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The Lying Test

Mind and Language 31 (4):470-499 (2016)

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  1. Are false implicatures lies? An empirical investigation.Benjamin Weissman & Marina Terkourafi - 2019 - Mind and Language 34 (2):221-246.
    Lies are typically defined as believed falsehoods asserted with the intention of deceiving the hearer. A particularly problematic case for this definition is that of false implicatures. These are prototypically cases where the proposition expressed by the speaker's utterance is true, yet an implicature conveyed by this proposition in context is false. However, implicature is a diverse category and whether a blanket statement such as “false implicatures are lies,” as some have argued can account for all of them is open (...)
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  • The Lying Test, Ambiguity, and Determination of Content: Lying and Determination of Content.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2021 - Theoria 87 (3):847-857.
    For many philosophers, the Lying Test is a reliable instrument for collecting data in semantics. Michaelson argued that the Lying Test does not fall prey to the problem with ambiguity that limits the Cancellability Test of Gricean inspiration. I contend that Michaelson's argument in favor of the Lying Test overlooks two fundamental aspects of what determine the content of an utterance.
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  • Minimal contents, lying, and conventions of language.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    One recurrent objection against minimalism is that minimal contents have no theoretical role. It has recently been argued that minimal contents serve to draw the distinction between lying and misleading. In Sect. 1 and Sect. 2 I summarise the main argument in support of that claim and contend that it is inconclusive. In Sect. 3 I discuss some cases of lying and some of misleading that raise difficulties for minimalism. In Sect. 4 I make a diagnosis of the failure of (...)
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  • Lying and What is Said.Massimiliano Vignolo - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-30.
    Says-based definitions of lying require a notion of what is said. I argue that a conventions-based notion of utterance content inspired by Korta and Perry’s (in: Tsohatzidis (ed), John Searle's philosophy of language: Force, meaning, and thought, Cambridge University Press, 2007a) _locutionary content_ and Devitt’s (Overlooking conventions. The trouble with linguistic pragmatism, Springer, 2021) _what is said_ meets the desiderata for that theoretical role. In Sect. 1 I recall two received says-based definitions of lying and the notions of what is (...)
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  • Full‐On Stating.Robert J. Stainton - 2016 - Mind and Language 31 (4):395-413.
    What distinguishes full-on stating a proposition from merely communicating it? For instance, what distinguishes claiming/asserting/saying that one has never smoked crack cocaine from merely implying/conveying/hinting this? The enormous literature on ‘assertion’ provides many approaches to distinguishing stating from, say, asking and commanding: only the former aims at truth; only the former expresses one's belief; etc. But this leaves my question unanswered, since in merely communicating a proposition one also aims at truth, expresses a belief, etc. My aim is not to (...)
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  • Modelling Perjury: Between Trust and Blame.Izabela Skoczeń - 2021 - International Journal for the Semiotics of Law - Revue Internationale de Sémiotique Juridique 35 (2):771-805.
    I investigate: to what extent do folk ascriptions of lying differ between casual and courtroom contexts? to what extent does motive to lie influence ascriptions of trust, mental states, and lying judgments? to what extent are lying judgments consistent with previous ascriptions of communicated content? Following the Supreme Court’s Bronston judgment, I expect: averaged lying judgments to be similar in casual and courtroom contexts; motive to lie to influence levels of trust, mental states ascriptions, and patterns of lying judgments; retrospective (...)
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  • Meta-Metasemantics, or the Quest for the One True Metasemantics.Ethan Nowak & Eliot Michaelson - 2021 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (1):135-154.
    What determines the meaning of a context-sensitive expression in a context? It is standardly assumed that, for a given expression type, there will be a unitary answer to this question; most of the literature on the subject involves arguments designed to show that one particular metasemantic proposal is superior to a specific set of alternatives. The task of the present essay will be to explore whether this is a warranted assumption, or whether the quest for the one true metasemantics might (...)
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  • Speaker's reference, semantic reference, sneaky reference.Eliot Michaelson - 2022 - Mind and Language 37 (5):856-875.
    According to what is perhaps the dominant picture of reference, what a referential term refers to in a context is determined by what the speaker intends for her audience to identify as the referent. I argue that this sort of broadly Gricean view entails, counterintuitively, that it is impossible to knowingly use referential terms in ways that one expects or intends to be misunderstood. Then I sketch an alternative which can better account for such opaque uses of language, or what (...)
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  • Lying versus misleading, with language and pictures: the adverbial account.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2023 - Linguistics and Philosophy 46 (3):509-532.
    We intuitively make a distinction between _lying_ and _misleading_. On the explanation of this phenomenon favored here—the _adverbial_ account—the distinction tracks whether the content and its truth-committing force are literally conveyed. On an alternative _commitment_ account, the difference between lying and misleading is predicated instead on the strength of assertoric commitment. One lies when one presents with full assertoric commitment what one believes to be false; one merely misleads when one presents it without full assertoric commitment, by merely hinting or (...)
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  • Lying, risk and accuracy.Sam Fox Krauss - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):726-734.
    Almost all philosophers agree that a necessary condition on lying is that one says what one believes to be false. But, philosophers haven’t considered the possibility that the true requirement on lying concerns, rather, one’s degree-of-belief. Liars impose a risk on their audience. The greater the liar’s confidence that what she asserts is false, the greater the risk she’ll think she’s imposing on the dupe, and, therefore, the greater her blameworthiness. From this, I arrive at a dilemma: either the belief (...)
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  • The dynamics of loose talk.Sam Carter - 2019 - Noûs 55 (1):171-198.
    In non‐literal uses of language, the content an utterance communicates differs from its literal truth conditions. Loose talk is one example of non‐literal language use (amongst many others). For example, what a loose utterance of (1) communicates differs from what it literally expresses: (1) Lena arrived at 9 o'clock. Loose talk is interesting (or so I will argue). It has certain distinctive features which raise important questions about the connection between literal and non‐literal language use. This paper aims to (i.) (...)
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  • Explanatory roles for minimal content.Emma Borg - 2019 - Noûs 53 (3):513-539.
    A standard objection to so-called ‘minimal semantics’ (Borg 2004, 2012, Cappelen and Lepore 2005) is that minimal contents are explanatorily redundant as they play no role in an adequate account of linguistic communication (those making this objection include Levinson 2000, Carston 2002, Recanati 2004). This paper argues that this standard objection is mistaken. Furthermore, I argue that seeing why the objection is mistaken sheds light both on how we should draw the classic Gricean distinction between saying and implicating, and how (...)
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  • Fictions That Don’t Tell the Truth.Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    Can fictions lie? According to a classic conception, works of fiction cannot contain lies, since their content is neither presented as true nor meant to deceive us. But this classic view can be challenged. Sometimes fictions appear to make claims about the actual world, and these claims can be designed to convey falsehoods, historical misconceptions, and pernicious stereotypes. Should we conclude that some fictional statements are lies? This article presents two views that support a positive answer, and two that support (...)
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  • Some Reflections on Conventions.Carlo Penco & Massimiliano Vignolo - 2019 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 19 (3):375-402.
    In Overlooking Conventions Michael Devitt argues in defence of the traditional approach to semantics. Devitt’s main line of argument is an inference to the best explanation: nearly all cases that linguistic pragmatists discuss in order to challenge the traditional approach to semantics are better explained by adding conventions into language, in the form of expanding the range of polysemy or the range of indexicality (in the broad sense of linguistically governed context sensitivity). In this paper, we discuss three aspects of (...)
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  • Counterevidentials.Laura Caponetto & Neri Marsili - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Moorean constructions are famously odd: it is infelicitous to deny that you believe what you claim to be true. But what about claiming that p, only to immediately put into question your evidence in support of p? In this paper, we identify and analyse a class of quasi-Moorean constructions, which we label counterevidentials. Although odd, counterevidentials can be accommodated as felicitous attempts to mitigate one’s claim right after making it. We explore how counterevidentials differ from lexicalised mitigation operators, parentheticals, and (...)
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  • Shifting Perspective on Indexicals.Mark Bowker - 2022 - Pragmatics 32 (4):518-536.
    The debate over the meanings of indexical expressions has relied heavily on the method of counterexamples. This paper challenges that method by showing that purported counterexamples can often be explained away by appeal to perspective shifts. For these counterexamples to establish anything about indexical reference, we must identify the conditions under which theorists can legitimately appeal to perspective shifts. Some tests for semantic content are considered and it is argued that none of them can tell us when appeal to perspective (...)
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  • Assertion: a (partly) social speech act.Neri Marsili & Mitchell Green - 2021 - Journal of Pragmatics 181 (August 2021):17-28.
    In a series of articles (Pagin, 2004, 2009), Peter Pagin has argued that assertion is not a social speech act, introducing a method (which we baptize ‘the P-test’) designed to refute any account that defines assertion in terms of its social effects. This paper contends that Pagin's method fails to rebut the thesis that assertion is social. We show that the P-test is both unreliable (because it overgenerates counterexamples) and counterproductive (because it ultimately provides evidence in favor of some social (...)
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  • A Commitment-Theoretic Account of Moore's Paradox.Jack Woods - forthcoming - In An Atlas of Meaning: Current Research in the Semantics/Pragmatics Interface).
    Moore’s paradox, the infamous felt bizarreness of sincerely uttering something of the form “I believe grass is green, but it ain’t”—has attracted a lot of attention since its original discovery (Moore 1942). It is often taken to be a paradox of belief—in the sense that the locus of the inconsistency is the beliefs of someone who so sincerely utters. This claim has been labeled as the priority thesis: If you have an explanation of why a putative content could not be (...)
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