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The Philosophy of Generative Linguistics

Oxford University Press (2011)

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  1. Self‐Knowledge and Externalism About Empty Concepts.Ted Parent - 2015 - Analytic Philosophy 56 (2):158-168.
    Several authors have argued that, assuming we have apriori knowledge of our own thought-contents, semantic externalism implies that we can know apriori contingent facts about the empirical world. After presenting the argument, I shall respond by resisting the premise that an externalist can know apriori: If s/he has the concept water, then water exists. In particular, Boghossian's Dry Earth example suggests that such thought-experiments do not provide such apriori knowledge. Boghossian himself rejects the Dry Earth experiment, however, since it would (...)
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  • Lexical Flexibility, Natural Language, and Ontology.Christopher A. Vogel - 2016 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 16 (1):1-44.
    The Realist that investigates questions of ontology by appeal to the quantificational structure of language assumes that the semantics for the privileged language of ontology is externalist. I argue that such a language cannot be (some variant of) a natural language, as some Realists propose. The flexibility exhibited by natural language expressions noted by Chomsky and others cannot obviously be characterized by the rigid models available to the externalist. If natural languages are hostile to externalist treatments, then the meanings of (...)
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  • Linguistic Intuitions.Jeffrey Maynes & Steven Gross - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):714-730.
    Linguists often advert to what are sometimes called linguistic intuitions. These intuitions and the uses to which they are put give rise to a variety of philosophically interesting questions: What are linguistic intuitions – for example, what kind of attitude or mental state is involved? Why do they have evidential force and how might this force be underwritten by their causal etiology? What light might their causal etiology shed on questions of cognitive architecture – for example, as a case study (...)
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  • Davidson on Reference.Robert Williams - 2013 - In Ernie LePore & Kurt Ludwig (eds.), Blackwell Companion to Donald Davidson. Blackwell.
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  • Contrasting Cases.Nat Hansen - 2014 - In James Beebe (ed.), Advances in Experimental Epistemology. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 71-95.
    This paper concerns the philosophical significance of a choice about how to design the context shifting experiments used by contextualists and anti-intellectualists: Should contexts be judged jointly, with contrast, or separately, without contrast? Findings in experimental psychology suggest (1) that certain contextual features are more difficult to evaluate when considered separately, and there are reasons to think that one feature--stakes or importance--that interests contextualists and anti-intellectualists is such a difficult to evaluate attribute, and (2) that joint evaluation of contexts can (...)
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  • Which Are The Data That Competence Provides For Linguistic Intuitions?Dunja Jutronić - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (2):119-143.
    There are two clearly opposed camps on the issue of the source of linguistic intuitions that have been labelled competentionalist and ordinarist positions. Competentionalists believe and defend the view that linguistic intuitions have a special status and that linguistic competence is their source, while ordinarists believe and defend the view that linguistic intuitions do not have any special status and that they are not directly derived from linguistic competence. The crucial disagreement is primarily over the source of intuitions. The main (...)
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  • Linguistic Intuitions: In Defense of "Ordinarism".Michel Devitt - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (2):7-20.
    The received view in Chomskian linguistics is that linguistic intuitions are the product of a linguistic competence residing in a sub-central module of the mind. In Ignorance of Language I rejected this “Voice of Competence” view, and gave an answer of my own. I argued that intuitions are empirical theory-laden central-processor responses to phenomena. This led to an exchange with Nenad Miščević in which he defended VoC. Miščević has since returned to the issue, criticizing my sort of view, which he (...)
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  • How to Find an Attractive Solution to the Liar Paradox.Mark Pinder - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (7):1661-1680.
    The general thesis of this paper is that metasemantic theories can play a central role in determining the correct solution to the liar paradox. I argue for the thesis by providing a specific example. I show how Lewis’s reference-magnetic metasemantic theory may decide between two of the most influential solutions to the liar paradox: Kripke’s minimal fixed point theory of truth and Gupta and Belnap’s revision theory of truth. In particular, I suggest that Lewis’s metasemantic theory favours Kripke’s solution to (...)
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  • Meta-Externalism Vs Meta-Internalism in the Study of Reference.Daniel Cohnitz & Jussi Haukioja - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (3):475-500.
    We distinguish and discuss two different accounts of the subject matter of theories of reference, meta-externalism and meta-internalism. We argue that a form of the meta- internalist view, “moderate meta-internalism”, is the most plausible account of the subject matter of theories of reference. In the second part of the paper we explain how this account also helps to answer the questions of what kind of concept reference is, and what role intuitions have in the study of the reference relation.
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  • Linguistic Intuition and Calibration.Jeffrey Maynes - 2012 - Linguistics and Philosophy 35 (5):443-460.
    Linguists, particularly in the generative tradition, commonly rely upon intuitions about sentences as a key source of evidence for their theories. While widespread, this methodology has also been controversial. In this paper, I develop a positive account of linguistic intuition, and defend its role in linguistic inquiry. Intuitions qualify as evidence as form of linguistic behavior, which, since it is partially caused by linguistic competence (the object of investigation), can be used to study this competence. I defend this view by (...)
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  • Intuition and the Substitution Argument.Richard G. Heck - 2014 - Analytic Philosophy 55 (1):1-30.
    The 'substitution argument' purports to demonstrate the falsity of Russellian accounts of belief-ascription by observing that, e.g., these two sentences: -/- (LC) Lois believes that Clark can fly. (LS) Lois believes that Superman can fly. -/- could have different truth-values. But what is the basis for that claim? It seems widely to be supposed, especially by Russellians, that it is simply an 'intuition', one that could then be 'explained away'. And this supposition plays an especially important role in Jennifer Saul's (...)
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  • Correct Language Use: How Syntactic and Normative Constraints Converge.Florian Demont - unknown
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  • Empirical Significance, Predictive Power, and Explication.Surovell Jonathan/R. - forthcoming - Synthese.
    Criteria of empirical significance are supposed to state conditions under which reference to an unobservable object or property is “empirically meaningful.” The intended kind of empirical meaningfulness should be necessary for admissibility into the selective contexts of scientific inquiry. I defend Justus’s recent argument that the reasons generally given for rejecting the project of defining a significance criterion are unpersuasive. However, as I show, this project remains wedded to an overly narrow conception of its subject matter. Even the most cutting (...)
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  • Simple is Not Easy.Edison Barrios - 2016 - Synthese 193 (7):2261-2305.
    I review and challenge the views on simplicity and its role in linguistics put forward by Ludlow. In particular, I criticize the claim that simplicity—in the sense pertinent to science—is nothing more than ease of use or “user-friendliness”, motivated by economy of labor. I argue that Ludlow’s discussion fails to do justice to the diversity of factors that are relevant to simplicity considerations. This, in turn, leads to the neglect of crucial cases in which the rationale for simplification is unmistakably (...)
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  • Category Mistakes and Figurative Language.Ofra Magidor - 2015 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-14.
    Category mistakes are sentences such as ”The number two is blue’ or ”Green ideas sleep furiously’. Such sentences are highly infelicitous and thus a prominent view claims that they are meaningless. Category mistakes are also highly prevalent in figurative language. That is to say, it is very common for sentences which are used figuratively to be such that, if taken literally, they would constitute category mistakes. In this paper I argue that the view that category mistakes are meaningless is inconsistent (...)
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  • The Central Question in Comparative Syntactic Metatheory.Geoffrey K. Pullum - 2013 - Mind and Language 28 (4):492-521.
    Two kinds of theoretical framework for syntax are encountered in current linguistics. One emerged from the mathematization of proof theory, and is referred to here as generative-enumerative syntax (GES). A less explored alternative stems from the semantic side of logic, and is here called model-theoretic syntax (MTS). I sketch the outlines of each, and give a capsule summary of some mathematical results pertaining to the latter. I then briefly survey some diverse types of evidence suggesting that in some ways MTS (...)
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  • A Slugfest of Intuitions: Contextualism and Experimental Design.Nat Hansen - 2013 - Synthese 190 (10):1771-1792.
    This paper considers ways that experimental design can affect judgments about informally presented context shifting experiments. Reasons are given to think that judgments about informal context shifting experiments are affected by an exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments and by experimenter bias. Exclusive reliance on binary truth value judgments may produce experimental artifacts by obscuring important differences of degree between the phenomena being investigated. Experimenter bias is an effect generated when, for example, experimenters disclose (even unconsciously) their own beliefs (...)
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  • Compositionality as Weak Supervenience.Toby Napoletano - 2015 - Synthese 192 (1):201-220.
    This paper argues against Zoltán Szabó’s claim in “Compositionality as Supervenience” that we ought to understand the principle of compositionality as the idea that in natural language, the meanings of complex expressions strongly supervene on the meanings of their constituents and how the constituents are combined. The argument is that if we understand compositionality Szabó’s way, then compositionality can play no role in explanations of the acquirability of natural languages, because it makes these explanations circular. This, in turn, would undermine (...)
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  • Truth, Revenge, and Internalizability.Kevin Scharp - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S3):597-645.
    Although there has been a recent swell of interest in theories of truth that attempt solutions to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting our concept of truth, many of these theories have been criticized for generating new paradoxes, called revenge paradoxes. The criticism is that the theories of truth in question are inadequate because they only work for languages lacking in the resources to generate revenge paradoxes. Theorists facing these objections offer a range of replies, and the matter (...)
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