Culture - Economy Dialectic.Lajos L. Brons - 2005 - Dissertation, University of Groningen
    The culture-economy dialectic (CED) – the opposition of the concepts and phenomena of culture and economy – is one of the most important ideas in the modern history of ideas. Both disciplinary boundaries and much theoretical thought in social science are strongly influenced or even determined by the CED. For that reason, a thorough analysis and evaluation of the CED is needed to improve understanding of the history of ideas in social science and the currently fashionable research on the cultural (...)
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  • Radical Interpretation.David K. Lewis - 1974 - Synthese 27 (July-August):331-344.
    What knowledge would suffice to yield an interpretation of an arbitrary utterance of a language when such knowledge is based on evidence plausibly available to a nonspeaker of that language? it is argued that it is enough to know a theory of truth for the language and that the theory satisfies tarski's 'convention t' and that it gives an optimal fit to data about sentences held true, Under specified conditions, By native speakers.
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  • Giving Up on “the Rest of the Language".Adam C. Podlaskowski - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):293-304.
    In this essay, the tension that Benacerraf identifies for theories of mathematical truth is used as the vehicle for arguing against a particular desideratum for semantic theories. More specifically, I place in question the desideratum that a semantic theory, provided for some area of discourse, should run in parallel with the semantic theory holding for the rest of the language. The importance of this desideratum is also made clear by means of tracing out the subtle implications of its rejection.
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  • In Search of the Spectacular: Travis' Critique of Dummett.Adam Stewart-Wallace - 2015 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy (1):37-53.
    According to Charles Travis our language is occasion-sensitive. The truth- conditions of all our sentences, and their correctness-conditions more generally, vary depending on the occasions on which they are used. This is part of a broader view of language as unshadowed. This paper develops objections Travis has made from this viewpoint against Michael Dummett’s anti-realism. It aims to show that the arguments are suggestive but inconclusive. For all it shows unshadowed anti-realism is a possibility.
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  • Review of Henry Laycock, Words Without Objects: Semantics, Ontology, and Logic for Non-Singularity. [REVIEW]Kathrin Koslicki - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):160-163.
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  • Warrant and Objectivity.Jon Barton - 2008 - Dissertation, Kings College London
    Wright's _Truth and Objectivity_ seeks to systematise a variety of anti-realist positions. I argue that many objections to the system are avoided by transposing its talk of truth into talk of warrant. However, a problem remains about debates involving 'direction-of-fit'. -/- Dummett introduced 'anti-realism' as a philosophical view informed by mathematical intuitionism. Subsequently, the term has been associated with many debates, ancient and modern. _Truth and Objectivity_ proposes that truth admits of different characteristics; these various debates then concern which characteristics (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics.Peter Ludlow - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Peter Ludlow presents the first book on the philosophy of generative linguistics, including both Chomsky's government and binding theory and his minimalist ...
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  • The Situational Structure of Primate Beliefs.Tony Cheng - 2016 - Perspectives: International Postgraduate Journal of Philosophy 6 (1):50-57.
    This paper develops the situational model of primate beliefs from the Prior-Lurz line of thought. There is a strong skepticism concerning primate beliefs in the analytic tradition which holds that beliefs have to be propositional and non-human animals do not have them. The response offered in this paper is twofold. First, two arguments against the propositional model as applied to other animals are put forward: an a priori argument from referential opacity and an empirical argument from varieties of working memory. (...)
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  • Living Words: Meaning Underdetermination and the Dynamic Lexicon.Peter Ludlow - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    Peter Ludlow shows how word meanings are much more dynamic than we might have supposed, and explores how they are modulated even during everyday conversation. The resulting view is radical, and has far-reaching consequences for our political and legal discourse, and for enduring puzzles in the foundations of semantics, epistemology, and logic.
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  • The Semantics of Moral Communication.Richard Brown - 2008 - Dissertation, The Graduate Center, CUNY
    Adviser: Professor Stefan Baumrin In the first chapter I introduce the distinction between metaethics and normative ethics and argue that metaethics, properly conceived, is a part of cognitive science. For example, the debate between rationalism and sentimentalism can be informed by recent empirical work in psychology and the neurosciences. In the second chapter I argue that the traditional view that one’s theory of semantics determines what one’s theory of justification must be is mistaken. Though it has been the case that (...)
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  • The Lying Test.Eliot Michaelson - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):470-499.
    As an empirical inquiry into the nature of meaning, semantics must rely on data. Unfortunately, the primary data to which philosophers and linguists have traditionally appealed—judgments on the truth and falsity of sentences—have long been known to vary widely between competent speakers in a number of interesting cases. The present article constitutes an experiment in how to obtain some more consistent data for the enterprise of semantics. Specifically, it argues from some widely accepted Gricean premises to the conclusion that judgments (...)
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  • « Platonic Justice And What We Mean By ’Justice’ ».Terry Penner - 2005 - Plato: The Internet Journal of the International Plato Society 5.
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  • Donald Davidson.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2004 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 28 (1):309–333.
    This chapter reviews the major contributions of Donald Davidson to philosophy in the 20th century.
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  • On Product‐Based Accounts of Propositional Attitudes.Giulia Felappi - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (4):302-313.
    Propositional attitude sentences, such as John believes that snow is white, are traditionally taken to express the holding of a relation between a subject and what ‘that’-clauses like ‘that snow is white’ denote, i.e. propositions. On the traditional account, propositions are abstract, mind- and language-independent entities. Recently, some have raised some serious worries for the traditional account and thought that we were mistaken about the kind of entities propositions are. Over the last ten years there has then been a boom (...)
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  • Cognitive Primitives of Collective Intentions: Linguistic Evidence of Our Mental Ontology.Natalie Gold & Daniel Harbour - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (2):109-134.
    Theories of collective intentions must distinguish genuinely collective intentions from coincidentally harmonized ones. Two apparently equally apt ways of doing so are the ‘neo-reductionism’ of Bacharach (2006) and Gold and Sugden (2007a) and the ‘non-reductionism’ of Searle (1990, 1995). Here, we present findings from theoretical linguistics that show that we is not a cognitive primitive, but is composed of notions of I and grouphood. The ramifications of this finding on the structure both of grammatical and lexical systems suggests that an (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Valid Inference – A Model-Theoretic Approach.Constantin C. Brîncuș - 2015 - In Sorin Costreie & Mircea Dumitru (eds.), Meaning and Truth. Bucharest: PRO Universitaria Publishing. pp. 11-36.
    The problem analysed in this paper is whether we can gain knowledge by using valid inferences, and how we can explain this process from a model-theoretic perspective. According to the paradox of inference (Cohen & Nagel 1936/1998, 173), it is logically impossible for an inference to be both valid and its conclusion to possess novelty with respect to the premises. I argue in this paper that valid inference has an epistemic significance, i.e., it can be used by an agent to (...)
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  • Descriptive Atomism and Foundational Holism: Semantics Between the Old Testament and the New.Henry Jackman - 2005 - ProtoSociology 21:5-19.
    While holism and atomism are often treated as mutually exclusive approaches to semantic theory, the apparent tension between the two usually results from running together distinct levels of semantic explanation. In particular, there is no reason why one can’t combine an atomistic conception of what the semantic values of our words are (one’s “descriptive semantics”), with a holistic explanation of why they have those values (one’s “foundational semantics”). Most objections to holism can be shown to apply only to holistic version (...)
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  • Disagreement and the Normativity of Truth Beneath Cognitive Command.Filippo Ferrari - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Aberdeen
    This thesis engages with three topics and the relationships between them: (i) the phenomenon of disagreement (paradigmatically, where one person makes a claim and another denies it); (ii) the normative character of disagreements (the issue of whether, and in what sense, one of the parties is “at fault” for believing something that’s untrue); (iii) the issue of which theory of what truth is can best accommodate the norms relating belief and truth. People disagree about all sorts of things: about whether (...)
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  • A Paradox for Possible World Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeremy Morris - 2006 - Logique Et Analyse 49 (195):307-317.
    The development of possible worlds semantics for modal claims has led to a more general application of that theory as a complete semantics for various formal and natural languages, and this view is widely held to be an adequate (philosophical) interpretation of the model theory for such languages. We argue here that this view generates a self-referential inconsistency that indicates either the falsity or the incompleteness of PWS.
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  • Frege’s Unmanageable Thing.Michael Price - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (3):368-413.
    _ Source: _Volume 95, Issue 3, pp 368 - 413 Frege famously maintained that concepts are not objects. A key argument of Frege’s for this view is, in outline, as follows: if we are to account for the unity of thought, concepts must be deemed _unsaturated_; since objects are, by contrast, saturated entities, concepts cannot be objects. The author investigates what can be made of this argument and, in particular, of the unsaturated/saturated distinction it invokes. Systematically exploring a range of (...)
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  • Schopenhauers Gebrauchstheorie der Bedeutung und das Kontextprinzip: Eine Parallele zu Wittgensteins ›Philosophischen Untersuchungen‹.Jens Lemanski - 2016 - Schopenhauer Jahrbuch 2016 (97):171-195.
    In previous research, Schopenhauer is regarded as a consistent representative of a classical picture theory of language. The paper shows, however, that Schopenhauer does not only present a use theory of meaning in his lectures on logic, but also justifies it with the help of the context principle. Furthermore, it is discussed to what extent Schopenhauer's use theory of meaning is similar to the semantic theory of Ludwig Wittgenstein and his successors.
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  • A Category Semantics.Paul Symington - 2018 - In Paul Hackett (ed.), Mereologies, Ontologies, and Facets: The Categorial Structure of Reality. New York: Lexington Books. pp. 65-85.
    In this paper, I present a categorial theory of meaning which asserts that the meaning of a sentence is the function from the actualization of some potentiality or the potentiality of some actuality to the truth of the sentence. I argue that it builds on the virtues of David Lewis’s Possible World Semantics but advances beyond problems that Lewis’s theory faces with its distinctly Aristotelian turn toward actuality and potentiality.
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  • Expression, Truth, Predication, and Context: Two Perspectives.James Higginbotham - 2008 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 16 (4):473 – 494.
    In this article I contrast in two ways those conceptions of semantic theory deriving from Richard Montague's Intensional Logic (IL) and later developments with conceptions that stick pretty closely to a far weaker semantic apparatus for human first languages. IL is a higher-order language incorporating the simple theory of types. As such, it endows predicates with a reference. Its intensional features yield a conception of propositional identity (namely necessary equivalence) that has seemed to many to be too coarse to be (...)
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  • Against Crude Semantic Realism.Florian Demont - 2009 - ILLC Technical Notes (X) Series.
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  • Sobre a possibilidade de pensarmos o mundo: o debate entre John McDowell e Donald Davidson.Marco Aurelio Sousa Alves - 2008 - Dissertation, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
    The thesis evaluates a contemporary debate concerning the very possibility of thinking about the world. In the first chapter, McDowell's critique of Davidson is presented, focusing on the coherentism defended by the latter. The critique of the myth of the given (as it appears in Sellars and Wittgenstein), as well as the necessity of a minimal empiricism (which McDowell finds in Quine and Kant), lead to an oscillation in contemporary thinking between two equally unsatisfactory ways of understanding the empirical content (...)
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  • Deflating the Determination Argument.Jared Henderson - 2017 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 6 (2):167-177.
    This article argues for the compatibility of deflationism and truth-conditional semantic theories. I begin by focusing on an argument due to Dorit Bar-On, Claire Horisk, and William Lycan for incompatibility, arguing that their argument relies on an ambiguity between two senses of the expression ‘is at least.’ I go on to show how the disambiguated arguments have different consequences for the deflationist, and argue that no conclusions are established that the deflationist cannot accommodate. I then respond to some objections and (...)
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  • Metaphysics, Substitution Salva Veritate and the Slingshot Argument.Robert J. Stainton - 2005 - In Alex Barber (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics. Elsevier. pp. 73--82.
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  • The Semantics and Pragmatics of Complex Demonstratives.Ernest Lepore & Kirk Ludwig - 2000 - Mind 109 (434):199-240.
    Complex demonstratives, expressions of the form 'That F', 'These Fs', etc., have traditionally been taken to be referring terms. Yet they exhibit many of the features of quantified noun phrases. This has led some philosophers to suggest that demonstrative determiners are a special kind of quantifier, which can be paraphrased using a context sensitive definite description. Both these views contain elements of the truth, though each is mistaken. We advance a novel account of the semantic form of complex demonstratives that (...)
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  • Concepts, Analysis, Generics and the Canberra Plan.Mark Johnston & Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):113-171.
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