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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. Propositions and Multiple Indexing.Brian Rabern - 2012 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):116-124.
    It is argued that propositions cannot be the compositional semantic values of sentences (in context) simply due to issues stemming from the compositional semantics of modal operators (or modal quantifiers). In particular, the fact that the arguments for double indexing generalize to multiple indexing exposes a fundamental tension in the default philosophical conception of semantic theory. This provides further motivation for making a distinction between two sentential semantic contents—what (Dummett 1973) called “ingredient sense” and “assertoric content”.
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  • A Two-Dimensional Logic for Two Paradoxes of Deontic Modality.Fusco Melissa & Kocurek Alexander - forthcoming - Review of Symbolic Logic.
    In this paper, we axiomatize the deontic logic in Fusco 2015, which uses a Stalnaker-inspired account of diagonal acceptance and a two-dimensional account of disjunction to treat Ross’s Paradox and the Puzzle of Free Choice Permission. On this account, disjunction-involving validities are a priori rather than necessary. We show how to axiomatize two-dimensional disjunction so that the introduction/elimination rules for boolean disjunction can be viewed as one-dimensional projections of more general two-dimensional rules. These completeness results help make explicit the restrictions (...)
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  • On Experiencing Meaning: Irreducible Cognitive Phenomenology and Sinewave Speech.John Joseph Dorsch - 2017 - Phenomenology and Mind 12:218-227.
    Upon first hearing sinewaves, all that can be discerned are beeps and whistles. But after hearing the original speech, the beeps and whistles sound like speech. The difference between these two episodes undoubtedly involves an alteration in phenomenal character. O’Callaghan (2011) argues that this alteration is non-sensory, but he leaves open the possibility of attributing it to some other source, e.g. cognition. I discuss whether the alteration in phenomenal character involved in sinewave speech provides evidence for cognitive phenomenology. I defend (...)
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  • Frege's Puzzle: An Opinionated Introduction.Zhaohui Wen - manuscript
    This is an opinionated introduction of Frege's Puzzle, that "a=a" and "a=b" have different cognitive value, and it contains discussion of authors on this issue from Frege (1892) to Fine (2007).
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  • Definite Descriptions, Reference, and Inference.Marián Zouhar - 2007 - Theoria 73 (1):28-45.
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  • The A‐Theory of Time, The B‐Theory of Time, and ‘Taking Tense Seriously’.Dean W. Zimmerman - 2005 - Dialectica 59 (4):401-457.
    The paper has two parts: First, I describe a relatively popular thesis in the philosophy of propositional attitudes, worthy of the name ‘taking tense seriously’; and I distinguish it from a family of views in the metaphysics of time, namely, the A‐theories. Once the distinction is in focus, a skeptical worry arises. Some A‐theorists maintain that the difference between past, present, and future, is to be drawn in terms of what exists: growing‐block theorists eschew ontological commitment to future entities; presentists, (...)
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  • Free Choice Disjunction and Epistemic Possibility.Thomas Ede Zimmermann - 2000 - Natural Language Semantics 8 (4):255-290.
    This paper offers an explanation of the fact that sentences of the form (1) ‘X may A or B’ may be construed as implying (2) ‘X may A and X may B’, especially if they are used to grant permission. It is suggested that the effect arises because disjunctions are conjunctive lists of epistemic possibilities. Consequently, if the modal may is itself epistemic, (1) comes out as equivalent to (2), due to general laws of epistemic logic. On the other hand, (...)
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  • Against Relativism. [REVIEW]Aaron Z. Zimmerman - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 133 (3):313-348.
    Recent years have brought relativistic accounts of knowledge, first-person belief, and future contingents to prominence. I discuss these views, distinguish non-trivial from trivial forms of relativism, and then argue against relativism in all of its substantive varieties.
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  • The Many Uses of Predicates of Taste and the Challenge From Disagreement.Dan Zeman - 2016 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 46 (1):79-101.
    In the debate between contextualism and relativism about predicates of taste, the challenge from disagreement (the objection that contextualism cannot account for disagreement in ordinary exchanges involving such predicates) has played a central role. This paper investigates one way of answering the challenge consisting on appeal to certain, less focused on, uses of predicates of taste. It argues that the said thread is unsatisfactory, in that it downplays certain exchanges that constitute the core disagreement data. Additionally, several arguments to the (...)
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  • Temporalism and Composite Tense Operators.Dan Zeman - 2013 - Disputatio 5 (37):323-328.
    This is my contribution to a symposium on Berit Brogaard's book "Transient Truths" in which I criticize her treatment of various linguistic phenomena related to tense.
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  • Minimal Disagreement.Dan Zeman - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (4):1649-1670.
    In the recent debate about the semantics of perspectival expressions, disagreement has played a crucial role. In a nutshell, what I call “the challenge from disagreement” is the objection that certain views on the market cannot account for the intuition of disagreement present in ordinary exchanges involving perspectival expressions like “Licorice is tasty./no, it’s not.” Various contextualist answers to this challenge have been proposed, and this has led to a proliferation of notions of disagreement. It is now accepted in the (...)
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  • Multiple Indexing Relativism About Predicates of Taste.Dan Zeman - 2019 - Crítica. Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía 51 (151):5-34.
    Focusing on predicates of taste, this paper puts forward a novel version of relativism, motivated by a recently discussed phenomenon: perspectival plurality. After showing that the phenomenon is problematic for at least some versions of relativism and discussing several possible answers on behalf of the relativist, I put forward my own version. The main feature of the proposal is the introduction in the index not of a single parameter for perspectives, but of a (possibly infinite) sequence of such parameters. In (...)
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  • Weak Speech Reports.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (8):2139-2166.
    Indirect speech reports can be true even if they attribute to the speaker the saying of something weaker than what she in fact expressed, yet not all weakenings of what the speaker expressed yield true reports. For example, if Anna utters ‘Bob and Carla passed the exam’, we can accurately report her as having said that Carla passed the exam, but we can not accurately report her as having said that either it rains or it does not, or that either (...)
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  • Communication and Indifference.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2021 - Mind and Language 36 (1):81-107.
    The propositional view of communication states that every literal assertoric utterance of an indicative sentence expresses a proposition, and the audience understands those utterances only if she entertains the proposition(s) the speaker expressed. According to an important objection due to Ray Buchanan, the propositional view is ill‐equipped to handle meaning underdeterminacy. Using resources from situation semantics and MacFarlane's nonindexical contextualism, this article develops a view of literal communication close to the propositional view which overcomes Buchanan's underdeterminacy considerations while accounting for (...)
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  • Communication and Variance.Martín Abreu Zavaleta - 2021 - Topoi 40 (1):147-169.
    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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  • Context and Consequence. An Intercontextual Substructural Logic.Elia Zardini - 2014 - Synthese 191 (15):3473-3500.
    Some apparently valid arguments crucially rely on context change. To take a kind of example first discussed by Frege, ‘Tomorrow, it’ll be sunny’ taken on a day seems to entail ‘Today, it’s sunny’ taken on the next day, but the first sentence taken on a day sadly does not seem to entail the second sentence taken on the second next day. Mid-argument context change has not been accounted for by the tradition that has extensively studied the distinctive logical properties of (...)
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  • Jesus Loves You!Julia Zakkou - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (1):237–255.
    According to orthodox semantics, a given sentence as used at a given situation expresses at most one content. In the last decade, this view has been challenged with several objections. Many of them have been addressed in the literature. But one has gone almost unheeded. It stems from sentences that are used to address several people individually, like ‘Jesus loves you!’ as uttered by a priest at a sermon. Cappelen :23–46, 2008), Egan :251–279, 2009), López de Sa :241–253, 2014), and (...)
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  • The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli‐Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2018 - Noûs 52.
    Some have argued for a division of epistemic labor in which mathematicians supply truths and philosophers supply their necessity. We argue that this is wrong: mathematics is committed to its own necessity. Counterfactuals play a starring role.
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  • The Necessity of Mathematics.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2020 - Noûs 54 (3):549-577.
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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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  • Being in a position to know.Juhani Yli-Vakkuri & John Hawthorne - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1323-1339.
    The concept of being in a position to know is an increasingly popular member of the epistemologist’s toolkit. Some have used it as a basis for an account of propositional justification. Others, following Timothy Williamson, have used it as a vehicle for articulating interesting luminosity and anti-luminosity theses. It is tempting to think that while knowledge itself does not obey any closure principles, being in a position to know does. For example, if one knows both p and ‘If p then (...)
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  • Externalism and Critical Reasoning: A Reconsideration.Seyed Mohammad Yarandi - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1201-1216.
    According to Burge, it is not possible to commit brute errors in the process of critical reasoning. This thesis lies at the heart of Burge’s influential theory of self-knowledge. By appealing to a version of the slow-switching argument, this paper contends that Burge’s view is not compatible with his commitment to externalism about mental content. In particular, it is argued that accepting externalism opens up the possibility of brute errors in the process of critical reasoning.
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  • When Does Epistemic Closure Fail?M. Yan - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):260-264.
    Ted A. Warfield reviews the history of epistemology and argues that epistemologists mistakenly take for granted the inference that the failure of closure of some necessary condition on knowledge is sufficient for the failure of epistemic closure. So he concludes that epistemologists should avoid using this inference to explain the failure of epistemic closure. However, I will defend the inference that epistemologists often employ in their discussions. My thesis is that although this inference is invalid, one can still legitimately conclude (...)
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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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  • THE Way OF THE MOdal REalisT: dialETHEisM aNd BUddHisT PHilOsOPHy.Takashi Yagisawa - 2013 - Philosophy East and West 63 (3):359-369.
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  • A New Argument Against the Existence Requirement.Takashi Yagisawa - 2005 - Analysis 65 (1):39–42.
    It may appear that in order to be any way at all, a thing must exist. A possible – worlds version of this claim goes as follows: (E) For every x, for every possible world w, Fx at w only if x exists at w. Here and later in (R), the letter ‘F’ is used as a schematic letter to be replaced with a one – place predicate. There are two arguments against (E). The first is by analogy. Socrates is (...)
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  • Absolutely Tasty: An Examination of Predicates of Personal Taste and Faultless Disagreement.Jeremy Wyatt - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 61 (3):252-280.
    Debates about the semantics and pragmatics of predicates of personal taste have largely centered on contextualist and relativist proposals. In this paper, I argue in favor of an alternative, absolutist analysis of PPT. Theorists such as Max Kölbel and Peter Lasersohn have argued that we should dismiss absolutism due to its inability to accommodate the possibility of faultless disagreement involving PPT. My aim in the paper is to show how the absolutist can in fact accommodate this possibility by drawing on (...)
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  • De Se Beliefs, Self-Ascription, and Primitiveness.Florian L. Wüstholz - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (46):401-422.
    De se beliefs typically pose a problem for propositional theories of content. The Property Theory of content tries to overcome the problem of de se beliefs by taking properties to be the objects of our beliefs. I argue that the concept of self-ascription plays a crucial role in the Property Theory while being virtually unexplained. I then offer different possibilities of illuminating that concept and argue that the most common ones are either circular, question-begging, or epistemically problematic. Finally, I argue (...)
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  • ‘Ought’-Contextualism Beyond the Parochial.Alex Worsnip - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):3099-3119.
    Despite increasing prominence, ‘ought’-contextualism is regarded with suspicion by most metaethicists. As I’ll argue, however, contextualism is a very weak claim, that every metaethicist can sign up to. The real controversy concerns how contextualism is developed. I then draw an oft-overlooked distinction between “parochial” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are those that the speaker, or others in her environment, subscribe to—and “aspirational” contextualism—on which the contextually-relevant standards are the objective standards for the relevant domain. However, I argue that neither view (...)
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  • Model Theory, Hume's Dictum, and the Priority of Ethical Theory.Jack Woods & Barry Maguire - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4:419-440.
    It is regrettably common for theorists to attempt to characterize the Humean dictum that one can’t get an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’ just in broadly logical terms. We here address an important new class of such approaches which appeal to model-theoretic machinery. Our complaint about these recent attempts is that they interfere with substantive debates about the nature of the ethical. This problem, developed in detail for Daniel Singer’s and Gillian Russell and Greg Restall’s accounts of Hume’s dictum, is of (...)
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  • Sentence-Relativity and the Necessary a Posteriori.Kai-Yee Wong - 1996 - Philosophical Studies 83 (1):53 - 91.
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  • The Myth of the Taken: Why Hegel Is Not a Conceptualist.W. Clark Wolf - 2019 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 27 (3):399-421.
    ABSTRACTThe close connection often cited between Hegel and Wilfrid Sellars is not only said to lie in their common negative challenges to the ‘framework of givenness,’ but also in the positive less...
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  • Don't Stop Thinking About Tomorrow: Attitudes De Se and De Motu.Eric Winsberg - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
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  • The Price of Inscrutability.J. R. G. Williams - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):600 - 641.
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  • Reply to Bacon, Hawthorne and Uzquiano.Timothy Williamson - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):542-547.
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  • Indicative Versus Subjunctive Conditionals, Congruential Versus Non-Hyperintensional Contexts.Timothy Williamson - 2006 - Philosophical Issues 16 (1):310–333.
    §0. A familiar if obscure idea: an indicative conditional presents its consequent as holding in the actual world on the supposition that its antecedent so holds, whereas a subjunctive conditional merely presents its consequent as holding in a world, typically counterfactual, in which its antecedent holds. Consider this pair.
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  • Gavagai Again.John Robert Gareth Williams - 2008 - Synthese 164 (2):235-259.
    Quine (1960, Word and object. Cambridge, Mass.:MIT Press, ch. 2) claims that there are a variety of equally good schemes for translating or interpreting ordinary talk. ‘Rabbit’ might be taken to divide its reference over rabbits, over temporal slices of rabbits, or undetached parts of rabbits, without significantly affecting which sentences get classified as true and which as false. This is the basis of his famous ‘argument from below’ to the conclusion that there can be no fact of the matter (...)
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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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  • Semantic Externalism and Psychological Externalism.Åsa Wikforss - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):158-181.
    Externalism is widely endorsed within contemporary philosophy of mind and language. Despite this, it is far from clear how the externalist thesis should be construed and, indeed, why we should accept it. In this entry I distinguish and examine three central types of externalism: what I call foundational externalism, externalist semantics, and psychological externalism. I suggest that the most plausible version of externalism is not in fact a very radical thesis and does not have any terribly interesting implications for philosophy (...)
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  • Self-Referential Propositions.Bruno Whittle - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5023-5037.
    Are there ‘self-referential’ propositions? That is, propositions that say of themselves that they have a certain property, such as that of being false. There can seem reason to doubt that there are. At the same time, there are a number of reasons why it matters. For suppose that there are indeed no such propositions. One might then hope that while paradoxes such as the Liar show that many plausible principles about sentences must be given up, no such fate will befall (...)
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  • Hierarchical Propositions.Bruno Whittle - 2017 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 46 (2):215-231.
    The notion of a proposition is central to philosophy. But it is subject to paradoxes. A natural response is a hierarchical account and, ever since Russell proposed his theory of types in 1908, this has been the strategy of choice. But in this paper I raise a problem for such accounts. While this does not seem to have been recognized before, it would seem to render existing such accounts inadequate. The main purpose of the paper, however, is to provide a (...)
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  • The Semantic Significance of the Referential-Attributive Distinction.Howard K. Wettstein - 1983 - Philosophical Studies 44 (2):187--96.
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  • Sense Certainty’, or Why Russell Had No ‘Knowledge by Acquaintance.Kenneth R. Westphal - 2002 - Hegel Bulletin 23 (1-2):110-123.
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  • Constructing Persons: On the Personal–Subpersonal Distinction.Mason Westfall - forthcoming - Philosophical Psychology:1-29.
    What’s the difference between those psychological posits that are ‘me’ and those that are not? Distinguishing between these psychological kinds is important in many domains, but an account of what the distinction consists in is challenging. I argue for Psychological Constructionism: those psychological posits that correspond to the kinds within folk psychology are personal, and those that don’t, aren’t. I suggest that only constructionism can answer a fundamental challenge in characterizing the personal level—the plurality problem. The things that plausibly qualify (...)
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  • Descartes Discarded? Introspective Self-Awareness and the Problems of Transparency and Compositionality☆.Markus Werning - 2010 - Consciousness and Cognition 19 (3):751-761.
    What has the self to be like such that introspective awareness of it is possible? The paper asks if Descartes’s idea of an inner self can be upheld and discusses this issue by invoking two principles: the phenomenal transparency of experience and the semantic compositionality of conceptual content. It is assumed that self-awareness is a second-order state either in the domain of experience or in the domain of thought. In the former case self-awareness turns out empty if experience is transparent. (...)
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  • Compound Nominals, Context, and Compositionality.Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2007 - Synthese 156 (1):161-204.
    There are good reasons to think natural languages are compositional. But compound nominals (CNs) are largely productive constructions that have proven highly recalcitrant to compositional semantic analysis. I evaluate existing proposals to treat CNs compositionally and argue that they are unsuccessful. I then articulate an alternative proposal according to which CNs contain covert indexicals. Features of the context allow a variety of relations to be expressed using CNs, but this variety is not expressed in the lexicon or the semantic rules (...)
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  • A Closer Look at Manifest Consequence.Max Weiss - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (2-3):471-498.
    Fine (2007) argues that Frege’s puzzle and its relatives demonstrate a need for a basic reorientation of the field of semantics. According to this reorientation, the domain of semantic facts would be closed not under the classical consequence relation but only under a stronger relation Fine calls “manifest consequence.” I examine Fine’s informally sketched analyses of manifest consequence, showing that each can be amended to determine a class of strong consequence relations. A best candidate relation emerges from each of the (...)
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  • Eternalism and Propositional Multitasking: In Defence of the Operator Argument.Clas Weber - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):199-219.
    It is a widely held view in philosophy that propositions perform a plethora of different theoretical roles. Amongst other things, they are believed to be the semantic values of sentences in contexts, the objects of attitudes, the contents of illocutionary acts, and the referents of that-clauses. This assumption is often combined with the claim that propositions have their truth-values eternally. In this paper I aim to show that these two assumptions are incompatible: propositions cannot both fulfill the mentioned roles and (...)
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  • Material People in Logical Space.Clas Weber - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (3):517-530.
    ABSTRACT This paper defends a controversial view about personal identity. It argues that it is possible to endorse both Phenomenalism and Materialism about persons. Phenomenalism is the view that personal identity is grounded in phenomenal consciousness. Materialism is the view that we are material objects. Many believe that the two views are incompatible. In this paper, I show that it is possible to accept both. I consider two objections against their combination—the argument from disembodiment and an important objection by Tim (...)
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  • Centered Communication.Clas Weber - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):205-223.
    According to an attractive account of belief, our beliefs have centered content. According to an attractive account of communication, we utter sentences to express our beliefs and share them with each other. However, the two accounts are in conflict. In this paper I explore the consequences of holding on to the claim that beliefs have centered content. If we do in fact express the centered content of our beliefs, the content of the belief the hearer acquires cannot in general be (...)
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