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  1. A Corpus Study of "Know": On the Verification of Philosophers' Frequency Claims About Language.Nat Hansen, J. D. Porter & Kathryn Francis - 2021 - Episteme 18 (2):242-268.
    We investigate claims about the frequency of "know" made by philosophers. Our investigation has several overlapping aims. First, we aim to show what is required to confirm or disconfirm philosophers’ claims about the comparative frequency of different uses of philosophically interesting expressions. Second, we aim to show how using linguistic corpora as tools for investigating meaning is a productive methodology, in the sense that it yields discoveries about the use of language that philosophers would have overlooked if they remained in (...)
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  • A Slugfest of Intuitions: Contextualism and Experimental Design.Nat Hansen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (10):1771-1792.
    This paper considers ways that experimental design can affect judgments about informally presented context shifting experiments. Reasons are given to think that judgments about informal context shifting experiments are affected by an exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments and by experimenter bias. Exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments may produce experimental artifacts by obscuring important differences of degree between the phenomena being investigated. Experimenter bias is an effect generated when, for example, experimenters disclose (even unconsciously) their own beliefs (...)
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  • Experimenting on Contextualism.Nat Hansen & Emmanuel Chemla - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (3):286-321.
    This paper concerns the central method of generating evidence in support of contextualist theories, what we call context shifting experiments. We begin by explaining the standard design of context shifting experiments, which are used in both quantitative surveys and more traditional thought experiments to show how context affects the content of natural language expressions. We discuss some recent experimental studies that have tried and failed to find evidence that confirms contextualist predictions about the results of context shifting experiments, and consider (...)
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  • Experimenting on Contextualism.Emmanuel Chemla Nat Hansen - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (3):286-321.
    In this article we refine the design of context shifting experiments, which play a central role in contextualist debates, and we subject a large number of scenarios involving different types of expressions of interest to contextualists, including ‘know’ and color adjectives like ‘green’, to experimental investigation. Our experiment reveals an effect of changing contexts on the evaluation of uses of the sentences that we examine, thereby overturning the absence of results reported in previous experimental studies , uncovers evidence for a (...)
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  • Just What Is It That Makes Travis's Examples So Different, So Appealing?Nat Hansen - 2018 - In John Collins & Tamara Dobler (eds.), The Philosophy of Charles Travis: Language, Thought, and Perception. Oxford University Press.
    Odd and memorable examples are a distinctive feature of Charles Travis's work: cases involving squash balls, soot-covered kettles, walls that emit poison gas, faces turning puce, ties made of freshly cooked linguine, and people grunting when punched in the solar plexus all figure in his arguments. One of Travis's examples, involving a pair of situations in which the leaves of a Japanese maple tree are painted green, has even spawned its own literature consisting of attempts to explain the context sensitivity (...)
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  • Third‐Person Knowledge Ascriptions: A Crucial Experiment for Contextualism.Jumbly Grindrod, James Andow & Nat Hansen - 2018 - Mind and Language:1-25.
    In the past few years there has been a turn towards evaluating the empirical foundation of epistemic contextualism using formal (rather than armchair) experimental methods. By-and-large, the results of these experiments have not supported the original motivation for epistemic contextualism. That is partly because experiments have only uncovered effects of changing context on knowledge ascriptions in limited experimental circumstances (when contrast is present, for example), and partly because existing experiments have not been designed to distinguish between contextualism and one of (...)
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  • Contemporary Ordinary Language Philosophy.Nat Hansen - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):556-569.
    There is a widespread assumption that ordinary language philosophy was killed off sometime in the 1960s or 70s by a combination of Gricean pragmatics and the rapid development of systematic semantic theory. Contrary to that widespread assumption, however, contemporary versions of ordinary language philosophy are alive and flourishing, but going by various aliases—in particular "contextualism" and "experimental philosophy". And a growing group of contemporary philosophers are explicitly embracing the methods as well as the title of ordinary language philosophy and arguing (...)
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