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Cheap contextualism

Philosophical Issues 18 (1):104-129 (2008)

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  1. How to Have a Metalinguistic Dispute.Poppy Mankowitz - forthcoming - Synthese:1-20.
    There has been recent interest in the idea that speakers who appear to be having a verbal dispute may in fact be engaged in a metalinguistic negotiation: they are communicating information about how they believe an expression should be used. For example, individuals involved in a dispute about whether a racehorse is an athlete might be communicating their diverging views about how ‘athlete’ should be used. While many have argued that metalinguistic negotiation is a pervasive feature of philosophical and everyday (...)
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  • Disagreements About Taste.Timothy Sundell - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):267-288.
    I argue for the possibility of substantive aesthetic disagreements in which both parties speak truly. The possibility of such disputes undermines an argument mobilized by relativists such as Lasersohn (Linguist Philos 28:643–686, 2005) and MacFarlane (Philos Stud 132:17–31, 2007) against contextualism about aesthetic terminology. In describing the facts of aesthetic disagreement, I distinguish between the intuition of dispute on the one hand and the felicity of denial on the other. Considered separately, neither of those phenomena requires that there be a (...)
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  • Metaphysical Disputes and Metalinguistic Negotiation.Amie L. Thomasson - 2017 - Analytic Philosophy 58 (1):1-28.
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  • De Se Pragmatics.Andy Egan - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):144-164.
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  • Tolerance, Flexibility and the Application of Kind Terms.Genoveva Martí & Lorena Ramírez-Ludeña - 2018 - Synthese (Suppl 12):1-14.
    We explore two ways of distinguishing the semantic operation of kind terms. First, we focus on a distinction between terms with a flexible versus terms with an inflexible semantics. Flexibility depends on whether some changes in the domain of application are taken to be possible while being consistent with past usage and what is intuitively the same meaning. On the other hand we discuss terms whose mode of operation is tolerant, in that the cohabitation in the speakers’ community of more (...)
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  • Why Realists Must Reject Normative Quietism.Daniel Wodak - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (11):2795-2817.
    The last two decades have seen a surge of support for normative quietism: most notably, from Dworkin, Nagel, Parfit and Scanlon. Detractors like Enoch and McPherson object that quietism is incompatible with realism about normativity. The resulting debate has stagnated somewhat. In this paper I explore and defend a more promising way of developing that objection: I’ll argue that if normative quietism is true, we can create reasons out of thin air, so normative realists must reject normative quietism.
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  • Knowledge Entails Dispositional Belief.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (S1):19-50.
    Knowledge is widely thought to entail belief. But Radford has claimed to offer a counterexample: the case of the unconfident examinee. And Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel have claimed empirical vindication of Radford. We argue, in defense of orthodoxy, that the unconfident examinee does indeed have belief, in the epistemically relevant sense of dispositional belief. We buttress this with empirical results showing that when the dispositional conception of belief is specifically elicited, people’s intuitions then conform with the view that knowledge entails (dispositional) (...)
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  • Metalinguistic Negotiation and Speaker Error.David Plunkett & Tim Sundell - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):142-167.
    In recent work, we have argued that a number of disputes of interest to philosophers – including some disputes amongst philosophers themselves – are metalinguistic negotiations. Prima facie, many of these disputes seem to concern worldly, non-linguistic issues directly. However, on our view, they in fact concern, in the first instance, normative questions about the use of linguistic expressions. This will strike many ordinary speakers as counterintuitive. In many of the disputes that we analyze as metalinguistic negotiations, speakers might quite (...)
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  • Perspective in Taste Predicates and Epistemic Modals.Jonathan Schaffer - 2009 - In Andy Egan & Brian Weatherson (eds.), Epistemic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    Imagine that Ann, asked to name her favorite treat, answers: 1. Licorice is tasty Imagine that Ben, having hidden some licorice in the cupboard, whispers to Ann: 2. There might be licorice in the cupboard. What if any role is played by perspective—whom the licorice is tasty to, whose evidence allows for licorice in the cupboard—in the semantics of such sentences?
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  • Knowledge Embedded.Dirk Kindermann - forthcoming - Synthese (5):4035-4055.
    How should we account for the contextual variability of knowledge claims? Many philosophers favour an invariantist account on which such contextual variability is due entirely to pragmatic factors, leaving no interesting context-sensitivity in the semantic meaning of ‘know that.’ I reject this invariantist division of labor by arguing that pragmatic invariantists have no principled account of embedded occurrences of ‘S knows/doesn’t know that p’: Occurrences embedded within larger linguistic constructions such as conditional sentences, attitude verbs, expressions of probability, comparatives, and (...)
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  • The Theory Theory of Metalinguistic Disputes.Erich Rast - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Scientific Models and Metalinguistic Negotiation.Mirco Sambrotta - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):277.
    The aim of this paper is to explore the possibility that, at least, some metaphysical debates are ‘metalinguistic negotiations’. I will take the dispute between the dominant approaches of realism and the anti-realism ones about the ontological status of scientific models as a case-study. I will argue that such a debate may be better understood as a disagreement, at bottom normatively, motivated, insofar as a normative and non-factual question may be involved in it: how the relevant piece of language ought (...)
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  • Expressions in Focus.Poppy Mankowitz - 2020 - Semantics and Pragmatics 13 (13).
    It is commonly claimed that, when a constituent is the focus of an occurrence of a sentence, certain alternatives to that constituent are relevant to our understanding of the sentence. Normally these are alternatives to the denotation of the focused constituent. However, Krifka (2007) briefly discusses the notion of expression focus, where the alternatives are linguistic items. Yet an adequate account of expression focus has not been given within the literature. This is despite the fact that it holds the potential (...)
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  • Metalinguistic Value Disagreement.Erich Rast - 2017 - Studia Semiotyczne 31 (2):139-159.
    In a series of publications Burgess, Plunkett and Sundell have developed a metalinguistic negotiation view that they call ‘Conceptual Ethics.’ I argue that their position adequately captures our intuition that some cases of value disputes are metalinguistic, but that they reverse the direction of justification when they state that speakers ‘negotiate’ the best use of a term or concept on the basis of its prior social role. Borrowing ideas from Putnam, I instead suggest distinguishing two meanings of general terms and (...)
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  • Perspectives on Context and Contextualism.Monika Kopytowska & Piotr Stalmaszczyk - 2011 - Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 7 (2):181-187.
    Perspectives on Context and Contextualism.
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  • Essential Contestability and Evaluation.Pekka Väyrynen - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (3):471-488.
    Evaluative and normative terms and concepts are often said to be "essentially contestable". This notion has been used in political and legal theory and applied ethics to analyse disputes concerning the proper usage of terms like democracy, freedom, genocide, rape, coercion, and the rule of law. Many philosophers have also thought that essential contestability tells us something important about the evaluative in particular. Gallie (who coined the term), for instance, argues that the central structural features of essentially contestable concepts secure (...)
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  • On a Case for Truth‐Relativism.Jason Stanley - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):179-188.
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  • Epistemic Comparativism: A Contextualist Semantics for Knowledge Ascriptions.Jonathan Schaffer & Zoltan Gendler Szabo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 168 (2):491-543.
    Knowledge ascriptions seem context sensitive. Yet it is widely thought that epistemic contextualism does not have a plausible semantic implementation. We aim to overcome this concern by articulating and defending an explicit contextualist semantics for ‘know,’ which integrates a fairly orthodox contextualist conception of knowledge as the elimination of the relevant alternatives, with a fairly orthodox “Amherst” semantics for A-quantification over a contextually variable domain of situations. Whatever problems epistemic contextualism might face, lack of an orthodox semantic implementation is not (...)
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  • Value Disagreement and Two Aspects of Meaning.Erich Rast - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (51):399-430.
    The problem of value disagreement and contextualist, relativist and metalinguistic attempts of solving it are laid out. Although the metalinguistic account seems to be on the right track, it is argued that it does not sufficiently explain why and how disagreements about the meaning of evaluative terms are based on and can be decided by appeal to existing social practices. As a remedy, it is argued that original suggestions from Putnam's 'The Meaning of "Meaning"' ought to be taken seriously. The (...)
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  • Modeling Truth.Paul Teller - manuscript
    Many in philosophy understand truth in terms of precise semantic values, true propositions. Following Braun and Sider, I say that in this sense almost nothing we say is, literally, true. I take the stand that this account of truth nonetheless constitutes a vitally useful idealization in understanding many features of the structure of language. The Fregean problem discussed by Braun and Sider concerns issues about application of language to the world. In understanding these issues I propose an alternative modeling tool (...)
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  • The Disagreement Challenge to Contextualism.Justin Khoo - forthcoming - In Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Epistemic Contextualism.
    I articulate the challenge disagreement poses for epistemic contextualism, and then discuss several possible replies on behalf of the contextualist.
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  • Which Concepts Should We Use?: Metalinguistic Negotiations and The Methodology of Philosophy.David Plunkett - 2015 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 58 (7-8):828-874.
    This paper is about philosophical disputes where the literal content of what speakers communicate concerns such object-level issues as ground, supervenience, or real definition. It is tempting to think that such disputes straightforwardly express disagreements about these topics. In contrast to this, I suggest that, in many such cases, the disagreement that is expressed is actually one about which concepts should be employed. I make this case as follows. First, I look at non-philosophical, everyday disputes where a speaker employs a (...)
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  • Disagreement, Error, and an Alternative to Reference Magnetism.Timothy Sundell - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):743 - 759.
    Lewisian reference magnetism about linguistic content determination [Lewis 1983 has been defended in recent work by Weatherson [2003] and Sider [2009], among others. Two advantages claimed for the view are its capacity to make sense of systematic error in speakers' use of their words, and its capacity to distinguish between verbal and substantive disagreements. Our understanding of both error and disagreement is linked to the role of usage and first order intuitions in semantics and in linguistic theory more generally. I (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • How Cheap Can You Get?Ram Neta - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):130-142.
    According to a contextualist account of knowledge ascriptions, it’s possible for both Skeptic’s assertion of “Moore doesn’t know (at a particular time t0) that he has hands” and Normal’s simultaneous assertion of “Moore does know (at t0) that he has hands” to be true, so long as these assertions are issued in different contexts. That’s because the truth-conditions of such knowledge ascriptions (or denials) are fixed partly by features of the context in which those ascriptions (or denials) are issued.
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