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A Bundle Theory of Words

Synthese 198 (6):5731–5748 (2021)

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  1. What it takes to make a word.Wade Munroe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-30.
    Consider the following object, where, depending on how you are viewing this paper, the object may be a series of ink markings, a portion of a matrix of pixels through or from which light is emitted, etc.,augeLet’s call the object ‘Shape’. Is Shape a word token? If so, what word type is it a token of? Given how words are traditionally individuated, the Spanish, “auge”—meaning, apogee or peak—the French, “auge”—meaning, basin or bowl—and the German, “auge”—meaning, eye, are different words. So, (...)
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  • Words, Species, and Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2021 - Metaphysics 4 (1):18–31.
    It has been widely argued that words are analogous to species such that words, like species, are natural kinds. In this paper, I consider the metaphysics of word-kinds. After arguing against an essentialist approach, I argue that word-kinds are homeostatic property clusters, in line with the dominant approach to other biological and psychological kinds.
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  • Fictional Characters and Their Discontents: Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics of Fictional Entities.Shamik Chakravarty - 2021 - Dissertation, Lingnan University
    In recent metaphysics, the questions of whether fictional entities exist, what their nature is, and how to explain truths of statements such as “Sherlock Holmes lives at 221B Baker Street” and “Holmes was created by Arthur Conan Doyle” have been subject to much debate. The main aim of my thesis is to wrestle with key proponents of the abstractionist view that fictional entities are abstract objects that exist (van Inwagen 1977, 2018, Thomasson 1999 and Salmon 1998) as well as Walton’s (...)
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  • Using a two-dimensional model from social ontology to explain the puzzling metaphysical features of words.Jared S. Oliphint - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-10.
    I argue that a two-dimensional model of social objects is uniquely positioned to deliver explanations for some of the puzzling metaphysical features of words. I consider how a type-token model offers explanations for the metaphysical features of words, but I give reasons to find the model wanting. In its place, I employ an alternative model from social ontology to explain the puzzling data and questions that are generated from the metaphysical features of words. In the end I chart a new (...)
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  • Troubles with Rey's Linguistic Eliminativism.Robert J. Stainton & Christopher Viger - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (2):261-273.
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  • There Are No Uninstantiated Words.James Miller - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Kaplan (1990; 2011) argues that there are no unspoken words. Hawthorne and Lepore (2011) put forward examples that purport to show that there can be such words. Here, I argue that Kaplan is correct, if we grant him a minor variation. While Hawthorne and Lepore might be right that there can be unspoken words, I will argue that they fail to show that there can be uninstantiated words.
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  • Thinking Through Talking to Yourself: Inner Speech as a Vehicle of Conscious Reasoning.Wade Munroe - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-27.
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  • The Ontology of Words: Realism, Nominalism, and Eliminativism.J. T. M. Miller - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (7).
    What are words? What makes two token words tokens of the same word-type? Are words abstract entities, or are they (merely) collections of tokens? The ontology of words tries to provide answers to these, and related questions. This article provides an overview of some of the most prominent views proposed in the literature, with a particular focus on the debate between type-realist, nominalist, and eliminativist ontologies of words.
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  • Natural Name Theory and Linguistic Kinds.J. T. M. Miller - 2019 - Journal of Philosophy 116 (9):494-508.
    The natural name theory, recently discussed by Johnson (2018), is proposed as an explanation of pure quotation where the quoted term(s) refers to a linguistic object such as in the sentence ‘In the above, ‘bank’ is ambiguous’. After outlining the theory, I raise a problem for the natural name theory. I argue that positing a resemblance relation between the name and the linguistic object it names does not allow us to rule out cases where the natural name fails to resemble (...)
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