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  1. Thick Concepts and Underdetermination.Pekka Väyrynen - 2013 - In Simon Kirchin (ed.), Thick Concepts. Oxford University Press.
    Thick terms and concepts in ethics somehow combine evaluation and non-evaluative description. The non-evaluative aspects of thick terms and concepts underdetermine their extensions. Many writers argue that this underdetermination point is best explained by supposing that thick terms and concepts are semantically evaluative in some way such that evaluation plays a role in determining their extensions. This paper argues that the extensions of thick terms and concepts are underdetermined by their meanings in toto, irrespective of whether their extensions are partly (...)
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  • Context Dependence.Kent Bach - 2012 - In Manuel García-Carpintero & Max Kölbel (eds.), The Continuum Companion to the Philosophy of Language. Continuum International.
    All sorts of things are context-dependent in one way or another. What it is appropriate to wear, to give, or to reveal depends on the context. Whether or not it is all right to lie, harm, or even kill depends on the context. If you google the phrase ‘depends on the context’, you’ll get several hundred million results. This chapter aims to narrow that down. In this context the topic is context dependence in language and its use. It is commonly (...)
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Indexical Predicates.Daniel Rothschild & Gabriel Segal - 2009 - Mind and Language 24 (4):467-493.
    We discuss the challenge to truth-conditional semantics presented by apparent shifts in extension of predicates such as ‘red’. We propose an explicit indexical semantics for ‘red’ and argue that our account is preferable to the alternatives on conceptual and empirical grounds.
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  • The Scope and the Subtleties of the Contextualism–Literalism–Relativism Debate.Isidora Stojanovic - 2008 - Language and Linguistics Compass 2 (6):1171–1188.
    In recent years, a number of new trends have seen light at the intersection of semantics and philosophy of language. They are meant to address puzzles raised by the context-sensitivity of a variety of natural language constructions, such as knowledge ascriptions, belief reports, epistemic modals, indicative conditionals, quantifier phrases, gradable adjectives, temporal constructions, vague predicates, moral predicates, predicates of personal taste. A diversity of labels have consequently emerged, such as 'contextualism', 'indexicalism', 'invariantism', 'literalism', 'minimalism', and 'relativism', variously qualified. The goal (...)
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  • Polar Opposition and the Ontology of 'Degrees'.Christopher Kennedy - 2001 - Linguistics and Philosophy 24 (1):33-70.
    This paper uses the distribution and interpretation of antonymous adjectives in comparative constructions as an empirical basis to argue that abstract representations of measurement, or ‘degrees’, must be modeled as intervals on a scale, rather than as points, as commonly assumed. I begin by demonstrating that the facts in this domain must be accounted for in terms of the interaction of the semantics of adjectival polarity and the semantics of the comparative, rather than principles governing the (overt) expression of particular (...)
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  • Vagueness Intuitions and the Mobility of Cognitive Sortals.Bert Baumgaertner - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (3):213-234.
    One feature of vague predicates is that, as far as appearances go, they lack sharp application boundaries. I argue that we would not be able to locate boundaries even if vague predicates had sharp boundaries. I do so by developing an idealized cognitive model of a categorization faculty which has mobile and dynamic sortals (`classes', `concepts' or `categories') and formally prove that the degree of precision with which boundaries of such sortals can be located is inversely constrained by their flexibility. (...)
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  • Cheap Contextualism.Peter Ludlow - 2008 - Philosophical Issues 18 (1):104-129.
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  • Time Dilation, Context, and Relative Truth.N. Ángel Pinillos - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):65-92.
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  • Context, Interest Relativity and the Sorites.Jason Stanley - 2003 - Analysis 63 (4):269-280.
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  • How to Understand Contextualism About Vagueness: Reply to Stanley.Diana Raffman - 2005 - Analysis 65 (3):244–248.
    accounts in general, contrary to what he seems to think. Stanley’s discussion concerns the dynamic or ‘forced march’ version of the sorites, viz. the version framed in terms of the judgments that would be made by a competent speaker who proceeds step by step along a sorites series for a vague predicate ‘F’. According to Stanley, the contextualist treatment of the paradox is based on the idea that the speaker shifts the content of the predicate whenever necessary to make it (...)
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  • Semantics and Pragmatics: Some Central Issues.Herman Cappelen - 2007 - In Gerhard Preyer & Georg Peter (eds.), Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: New Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. pp. 3--24.
    Introduction to Context-Sensitivity and Semantic Minimalism: Essays on Semantics and Pragmatics, 2007, Oxford University Press, (eds. Preyer and Peter).
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  • On the Linguistic Basis for Contextualism.Jason Stanley - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 119 (1-2):119-146.
    Contextualism in epistemology is the doctrine that the proposition expressed by a knowledge attribution relative to a context is determined in part by the standards of justification salient in that context. The (non-skeptical) contextualist allows that in some context c, a speaker may truly attribute knowledge at a time of a proposition p to Hannah, despite her possession of only weak inductive evidence for the truth of that proposition. Relative to another context, someone may make the very same knowledge attribution (...)
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  • Gradable Adjectives: A Defence of Pluralism.Keith DeRose - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (1):141-160.
    This paper attacks the Implicit Reference Class Theory of gradable adjectives and proposes instead a ?pluralist? approach to the semantics of those terms, according to which they can be governed by a variety of different types of standards, one, but only one, of which is the group-indexed standards utilized by the Implicit Reference Class Theory.
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  • On Linking Dispositions and Conditionals.David Manley & Ryan Wasserman - 2008 - Mind 117 (465):59-84.
    Analyses of dispositional ascriptions in terms of conditional statements famously confront the problems of finks and masks. We argue that conditional analyses of dispositions, even those tailored to avoid finks and masks, face five further problems. These are the problems of: (i) Achilles' heels, (ii) accidental closeness, (iii) comparatives, (iv) explaining context sensitivity, and (v) absent stimulus conditions. We conclude by offering a proposal that avoids all seven of these problems.
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  • Degree Modification of Gradable Nouns: Size Adjectives and Adnominal Degree Morphemes. [REVIEW]Marcin Morzycki - 2009 - Natural Language Semantics 17 (2):175-203.
    Degree readings of size adjectives, as in big stamp-collector, cannot be explained away as merely the consequence of some extragrammatical phenomenon. Rather, this paper proposes that they actually reflect the grammatical architecture of nominal gradability. Such readings are available only for size adjectives in attributive positions, and systematically only for adjectives that predicate bigness. These restrictions can be understood as part of a broader picture of gradable NPs in which adnominal degree morphemes—often overt—play a key role, analogous to their role (...)
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  • A Universal Scale of Comparison.Alan Clinton Bale - 2008 - Linguistics and Philosophy 31 (1):1-55.
    Comparative constructions form two classes, those that permit direct comparisons (comparisons of measurements as in Seymour is taller than he is wide) and those that only allow indirect comparisons (comparisons of relative positions on separate scales as in Esme is more beautiful than Einstein is intelligent). In contrast with other semantic theories, this paper proposes that the interpretation of the comparative morpheme remains the same whether it appears in sentences that compare individuals directly or indirectly. To develop a unified account, (...)
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  • The Binding Argument and Pragmatic Enrichment, or, Why Philosophers Care Even More Than Weathermen About ‘Raining’.Adam Sennet - 2007 - Philosophy Compass:071120235217005-???.
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  • Underdetermination, Domain Restriction, and Theory Choice.Mark Bowker - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):205-220.
    It is often possible to know what a speaker intends to communicate without knowing what they intend to say. In such cases, speakers need not intend to say anything at all. Stanley and Szabó's influential survey of possible analysis of quantifier domain restriction is, therefore, incomplete and the arguments made by Clapp and Buchanan against Truth Conditional Compositionality and propositional speaker-meaning are flawed. Two theories should not always be viewed as incompatible when they associate the same utterance with different propositions, (...)
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  • Persons and Their Properties.Jason Stanley - 1998 - Philosophical Quarterly 48 (191):159-175.
    According to what I call ‘the asymmetry thesis’, persons, though they are the direct bearers of the properties expressed by mental predicates, are not the direct bearers of properties such as those expressed by ‘weighs 135 pounds’ or ‘has crossed legs’. A number of different views about persons entail the asymmetry thesis. I first argue that the asymmetry thesis entails an error theory about our discourse involving person‐referring terms. I then argue that it is further threatened by consideration of the (...)
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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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  • Sensitivity Training.Zoltan Gendler Szabo - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (1):31-38.
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  • Meaning and Context in Children's Understanding of Gradable Adjectives.K. Syrett, C. Kennedy & J. Lidz - 2010 - Journal of Semantics 27 (1):1-35.
    This paper explores what children and adults know about three specific ways that meaning and context interact: the interpretation of expressions whose extensions vary in different contexts ; conditions on the felicitous use of expressions in a discourse context and informative uses of expressions in contexts in which they strictly speaking do not apply. The empirical focus is the use of unmodified gradable adjectives in definite descriptions to distinguish between two objects that differ in the degree to which they possess (...)
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  • Vagueness and Grammar: The Semantics of Relative and Absolute Gradable Adjectives.Christopher Kennedy - 2007 - Linguistics and Philosophy 30 (1):1 - 45.
    This paper investigates the way that linguistic expressions influence vagueness, focusing on the interpretation of the positive (unmarked) form of gradable adjectives. I begin by developing a semantic analysis of the positive form of ‘relative’ gradable adjectives, expanding on previous proposals by further motivating a semantic basis for vagueness and by precisely identifying and characterizing the division of labor between the compositional and contextual aspects of its interpretation. I then introduce a challenge to the analysis from the class of ‘absolute’ (...)
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  • Scales and Comparison Classes.Alan Clinton Bale - 2011 - Natural Language Semantics 19 (2):169-190.
    This paper discusses comparison classes—sets that relativize the interpretation of gradable adjectives, often specified with for-clauses as in John is smart for a linguist. Such a discussion ultimately lends support to the thesis that scales, degrees, measure functions, and linear orders are grammatically derived from more basic relations between individuals. Three accounts of comparison classes are compared and evaluated. The first proposes that such classes serve as an argument to a function that determines a standard of comparison. The second maintains (...)
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  • Context, Interest Relativity and the Sorites.Jason Stanley - 2003 - Analysis 63 (4):269–281.
    According to what I will call a contextualist solution to the sorites paradox, vague terms are context-sensitive, and one can give a convincing dissolution of the sorites paradox in terms of this context-dependency. The reason, according to the contextualist, that precise boundaries for expressions like “heap” or “tall for a basketball player” are so difficult to detect is that when two entities are sufficiently similar (or saliently similar), we tend to shift the interpretation of the vague expression so that if (...)
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  • The Speaker Authority Problem for Context-Sensitivity.Karen S. Lewis - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-29.
    Context-sensitivity raises a metasemantic question: what determines the value of a context-sensitive expression in context? Taking gradable adjectives as a case study, this paper argues against various forms of intentionalist metasemantics, i.e. that speaker intentions determine values for context-sensitive expressions in context, including the coordination account recently defended by King :219–237, 2014a; in: Burgess, Sherman Metasemantics: New essays on the foundations of meaning, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 97–118, 2014b). The paper argues that all intentionalist accounts face the speaker authority (...)
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  • A Gradable Approach to Dispositions.David Manley & Ryan Wasserman - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):68–75.
    Previous theories of the relationship between dispositions and conditionals are unable to account for the fact that dispositions come in degrees. We propose a fix for this problem that has the added benefit of avoiding the classic problems of finks and masks.
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  • Time Dilation, Context, and Relative Truth.Ángel Pinillos - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (1):65-92.
    I argue that truth is relative (in the sense recently defended by some prominent analytical philosophers) by focusing on some semantic issues raised by Einstein's theory of relativity together with our ordinary attributions of truth.
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  • The Binding Argument and Pragmatic Enrichment, or, Why Philosophers Care Even More Than Weathermen About 'Raining'.Adam Sennet - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (1):135-157.
    What is the proper way to draw the semantics-pragmatics distinction, and is what is said by a speaker ever enriched by pragmatics? An influential but controversial answer to the latter question is that the inputs to semantic interpretation contains representations of every contribution from context that is relevant to determining what is said, and that pragmatics never enriches the output of semantic interpretation. The proposal is bolstered by a controversial argument from syntactic binding designed to detect hidden syntactic structure. The (...)
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  • Generics, Covert Structure and Logical Form.Rachel Katharine Sterken - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (5):503-529.
    The standard view amongst philosophers of language and linguists is that the logical form of generics is quantificational and contains a covert, unpronounced quantifier expression Gen. Recently, some theorists have begun to question the standard view and rekindle the competing proposal, that generics are a species of kind-predication. These theorists offer some forceful objections to the standard view, and new strategies for dealing with the abundance of linguistic evidence in favour of the standard view. I respond to these objections and (...)
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