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Transparency and the Context-Sensitivity of Attitude Reports

In Manuel García-Carpintero & Genoveva Martí (eds.), Empty Representations: Reference and Non-Existence. Oxford University Press. pp. 25-66 (2014)

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  1. Fine-Grained Semantics for Attitude Reports.Harvey Lederman - 2021 - Semantics and Pragmatics 14 (1).
    I observe that the “concept-generator” theory of Percus and Sauerland (2003), Anand (2006), and Charlow and Sharvit (2014) does not predict an intuitive true interpretation of the sentence “Plato did not believe that Hesperus was Phosphorus”. In response, I present a simple theory of attitude reports which employs a fine-grained semantics for names, according to which names which intuitively name the same thing may have distinct compositional semantic values. This simple theory solves the problem with the concept-generator theory, but, as (...)
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  • A Puzzle About Seeing for Representationalism.James Openshaw & Assaf Weksler - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2625-2646.
    When characterizing the content of a subject’s perceptual experience, does their seeing an object entail that their visual experience represents it as being a certain way? If it does, are they thereby in a position to have perceptually-based thoughts about it? On one hand, representationalists are under pressure to answer these questions in the affirmative. On the other hand, it seems they cannot. This paper presents a puzzle to illustrate this tension within orthodox representationalism. We identify several interesting morals which (...)
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  • Thinking, Guessing, and Believing.Ben Holguin - 2022 - Philosophers' Imprint 22 (1):1-34.
    This paper defends the view, put roughly, that to think that p is to guess that p is the answer to the question at hand, and that to think that p rationally is for one’s guess to that question to be in a certain sense non-arbitrary. Some theses that will be argued for along the way include: that thinking is question-sensitive and, correspondingly, that ‘thinks’ is context-sensitive; that it can be rational to think that p while having arbitrarily low credence (...)
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  • To Be F Is To Be G.Cian Dorr - 2016 - Philosophical Perspectives 30 (1):39-134.
    This paper is an investigation of the general logic of "identifications", claims such as 'To be a vixen is to be a female fox', 'To be human is to be a rational animal', and 'To be just is to help one's friends and harm one's enemies', many of which are of great importance to philosophers. I advocate understanding such claims as expressing higher-order identity, and discuss a variety of different general laws which they might be thought to obey. [New version: (...)
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  • The Logic of Opacity.Andrew Bacon & Jeffrey Sanford Russell - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 99 (1):81-114.
    We explore the view that Frege's puzzle is a source of straightforward counterexamples to Leibniz's law. Taking this seriously requires us to revise the classical logic of quantifiers and identity; we work out the options, in the context of higher-order logic. The logics we arrive at provide the resources for a straightforward semantics of attitude reports that is consistent with the Millian thesis that the meaning of a name is just the thing it stands for. We provide models to show (...)
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  • Sense, Reference and Substitution.Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (4):947-952.
    We show that, contrary to conventional wisdom, Frege’s distinction between sense and reference does not reconcile a classical logic of identity with apparent counterexamples to it involving proper names embedded under propositional attitude verbs.
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  • Perspectivism.Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):623-648.
    Consider the sentence “Lois knows that Superman flies, but she doesn’t know that Clark flies”. In this paper we defend a Millian contextualist semantics for propositional attitude ascriptions, according to which ordinary uses of this sentence are true but involve a mid-sentence shift in context. Absent any constraints on the relevant parameters of context sensitivity, such a semantics would be untenable: it would undermine the good standing of systematic theorizing about the propositional attitudes, trivializing many of the central questions of (...)
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  • Fregeanism, Sententialism, and Scope.Harvey Lederman - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-41.
    Among philosophers, Fregeanism and sententialism are widely considered two of the leading theories of the semantics of attitude reports. Among linguists, these approaches have received little recent sustained discussion. This paper aims to bridge this divide. I present a new formal implementation of Fregeanism and sententialism, with the goal of showing that these theories can be developed in sufficient detail and concreteness to be serious competitors to the theories which are more popular among semanticists. I develop a modern treatment of (...)
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  • Definition.Samuel Elgin - manuscript
    This paper presents a puzzle about the logic of real definition. In particular, I demonstrate that five principles concerning definition (that it is coextensional and irreflexive, that it applies to its cases, that it permits expansion and that it is itself defined) are incompatible. I then explore the advantages and disadvantages of each principle—one of which must be rejected to restore consistency.
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  • Classical Opacity.Michael Caie, Jeremy Goodman & Harvey Lederman - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (3):524-566.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Complex demonstratives, singular thought, and belief attributions.José Manuel Viejo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-27.
    Jeffrey King has famously argued that there are several prima facie problems with the direct reference theory of the semantics of complex demonstratives, three of which apparently resist solution. King concludes by observing that, if these outstanding problems cannot be solved, then the prospects for a direct reference semantics for complex demonstratives will be poor. I shall focus on just one of these outstanding problems—the objection from belief attributions—and suggest that it, at least, can be answered.
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  • The Case for Comparability.Cian Dorr, Jacob M. Nebel & Jake Zuehl - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We argue that all gradable expressions in natural language obey a principle that we call Comparability: if x and y are both F to some degree, then either x is at least as F as y or y is at least as F as x. This principle has been widely rejected among philosophers, especially by ethicists, and its falsity has been claimed to have important normative implications. We argue that Comparability is needed to explain the goodness of several patterns of (...)
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  • Thinking About Many.James Openshaw - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2863-2882.
    The notorious problem of the many makes it difficult to resist the conclusion that almost coincident with any ordinary object are a vast number of near-indiscernible objects. As Unger was aware in his presentation of the problem, this abundance raises a concern as to how—and even whether—we achieve singular thought about ordinary objects. This paper presents, clarifies, and defends a view which reconciles a plenitudinous conception of ordinary objects with our having singular thoughts about those objects. Indeed, this strategy has (...)
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  • How I Really Say What You Think.José Manuel Viejo - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):251-277.
    The apparently obviously true doctrine of opacity has been thought to be inconsistent with two others, to which many philosophers of language are also attracted: the referentialist account of the semantics of proper names and indexicals, on the one hand, and the principle of semantic innocence, on the other. I discuss here one of the most popular strategies for resolving the apparent inconsistency, namely Mark Richard’s theory of belief ascriptions, and raise three problems for it. Finally, I propose an alternative (...)
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  • Epistemic Modals and Credal Disagreement.Torfinn Thomesen Huvenes - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):987-1011.
    Considerations involving disagreement, as well as related considerations involving correction and retraction, have played an important role in recent debates about epistemic modals. For instance, it has been argued that contextualist views about epistemic modals have problems when it comes to explaining cases of disagreement. In response to these challenges, I explore the idea that the relevant cases of disagreement may involve credal disagreement. In a case of credal disagreement, the parties have different degrees of belief or credences. There does (...)
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  • How I Really Say What You Think.José Manuel Viejo - 2021 - Axiomathes 31 (3):251-277.
    The apparently obviously true doctrine of opacity has been thought to be inconsistent with two others, to which many philosophers of language are also attracted: the referentialist account of the semantics of proper names and indexicals, on the one hand, and the principle of semantic innocence, on the other. I discuss here one of the most popular strategies for resolving the apparent inconsistency, namely Mark Richard’s theory of belief ascriptions, and raise three problems for it. Finally, I propose an alternative (...)
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  • Uttering Moorean Sentences and the Pragmatics of Belief Reports.Frank Hong - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (6):1879-1895.
    Moore supposedly discovered that there are sentences of a certain form that, though they can be true, no rational human being can sincerely and truly utter any of them. MC and MO are particular instances:MC: “It is raining and I believe that it is not raining”MO: “It is raining and I don’t believe that it is raining”In this paper, I show that there are sentences of the same form as MC and MO that can be sincerely and truly uttered by (...)
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  • A Note on Belief Reports and Context Dependence.Tadeusz Ciecierski - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):447-464.
    The aim of this paper is to pose a problem for theories that claim that belief reports are context dependent. Firstly, I argue that the claim is committed to verbalism, a theory that derives the context sensitivity of belief reports from the context sensitivity of the psychological verbs used in such reports. Secondly, I argue that verbalism is not an attractive theoretical option because it is in conflict with the non-proto-rigidity of verbs like ‘believe’. Finally, I describe various consequences that (...)
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  • Existence: Essays in Ontology.Kristopher McDaniel - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):150-159.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] wonderful collection of most of van Inwagen’s recent essays on topics in fundamental ontology is certainly to be welcomed.1 Many of the essays are focused on articulating and arguing for van Inwagen’s preferred meta-ontology, which he calls neo-Quineanism. In addition to these essays, Existence also contains essays on the eliminability of variables, the status of fictional entities, the (...)
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  • The Mill-Frege Theory of Proper Names.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2018 - Mind 127 (508):1107-1168.
    This paper argues for a version of metalinguistic descriptivism, the Mill-Frege view, comparing it to a currently popular alternative, predicativism. The Mill-Frege view combines tenets of Fregean views with features of the theory of direct reference. According to it, proper names have metalinguistic senses, known by competent speakers on the basis of their competence, which figure in ancillary presuppositions. In support of the view the paper argues that the name-bearing relation—which predicativists cite to account for the properties that they take (...)
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