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  1. The Dynamics of Argumentative Discourse.Carlotta Pavese & Alexander W. Kocurek - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophical Logic:1-44.
    Arguments have always played a central role within logic and philosophy. But little attention has been paid to arguments as a distinctive kind of discourse, with its own semantics and pragmatics. The goal of this essay is to study the mechanisms by means of which we make arguments in discourse, starting from the semantics of argument connectives such as `therefore'. While some proposals have been made in the literature, they fail to account for the distinctive anaphoric behavior of `therefore', as (...)
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  • What Would It Mean for Natural Language to Be the Language of Thought?Gabe Dupre - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (4):773-812.
    Traditional arguments against the identification of the language of thought with natural language assume a picture of natural language which is largely inconsistent with that suggested by contemporary linguistic theory. This has led certain philosophers and linguists to suggest that this identification is not as implausible as it once seemed. In this paper, I discuss the prospects for such an identification in light of these developments in linguistic theory. I raise a new challenge against the identification thesis: the existence of (...)
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  • The structure of communicative acts.Sarah E. Murray & William B. Starr - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):425-474.
    Utterances of natural language sentences can be used to communicate not just contents, but also forces. This paper examines this topic from a cross-linguistic perspective on sentential mood. Recent work in this area focuses on conversational dynamics: the three sentence types can be associated with distinctive kinds of conversational effects called sentential forces, modeled as three kinds of updates to the discourse context. This paper has two main goals. First, it provides two arguments, on empirical and methodological grounds, for treating (...)
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  • Denn as a highlighting-sensitive particle.Nadine Theiler - 2021 - Linguistics and Philosophy 44 (2):323-362.
    This paper develops an account of the German discourse particle denn that captures the meaning contribution of this particle in polar questions, wh-questions, and certain conditional antecedents in a unified way. It is shown that the behavior of denn exhibits an asymmetry between polar and wh-interrogatives, which can be captured by treating the particle as sensitive to the property highlighted by its containing clause, in the sense of Roelofsen and Farkas :359–414, 2015). In addition, the paper argues that highlighting-sensitivity should (...)
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  • We talk to people, not contexts.Daniel W. Harris - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (9):2713-2733.
    According to a popular family of theories, assertions and other communicative acts should be understood as attempts to change the context of a conversation. Contexts, on this view, are publicly shared bodies of information that evolve over the course of a conversation and that play a range of semantic and pragmatic roles. I argue that this view is mistaken: performing a communicative act requires aiming to change the mind of one’s addressee, but not necessarily the context. Although changing the context (...)
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  • A Lewisian Taxonomy for Deontic Logic.Vladimír Svoboda - 2018 - Synthese 195 (7):3241-3266.
    Philosophers like G.H. von Wright and D. Makinson have pointed to serious challenges regarding the foundations of deontic logic. In this paper, I suggest that to deal successfully with these challenges a reconsideration of the research program of the discipline is useful. Some problems that have troubled this particular field of logical study for decades may disappear or appear more tractable if we view them from the perspective of a language game introduced by D. Lewis involving three characters: the Master, (...)
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  • Free Choice is a Form of Dependence.Magdalena Kaufmann - 2016 - Natural Language Semantics 24 (3):247-290.
    This paper refutes the widespread view that disjunctions of imperatives invariably grant free choice between the actions named by their disjuncts. Like other disjunctions they can also express a correlation with some factual distinction, but as with modalized declaratives used for non-assertive speech acts this needs to be indicated explicitly. A compositional analysis of one such indicator, depending on, constitutes the point of departure for a uniform analysis of disjunctions across clause types. Disjunctions are analyzed as sets of propositional alternatives (...)
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  • Obligation and Aspect.Benj Hellie - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (4):398-449.
    ‘Fred must open the door’ concerns Fred’s obligations. This obligative meaning is turned off by adding aspect: ‘Fred must have opened/be opening/have been opening the door’ are one and all epistemic. Why? In a nutshell: obligative ’must’ operates on procedural contents of imperative sentences, epistemic ‘must’ on propositional contents of declarative sentences; and adding aspect converts procedural into propositional content.
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  • Rationalization and the Ross Paradox.Benj Hellie - 2016 - In Nate Charlow & Matthew Chrisman (eds.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 283--323.
    'Post this letter!' does not entail 'Post this letter or drink up my wine!' (the Ross Paradox) because one can be in a state with the content of the former without being in a state with the content of the latter; in turn, because the latter can rationalize drinking up my wine but the former cannot; in turn, because practical rationalization flows toward one's present situation, in contrast with the flow of theoretical rationalization from one's present situation. Formally, this is (...)
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  • Imperative Inference and Practical Rationality.Daniel W. Harris - 2021 - Philosophical Studies.
    Some arguments include imperative clauses. For example: ‘Buy me a drink; you can’t buy me that drink unless you go to the bar; so, go to the bar!’ How should we build a logic that predicts which of these arguments are good? Because imperatives aren’t truth apt and so don’t stand in relations of truth preservation, this technical question gives rise to a foundational one: What would be the subject matter of this logic? I argue that declaratives are used to (...)
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  • Force and Choice.Sam Carter - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-38.
    Some utterances of imperative clauses have directive force—they impose obligations. Others have permissive force—they extend permissions. The dominant view is that this difference in force is not accompanied by a difference in semantic content. Drawing on data involving free choice items in imperatives, I argue that the dominant view is incorrect.
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  • The Semantics and Pragmatics of Argumentation.Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - In Daniel Altshuler (ed.), Linguistics meets philosophy. Cambridge:
    This paper overviews some recent work on the semantics and pragmatics of arguments.
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  • Practical Language: Its Meaning and Use.Nathan A. Charlow - 2011 - Dissertation, University of Michigan
    I demonstrate that a "speech act" theory of meaning for imperatives is—contra a dominant position in philosophy and linguistics—theoretically desirable. A speech act-theoretic account of the meaning of an imperative !φ is characterized, broadly, by the following claims. -/- LINGUISTIC MEANING AS USE !φ’s meaning is a matter of the speech act an utterance of it conventionally functions to express—what a speaker conventionally uses it to do (its conventional discourse function, CDF). -/- IMPERATIVE USE AS PRACTICAL !φ's CDF is to (...)
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  • Conditional Preferences and Practical Conditionals.Nate Charlow - 2013 - Linguistics and Philosophy 36 (6):463-511.
    I argue that taking the Practical Conditionals Thesis seriously demands a new understanding of the semantics of such conditionals. Practical Conditionals Thesis: A practical conditional [if A][ought] expresses B’s conditional preferability given A Paul Weirich has argued that the conditional utility of a state of affairs B on A is to be identified as the degree to which it is desired under indicative supposition that A. Similarly, exploiting the PCT, I will argue that the proper analysis of indicative practical conditionals (...)
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  • Lewis Carroll’s Regress and the Presuppositional Structure of Arguments.Carlotta Pavese - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-38.
    This essay argues that the main lesson of Lewis Carroll's Regress is that arguments are constitutively presuppositional.
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  • Essentially Practical Questions.Brendan Balcerak Jackson - 2019 - Analytic Philosophy 60 (1):1-26.
    Questions are known to play a crucial role in helping to structure linguistic communication. I argue that paying attention to questions is also necessary for understanding disagreement, and in particular for distinguishing between genuine and merely verbal disagreements. I argue, moreover, that some of the questions that play this role are essentially practical questions, questions about what to do. Such questions can remain open even after questions about what is the case have been settled. Essentially practical questions help structure discourse (...)
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  • Probabilistic Approaches to Vagueness and Semantic Competency.Peter Sutton - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (4):711-740.
    Wright holds that the following two theses are jointly incoherent: Rules determine correct language use. These rules are discoverable via internal reflection on language use. I argue that incoherence is derivable from alone and examine two types of probabilistic accounts that model a modification of, one in terms of inexact knowledge, the other in terms of viewing semantic rules as reasons for linguistic actions. Both accommodate tolerance by breaking the link between justified assertion and truth, but incoherence threatens their conception (...)
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  • Generalized Update Semantics.Simon Goldstein - 2019 - Mind 128 (511):795-835.
    This paper explores the relationship between dynamic and truth conditional semantics for epistemic modals. It provides a generalization of a standard dynamic update semantics for modals. This new semantics derives a Kripke semantics for modals and a standard dynamic semantics for modals as special cases. The semantics allows for new characterizations of a variety of principles in modal logic, including the inconsistency of ‘p and might not p’. Finally, the semantics provides a construction procedure for transforming any truth conditional semantics (...)
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  • Logic and Semantics for Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):617-664.
    In this paper I will develop a view about the semantics of imperatives, which I term Modal Noncognitivism, on which imperatives might be said to have truth conditions (dispositionally, anyway), but on which it does not make sense to see them as expressing propositions (hence does not make sense to ascribe to them truth or falsity). This view stands against “Cognitivist” accounts of the semantics of imperatives, on which imperatives are claimed to express propositions, which are then enlisted in explanations (...)
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  • The Problem with the Frege–Geach Problem.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (3):635-665.
    I resolve the major challenge to an Expressivist theory of the meaning of normative discourse: the Frege–Geach Problem. Drawing on considerations from the semantics of directive language (e.g., imperatives), I argue that, although certain forms of Expressivism (like Gibbard’s) do run into at least one version of the Problem, it is reasonably clear that there is a version of Expressivism that does not.
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  • Reasoning Beyond Belief Acquisition.Daniel Drucker - forthcoming - Noûs.
    I argue that we can reason not only to new beliefs but to basically any change in attitude we can think of, including the abandonment of belief (contra John Broome), the acquisition of non-belief attitudes like relief and admiration, and the elimination of the same. To argue for this position, which I call generalism, I defend a sufficient condition on reasoning, roughly that we can reason to any change in attitude that is expressed by the conclusion of an argument we (...)
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  • "How Propaganda Works": An Introduction.Dan Zeman - 2018 - Disputatio 51 (X):275–288.
    This is the editor’s introduction to the book symposium on Jason Stanley’s influential book "How Propaganda Words" (Oxford University Press, 2015). After a few brief remarks situating the book in the landscape of current analytic philosophy, I offer a detailed presentation of each chapter of the book, in order to familiarize the reader with its main tenets and with the author’s argumentative strategy. I flag the issues that the contributors to the symposium discuss, and describe their main points. I end (...)
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  • Clause-Type, Force, and Normative Judgment in the Semantics of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2018 - In Daniel Fogal Daniel Harris & Matt Moss (eds.), New Work on Speech Acts. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 67–98.
    I argue that imperatives express contents that are both cognitively and semantically related to, but nevertheless distinct from, modal propositions. Imperatives, on this analysis, semantically encode features of planning that are modally specified. Uttering an imperative amounts to tokening this feature in discourse, and thereby proffering it for adoption by the audience. This analysis deals smoothly with the problems afflicting Portner's Dynamic Pragmatic account and Kaufmann's Modal account. It also suggests an appealing reorientation of clause-type theorizing, in which the cognitive (...)
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  • Dynamic Expressivism About Deontic Modality.William B. Starr - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press. pp. 355-394.
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  • Expressing Permission.William B. Starr - 2016 - Semantics and Linguistic Theory 26:325-349.
    This paper proposes a semantics for free choice permission that explains both the non-classical behavior of modals and disjunction in sentences used to grant permission, and their classical behavior under negation. It also explains why permissions can expire when new information comes in and why free choice arises even when modals scope under disjunction. On the proposed approach, deontic modals update preference orderings, and connectives operate on these updates rather than propositions. The success of this approach stems from its capacity (...)
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  • Projecting Possibilities in the Nominal Domain: Spanish Uno Cualquiera.Luis Alonso-Ovalle & Paula Menéndez-Benito - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):1-41.
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  • Force, Mood and Truth.William B. Starr - 2014 - ProtoSociology 31:160-181.
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  • The Meaning of Imperatives.Nate Charlow - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (8):540-555.
    This article surveys a range of current views on the semantics of imperatives, presenting them as more or less conservative with respect to the Truth-Conditional Paradigm in semantics. It describes and critiques views at either extreme of this spectrum: accounts on which the meaning of an imperative is a modal truth-condition, as well as various accounts that attempt to explain imperative meaning without making use of truth-conditions. It briefly describes and encourages further work on a family of views lying somewhere (...)
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  • Decision Theory: Yes! Truth Conditions: No!Nate Charlow - 2016 - In Nate Charlow Matthew Chrisman (ed.), Deontic Modality. Oxford University Press.
    This essay makes the case for, in the phrase of Angelika Kratzer, packing the fruits of the study of rational decision-making into our semantics for deontic modals—specifically, for parametrizing the truth-condition of a deontic modal to things like decision problems and decision theories. Then it knocks it down. While the fundamental relation of the semantic theory must relate deontic modals to things like decision problems and theories, this semantic relation cannot be intelligibly understood as representing the conditions under which a (...)
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  • Illocutionary Revelations: Yucatec Maya Bakáan and the Typology of Miratives.Scott AnderBois - 2018 - Journal of Semantics 35 (1):171-206.
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  • Compliance and Command I—Categorical Imperatives.Kit Fine - 2018 - Review of Symbolic Logic 11 (4):609-633.
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