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Demonstratives: An Essay on the Semantics, Logic, Metaphysics and Epistemology of Demonstratives and other Indexicals

In Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard Wettstein (eds.), Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press. pp. 481-563 (1989)

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  1. Dworkin's Interpretivism and the Pragmatics of Legal Disputes.David Plunkett & Timothy Sundell - 2013 - Legal Theory 19 (3):242-281.
    One of Ronald Dworkin's most distinctive claims in legal philosophy is that law is an interpretative concept, a special kind of concept whose correct application depends neither on fixed criteria nor on an instance-identifying decision procedure but rather on the normative or evaluative facts that best justify the total set of practices in which that concept is used. The main argument that Dworkin gives for interpretivism about some conceptis a disagreement-based argument. We argue here that Dworkin's disagreement-based argument relies on (...)
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  • Hic Rhodos, Hic Salta: From Reductionist Semantics to a Realist Ontology of Forceful Dispositions.Markus Schrenk - 2009 - In G. Damschen, K. Stueber & R. Schnepf (eds.), Debating Dispositions: Issues in Metaphysics, Epistemology and Philosophy of Mind. De Gruyter. pp. 143-167.
    It is widely believed that at least two developments in the last third of the 20th century have given dispositionalism—the view that powers, capacities, potencies, etc. are irreducible real properties—new credibility: (i) the many counterexamples launched against reductive analyses of dispositional predicates in terms of counterfactual conditionals and (ii) a new anti-Humean faith in necessary connections in nature which, it is said, owes a lot to Kripke’s arguments surrounding metaphysical necessity. I aim to show in this paper that necessity is, (...)
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  • Frege’s Theory of Hybrid Proper Names Extended.Mark Textor - 2015 - Mind 124 (495):823-847.
    According to Frege, neither demonstratives nor indexicals are singular terms; only a demonstrative together with ‘circumstances accompanying its utterance’ has sense and singular reference. While this view seems defensible for demonstratives, where demonstrations serve as non-verbal signs, indexicals, especially pure indexicals like ‘I’, ‘here’, and ‘now’, seem not to be in need of completion by circumstances of utterance. In this paper I argue on the basis of independent reasons that indexicals are in fact in need of completion; I identify the (...)
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  • Contextualism, Relativism and the Liar.Gil Sagi - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (4):913-928.
    Contextualist theories of truth appeal to context to solve the liar paradox: different stages of reasoning occur in different contexts, and so the contradiction is dispelled. The word ‘true’ is relativized by the contextualists to contexts of use. This paper shows that contextualist approaches to the liar are committed to a form of semantic relativism: that the truth value of some sentences depends on the context of assessment, as well as the context of use. In particular, it is shown how (...)
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  • The Necessity of Metaphysics.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2008 - Dissertation, Durham University
    The purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate that metaphysics is a necessary discipline -- necessary in the sense that all areas of philosophy, all areas of science, and in fact any type of rational activity at all would be impossible without a metaphysical background or metaphysical presuppositions. Because of the extremely strong nature of this claim, it is not possible to put forward a very simple argument, although I will attempt to construct one. A crucial issue here is what (...)
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  • Semantic with Assignment Variables.Alex Silk - manuscript
    This manuscript develops a framework for compositional semantics and begins illustrating its fruitfulness by applying it to a spectrum of core linguistic data, such as with quantifiers, attitude ascriptions, relative clauses, conditionals, and questions. The key move is to introduce variables for assignment functions into the syntax; semantic values are treated systematically in terms of sets of assignments, theoretically interpreted as representing possibilities. The framework provides an alternative to traditional ``context-index''-style frameworks descending from Kamp/Kaplan/Lewis/Stalnaker. A principal feature of the account (...)
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  • Puns for Contextualists.Alberto Voltolini - 2012 - Humana Mente 5 (23):113-140.
    In this paper, I will first try to provide a new argument in favour of the contextualist position on the semantics/pragmatics divide. I will argue that many puns, notably multi-stable ones, cannot be dealt with in the non-contextualist way, i.e., as displaying a phenomenon that effectively involves wide context, the concrete situation of discourse, yet only in a pre-, or at least inter-, semantic sense. For, insofar as they involve ambiguous utterances rather than ambiguous sentences, these puns show that the (...)
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  • Grammar, Ontology, and the Unity of Meaning.Ulrich Reichard - 2013 - Dissertation, University of Durham
    Words have meaning. Sentences also have meaning, but their meaning is different in kind from any collection of the meanings of the words they contain. I discuss two puzzles related to this difference. The first is how the meanings of the parts of a sentence combine to give rise to a unified sentential meaning, as opposed to a mere collection of disparate meanings (UP1). The second is why the formal ontology of linguistic meaning changes when grammatical structure is built up (...)
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  • Fibonacci, Yablo, and the Cassationist Approach to Paradox.Laurence Goldstein - 2006 - Mind 115 (460):867-890.
    A syntactically correct number-specification may fail to specify any number due to underspecification. For similar reasons, although each sentence in the Yablo sequence is syntactically perfect, none yields a statement with any truth-value. As is true of all members of the Liar family, the sentences in the Yablo sequence are so constructed that the specification of their truth-conditions is vacuous; the Yablo sentences fail to yield statements. The ‘revenge’ problem is easily defused. The solution to the semantical paradoxes offered here (...)
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  • Structured Propositions in a Generative Grammar.Bryan Pickel - forthcoming - Mind:fzw074.
    Semantics in the Montagovian tradition combines two basic tenets. One tenet is that the semantic value of a sentence is an intension, a function from points of evaluations into truth-values. The other tenet is that the semantic value of a composite expression is the result of applying the function denoted by one component to arguments denoted by the other components. Many philosophers object to intensional semantics on the grounds that intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. (...)
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  • Epistemic Modals.Seth Yalcin - 2007 - Mind 116 (464):983-1026.
    Epistemic modal operators give rise to something very like, but also very unlike, Moore's paradox. I set out the puzzling phenomena, explain why a standard relational semantics for these operators cannot handle them, and recommend an alternative semantics. A pragmatics appropriate to the semantics is developed and interactions between the semantics, the pragmatics, and the definition of consequence are investigated. The semantics is then extended to probability operators. Some problems and prospects for probabilistic representations of content and context are explored.
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  • Knowledge and Presuppositions.Michael Blome-Tillmann - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):241 - 294.
    The paper explicates a new way to model the context-sensitivity of 'knows', namely a way that suggests a close connection between the content of 'knows' in a context C and what is pragmatically presupposed in C. After explicating my new approach in the first half of the paper and arguing that it is explanatorily superior to standard accounts of epistemic contextualism, the paper points, in its second half, to some interesting new features of the emerging account, such as its compatibility (...)
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  • Will Done Better: Selection Semantics, Future Credence, and Indeterminacy.Fabrizio Cariani & Paolo Santorio - 2018 - Mind 127 (505):129-165.
    Statements about the future are central in everyday conversation and reasoning. How should we understand their meaning? The received view among philosophers treats will as a tense: in ‘Cynthia will pass her exam’, will shifts the reference time forward. Linguists, however, have produced substantial evidence for the view that will is a modal, on a par with must and would. The different accounts are designed to satisfy different theoretical constraints, apparently pulling in opposite directions. We show that these constraints are (...)
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  • Liberating Content By Herman Cappelen and Ernie Lepore.Curtis Brown - forthcoming - Analysis:any013.
    Liberating Content By CappelenHerman and LeporeErnieOxford University Press, 2015. vi + 304 pp. £45.00.
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  • Xiv *-Making Sense of Relative Truth.John MacFarlane - 2005 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (1):305-323.
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  • Acquaintance and First-Person Attitude Reports.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Analysis:any054.
    It is often assumed that singular thought requires that an agent be epistemically acquainted with the object the thought is about. However, it can sometimes truthfully be said of someone that they have a belief about an object, despite not being interestingly epistemically acquainted with that object. In defense of an epistemic acquaintance constraint on singular thought, it is thus often claimed that belief ascriptions are context-sensitive, and do not always track the contents of an agent’s mental states. This paper (...)
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  • Semantic Externalism Without Thought Experiments.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri - 2018 - Analysis (1):81-89.
    Externalism is the thesis that the contents of intentional states and speech acts are not determined by the way the subjects of those states or acts are internally. It is a widely accepted but not entirely uncontroversial thesis. Among such theses in philosophy, externalism is notable for owing the assent it commands almost entirely to thought experiments, especially to variants of Hilary Putnam's famous Twin Earth scenario. This paper presents a thought experiment-free argument for externalism. It shows that externalism is (...)
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  • Synonymy Between Token-Reflexive Expressions.Alexandru Radulescu - forthcoming - Mind:fzy040.
    Synonymy, at its most basic, is sameness of meaning. A token-reflexive expression is an expression whose meaning assigns a referent to its tokens by relating each particular token of that particular expression to its referent. In doing so, the formulation of its meaning mentions the particular expression whose meaning it is. This seems to entail that no two token-reflexive expressions are synonymous, which would constitute a strong objection against token-reflexive semantics. In this paper, I propose and defend a notion of (...)
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  • What is the Correct Logic of Necessity, Actuality and Apriority?Peter Fritz - 2014 - Review of Symbolic Logic 7 (3):385-414.
    This paper is concerned with a propositional modal logic with operators for necessity, actuality and apriority. The logic is characterized by a class of relational structures defined according to ideas of epistemic two-dimensional semantics, and can therefore be seen as formalizing the relations between necessity, actuality and apriority according to epistemic two-dimensional semantics. We can ask whether this logic is correct, in the sense that its theorems are all and only the informally valid formulas. This paper gives outlines of two (...)
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  • Two Concepts of "Form" and the so-Called Computational Theory of Mind.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2006 - Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):795-821.
    According to the computational theory of mind , to think is to compute. But what is meant by the word 'compute'? The generally given answer is this: Every case of computing is a case of manipulating symbols, but not vice versa - a manipulation of symbols must be driven exclusively by the formal properties of those symbols if it is qualify as a computation. In this paper, I will present the following argument. Words like 'form' and 'formal' are ambiguous, as (...)
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  • Referring to the Qualitative Dimension of Consciousness: Iconicity Instead of Indexicality.Marc Champagne - 2014 - Dialogue 53 (1):135-182.
    This paper suggests that reference to phenomenal qualities is best understood as involving iconicity, that is, a passage from sign-vehicle to object that exploits a similarity between the two. This contrasts with a version of the ‘phenomenal concept strategy’ that takes indexicality to be central. However, since it is doubtful that phenomenal qualities are capable of causally interacting with anything, indexical reference seems inappropriate. While a theorist like David Papineau is independently coming to something akin to iconicity, I think some (...)
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  • Theories of Vagueness and Theories of Law.Alex Silk - forthcoming - Legal Theory:1-21.
    It is common to think that what theory of linguistic vagueness is correct has implications for debates in philosophy of law. I disagree. I argue that the implications of particular theories of vagueness on substantive issues of legal theory and practice are less far-reaching than often thought. I focus on four putative implications discussed in the literature concerning (i) the value of vagueness in the law, (ii) the possibility and value of legal indeterminacy, (iii) the possibility of the rule of (...)
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  • A New Deflationary Account of the “Primitive Sense of Selfhood”.Roberto Horácio de Sá Pereira - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (3):309-328.
    _ Source: _Page Count 20 This paper proposes a new deflationary reading of the metaphor of the “primitive sense of selfhood” in perception and proprioception, usually understood as an “experiential self-reference” that takes place before reflection and any use of concepts. As such, the paper is also a new defense of the old orthodox view that self-consciousness is a highly complex mental phenomenon that requires equally complex concepts. The author’s defense is a clear case of inference to the best explanation. (...)
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  • Re-Thinking Gareth Evans’ Approach to Indexical Sense and the Problem of Tracking Thoughts.Kurt C. M. Mertel - 2017 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 94 (1-2):173-193.
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  • On Sense and Intension.David J. Chalmers - 2002 - Philosophical Perspectives 16 (s16):135-82.
    What is involved in the meaning of our expressions? Frege suggested that there is an aspect of an expression.
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  • The Components of Content.David Chalmers - 2002 - In David J. Chalmers (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford University Press.
    [[This paper appears in my anthology _Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings_ (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 608-633. It is a heavily revised version of a paper first written in 1994 and revised in 1995. Sections 1, 7, 8, and 10 are similar to the old version, but the other sections are quite different. Because the old version has been widely cited, I have made it available (in its 1995 version) at http://consc.net/papers/content95.html.
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  • Russellians Can Solve the Problem of Empty Names with Nonsingular Propositions.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Synthese:1-23.
    Views that treat the contents of sentences as structured, Russellian propositions face a problem with empty names. It seems that those sorts of things cannot be the contents of sentences containing such names. I motivate and defend a solution to the problem according to which a sentence may have a singular proposition as its content at one time, and a nonsingular one at another. When the name is empty the content is a nonsingular Russellian structured proposition; when the name is (...)
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  • Two-Dimensional Semantics and the Nesting Problem.David J. Chalmers & Brian Rabern - 2014 - Analysis 74 (2):210-224.
    Graeme Forbes (2011) raises some problems for two-dimensional semantic theories. The problems concern nested environments: linguistic environments where sentences are nested under both modal and epistemic operators. Closely related problems involving nested environments have been raised by Scott Soames (2005) and Josh Dever (2007). Soames goes so far as to say that nested environments pose the “chief technical problem” for strong two-dimensionalism. We call the problem of handling nested environments within two-dimensional semantics “the nesting problem”. We show that the two-dimensional (...)
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  • Russellians Can Have a No Proposition View of Empty Names.Thomas Hodgson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (7):670-691.
    Russellians can have a no proposition view of empty names. I will defend this theory against the problem of meaningfulness, and show that the theory is in general well motivated. My solution to the problem of meaningfulness is that speakers’ judgements about meaningfulness are tracking grammaticality, and not propositional content.
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  • Contextualist Answers to the Challenge From Disagreement.Dan Zeman - 2017 - Phenomenology and Mind 12:62-73.
    In this short paper I survey recent contextualist answers to the challenge from disagreement raised by contemporary relativists. After making the challenge vivid by means of a working example, I specify the notion of disagreement lying at the heart of the challenge. The answers are grouped in three categories, the first characterized by rejecting the intuition of disagreement in certain cases, the second by conceiving disagreement as a clash of non-cognitive attitudes and the third by relegating disagreement at the pragmatic (...)
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  • Consciousness and its Place in Nature.David J. Chalmers - 2003 - In Stephen P. Stich & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell. pp. 102--142.
    Consciousness fits uneasily into our conception of the natural world. On the most common conception of nature, the natural world is the physical world. But on the most common conception of consciousness, it is not easy to see how it could be part of the physical world. So it seems that to find a place for consciousness within the natural order, we must either revise our conception of consciousness, or revise our conception of nature. In twentieth-century philosophy, this dilemma is (...)
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  • Insensitive Enough Semantics.Richard Vallée - 2006 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 10 (1):67-79.
    According to some philosophers, sentences like (1) “It is raining” and (2) “John is ready” are context sensitive sentences even if they do not contain indexicals or demonstratives. That view initiated a context sensitivity frenzy. Cappelen and Lepore (2005) summarize the frenzy by the slogan “Every sentence is context sensitive” (Insensitive Semantics, p. 6, note 5). They suggest a view they call Minimalism according to which the truth conditions of utterances of sentences like (1)/(2) are exactly what Convention T gives (...)
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  • Logic is a Moral Science.Hartley Slater - 2015 - Philosophy 90 (4):581-591.
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  • Negotiating the Meaning of “Law”: The Metalinguistic Dimension of the Dispute Over Legal Positivism.David Plunkett - 2016 - Legal Theory 22 (3-4):205-275.
    One of the central debates in legal philosophy is the debate over legal positivism. Roughly, positivists say that law is ultimately grounded in social facts alone, whereas antipositivists say it is ultimately grounded in both social facts and moral facts. In this paper, I argue that philosophers involved in the dispute over legal positivism sometimes employ distinct concepts when they use the term “law” and pick out different things in the world using these concepts. Because of this, what positivists say (...)
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  • Kaplan’s Counterexample to Quine’s Theorem.Paolo Bonardi - 2018 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 95 (2):196-223.
    _ Source: _Page Count 28 In his article “Opacity”, David Kaplan propounded a counterexample to the thesis, defended by Quine and known as _Quine’s Theorem_, that establishes the illegitimacy of quantifying from outside into a position not open to substitution. He ingeniously built his counterexample using Quine’s own philosophical material and novel devices, _arc quotes_ and _$entences_. The present article offers detailed analysis and critical discussion of Kaplan’s counterexample and proposes a reasonable reformulation of Quine’s Theorem that bypasses both this (...)
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  • Frege and the Description Theory: An Attempt at Rehabilitation.Ari Maunu - 2015 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 92 (1):109-116.
    I question the received view that Frege advocates the description theory of proper names. First, I argue that the textual evidence for this view from Frege’s writings is not conclusive. Secondly, I propose that the Fregean Sinne (of proper names) may be understood nondescriptionally in terms of symbolhood. Finally, I suggest that in the notorious passages where Frege is apparently supporting the description theory he is just indicating the potential problems with communication with proper names.
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  • Self-Ascription and the De Se.James Openshaw - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper defends Lewis’ (1979a) influential treatment of de se attitudes from recent criticism (Cappelen and Dever, 2013; Holton, 2015) to the effect that a key explanatory notion—self-ascription—goes unexplained. It is shown that Lewis’ treatment can be reconstructed in a way which provides clear responses. This sheds light on the explanatory ambitions of those engaged in Lewis’ project.
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  • Communication and Variance.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - forthcoming - Topoi:1-23.
    According to standard assumptions in semantics, ordinary users of a language have implicit beliefs about the truth-conditions of sentences in that language, and they often agree on those beliefs. For example, it is assumed that if Anna and John are both competent users of English and the former utters ‘grass is green’ in conversation with the latter, they will both believe that that sentence is true if and only if grass is green. These assumptions play an important role in an (...)
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  • Content in a Dynamic Context.Una Stojnić - 2017 - Noûs 53 (2):394-432.
    The standing tradition in theorizing about meaning, since at least Frege, identifies meaning with propositions, which are, or determine, the truth-conditions of a sentence in a context. But a recent trend has advocated a departure from this tradition: in particular, it has been argued that modal claims do not express standard propositional contents. This non-propositionalism has received different implementations in expressivist semantics and certain kinds of dynamic semantics. They maintain that the key aspect of interpretation of modal claims is the (...)
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  • Perspectival Externalism Is the Antidote to Radical Skepticism.Lisa Miracchi - 2017 - Episteme 14 (3):363-379.
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  • Analysis in Mind.Andrew Botterell - 1998 - Dissertation, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    From the time of Descartes to about the 1960s, a certain epistemological idea dominated the philosophy of mind, namely the idea that theses about the relation between mind and body are, if true, a priori truths. Much of recent philosophy of mind is devoted to the question whether that idea is right. My research is largely an attempt to argue that some recent defenses of it are unsuccessful. ;For example, Physicalism is the metaphysical thesis that every actual psychological event, property, (...)
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  • Externalism, Internalism, and Logical Truth.Corine Besson - 2009 - Review of Symbolic Logic 2 (1):1-29.
    The aim of this paper is to show what sorts of logics are required by externalist and internalist accounts of the meanings of natural kind nouns. These logics give us a new perspective from which to evaluate the respective positions in the externalist-internalist debate about the meanings of such nouns. The two main claims of the paper are the following: first, that adequate logics for internalism and externalism about natural kind nouns are second-order logics; second, that an internalist second-order logic (...)
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  • Intellect and Concept.Gurpreet Rattan - 2009 - The Baltic International Yearbook of Cognition, Logic and Communication 5.
    The connections between theories of concepts and issues of knowledge and epistemic normativity are complex and controversial. According to the general, broadly Fregean, view that stands in the background of this paper, these connections are taken not only to exist, but also to be fundamental to issues about the individuation of concepts. This kind of view fleshed out should clarify the nature and role of epistemic norms, and of different kinds of epistemic norms, in concept individuation. This paper takes up (...)
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  • Wallace, Free Choice, and Fatalism.Gila Sher - 2015 - In S. M. Cahn & M. Eckert (eds.), Freedom and the Self: Essays on the Philosophy of David Foster Wallace. Columbia University Press. pp. 31-56.
    In this paper I reconstruct David Foster Wallace’s argument against fatalism in his undergraduate honors thesis, “Richard Taylor’s ‘Fatalism’ and the Semantics of Physical Modality”. My goal is to present the argument in a clear and concise way, so that it is easy to see its main line of reasoning and potential power. A secondary goal is to offer clarificatory and critical notes on some of the issues at stake. The reconstruction reveals interesting connections between Wallace’s argument and John MacFarlane’s (...)
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  • Reasoning in Listening.Kenneth Olson & Gilbert Plumer - 2003 - In Frans H. van Eemeren, J. Anthony Blair, Charles A. Willard & A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans (eds.), Proceedings of the Fifth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation. Amsterdam: Sic Sat. pp. 803-806.
    Our thesis is that reasoning plays a greater—or at least a different—role in understanding oral discourse such as lectures and speeches than it does in understanding comparatively long written discourse. For example, both reading and listening involve framing hypotheses about the direction the discourse is headed. But since a reader can skip around to check and revise hypotheses, the reader’s stake in initially getting it right is not as great as the listener’s, who runs the risk of getting hopelessly lost. (...)
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  • Complex Demonstratives, QI Uses, and Direct Reference.Jeffrey C. King - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):99-117.
    result from combining the determiners `this' or `that' with syntactically simple or complex common noun phrases such as `woman' or `woman who is taking her skis off'. Thus, `this woman', and `that woman who is taking her skis off' are complex demonstratives. There are also plural complex demonstratives such as `these skis' and `those snowboarders smoking by the gondola'. My book Complex Demonstratives: A Quantificational Account argues against what I call the direct reference account of complex demonstratives (henceforth DRCD) and (...)
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  • Saying Nothing : In Defence of Syntactic and Semantic Underdetermination.Mark Bowker - 2016 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    According to the Encoding Model, speakers communicate by encoding the propositions they want to communicate into sentences, in accordance with the conventions of a language L. By uttering a sentence that encodes p, the speaker says that p. Communication is successful only if the audience identifies the proposition that the speaker intends to communicate, which is achieved by decoding the uttered sentence in accordance with the conventions of L. A consequence of the Encoding Model has been the proliferation of underdetermination (...)
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  • Counteridenticals.Alexander W. Kocurek - 2018 - The Philosophical Review 127 (3):323-369.
    A counteridentical is a counterfactual with an identity statement in the antecedent. While counteridenticals generally seem non-trivial, most semantic theories for counterfactuals, when combined with the necessity of identity and distinctness, attribute vacuous truth conditions to such counterfactuals. In light of this, one could try to save the orthodox theories either by appealing to pragmatics or by denying that the antecedents of alleged counteridenticals really contain identity claims. Or one could reject the orthodox theory of counterfactuals in favor of a (...)
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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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  • Demonstrative Concepts and Experience.Sean D. Kelly - 2001 - Philosophical Review 110 (3):397-420.
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