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  1. Saying Without Knowing What or How.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 17 (3):351-382.
    In response to Stephen Neale (2016), I argue that aphonic expressions, such as PRO, are intentionally uttered by normal speakers of natural language, either by acts of omitting to say something explicitly, or by acts of giving phonetic realization to aphonics. I argue, also, that Gricean intention-based semantics should seek divorce from Cartesian assumptions of transparent access to propositional attitudes and, consequently, that Stephen Schiffer's so-called meaning-intention problem is not powerful enough to banish alleged cases of over-intellectualization in contemporary philosophy (...)
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  • The Edenic Theory of Reference.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (3):276-308.
    I argue for a theory of the optimal function of the speech act of referring, called the edenic theory. First, the act of singular reference is defined directly in terms of Gricean communicative intentions. Second, I propose a doxastic constraint on the optimal performance of such acts, stating, roughly, that the speaker must not have any relevant false beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the intended object. In uttering a singular term on an occasion, on this theory, one represents (...)
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  • Referential Intentions: A Response to Buchanan and Peet.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):610-615.
    Buchanan (2014) argues for a Gricean solution to well-known counterexamples to direct reference theories of content. Peet (2016) develops a way to change the counterexample so that it seems to speak against Buchanan’s own proposal. I argue that both theorists fail to notice a significant distinction between the kinds of cases at issue. Those appearing to count against direct reference theory must be described such that speakers have false beliefs about the identity of the object to which they intend to (...)
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  • Frege’s Puzzle is About Identity After All.Elmar Unnsteinsson - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Many philosophers have argued or taken for granted that Frege's puzzle has little or nothing to do with identity statements. I show that this is wrong, arguing that the puzzle can only be motivated relative to a thinker's beliefs about the identity or distinctness of the relevant object. The result is important, as it suggests that the puzzle can be solved, not by a semantic theory of names or referring expressions as such, but simply by a theory of identity statements. (...)
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  • Silencing Without Convention.Elmar Unnsteinsson - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Silencing is usually explained in terms of conventionalism about the nature of speech acts. More recently, theorists have tried to develop intentionalist theories of the phenomenon. I argue, however, that if intentionalists are to accommodate the conventionalists' main insight, namely that silencing can be so extreme as to render certain types of speech act completely unavailable to victims, they must take two assumptions on board. First, it must be possible that speakers' communicative intentions are opaque to the speakers themselves. Secondly, (...)
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